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Sextant Photo Library

These are not for sale. These pictures have been provided by ebay users for use as resource to those interested in nautical instruments. This page will feature several pictures as well as a list of all pictures in our collection. Those not featured will be available by request through e-mail absolutely free of charge. I will be collecting pictures of sextants and related instruments, as well as articles and links to other resources. If you have a picture you would like me to consider for this page or any other suggestions please send me an e-mail. I have also attempted to do some research on each sextant so that I can provide so background information. I am not a exactly an authority on the subject but I will make every effort to provide accurate information, if you find any errors or can provide additional insight please send me an e-mail. -Ray

Sextant Photos

1989 Plath Sextant

This first sextant is perhaps the ultimate evolution of the instrument. Purchased by it's original owner in 1989 it features the most modern inovations in sextant technology. It is made by Plath, generally considered the best sextants on the market. With the development of electronic navigation and the Global Positioning System(GPS) it is unlikely sextant development will ever surpass this example.

1989 Plath

1937 Plath Sextant

Plath sextants have been manufactured since 1926, the sextant featured below is a wonderful early example of the high quality sextants. Dated 1937, this Plath sextant is worth comparing to the 1989 model above. Many of the similarities and differences mark significant developments in the sextant. For those interested in historical significance, close inspection of the label inside the box appear to reveal a stamp associated with the Third Reich, an eagle and swastika. Unfortunately, I only have the photo to examine so I am not certain the symbol is what it appears to be and I can only speculate as to why it is on the label.

1937 Plath
Picture provided by:John Farley, Antique Dealer, Troy, NY; e-Mail:; phone: (518)233-8215"

1800's Octant

The instrument below is a close cousin to the sextant, the octant. Sometimes called the Hadley quadrant after the man who first purposed it's design. These instruments gained favor with navigators in the mid to late 18th century and remained in use until the early 20th century(by some accounts). The sextant surpassed the octant as the lunar distance method of determining position gained popularity and sextant construction techniques produced higher quality instruments. This octant is likely from the Mid 19th century. It is made of ebony, ivory, and brass.

Mid 19th century Octant

WWII era Japanese Sextant

The instrument below is a World War II era sextant made in Japan by Yamaya & Co. It's design and construction are very similar to many on the market today.

WWII era Yamaya & Co