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John Benjamin Dancer British, 1812-1887, circa 1850


Signed on the radius "Dancer, Manchester", this rare left handed double T-frame sextant formed with strips of brass in duplicate, and joined with turned brass pillars. Brass arc inset with a silver scale calibrated from 0-150, index arm with clamp and tangent screws, magnifier, vernier scale, lignum vitae handle, two sets of colored filters and telescopic lens with the telescope fitting into the right hand side and the ebony handle mounted on the left side. In a fitted mahogany box with additional lenses and accessories.
Sextant height 9.5". Width of arc 10.5". Box height 5". Width 11". Width 10.5".
Condition: Condition: complete in case (although fitting for key, possibly for another accessory now missing). The isntrument has been well cared for and cleaned at some &'tage.. The brass with signs of polishing, some inevitable staining and scratches consistent with age and use.The key present but not locking. Ownerhsip plate to top of case replaced. Some closed cracking to case. The case at some point stripped back and cleaned with white specks in the grain coming up, typical of Edwardian work on old mahogany.

The absence of a condition report does not imply an object is free of defects. All items may have normal signs of age and wear commensurate with their age; these issues will likely not be mentioned in the condition report. Please contact Eldred's before the auction with any condition questions. Questions about condition will not be answered after purchase. Condition reports are provided as a courtesy, and we are not responsible for any errors or omissions. Important note on frames: Frames are not guaranteed to be in the same condition as they are in the item photograph. Due to handling and shipping, many frames, especially antique ones, are prone to losses. If you have questions about the condition of a frame, please contact us prior to the auction. 

  • Provenance: The Kelton Collection of Marine Art & Artifacts. John Benjamin Dancer (October 8, 1812 – November 24, 1887) was an optician and scientific instrument maker and was the inventor of microphotography. Born in London, Dancer, at different times, held apprenticeships with Ramsden, Dollond and Troughton. In 1841 he established a partneship; Abraham & Dancer in Manchester. After 1845 he worked alone.

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