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Four inch sextant in a fitted wooden case, by Cary of London, 1901, used to take bearings on the British Antarctic Expedition, 1901 - 1904

Museum reference



History of Science

Object name

Sextant, Case, Quintant

Production information

Cary, Instrument maker
London, England, Northern Europe


c. 1901


Aluminium alloy, Wood, Silver, Mahogany

Physical description

Aluminium alloy / fitted wooden case


Previous owner: Admiralty
Antarctic Expedition


  • Earth in Space (29 Jul 2011)
    National Museum of Scotland


A.D. Morrison-Low, R.H. Nuttall and A.D.C. Simpson, 'Ten Important Twentieth-Century Items from the History of Science Collections of the National Museums of Scotland', Bulletin of the Scientific Instrument Society, No 63 (1999), pp 23-8

For aluminium instruments, see John Burnett, 'The Use of New Materials in the Manufacture of Scientific Instruments c. 1880 - c. 1920', in J.T. Stock and M.V. Orna (eds.), The History and Preservation of Chemical Instrumentation, Dordrecht, 1986, pp 217-238

Anita McConnell, 'Aluminium and its Alloys for Scientific Instruments, 1855-1900', Annals of Science 46 (1989), pp 611-620

On display

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