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probably made in Dundee

Postcard of Octant.
© National Museums Scotland


An octant is a navigational instrument used for measuring angles necessary for determining a ship's position at sea. This example, made around 1870, was retailed by Dundee-based nautical instrument sellers, Taylor & Co. It appears to have never been used.

The octant (pictured here in its mahogany box) is made of brass and black wood, with an ivory scale. It is has an ivory name plate engraved 'TAYLOR & CO, DUNDEE' and has the name of the owner, 'C.SALMOND', inscribed on the index arm.

James Taylor & Co. had premises at King William Dock in Dundee between 1869 and 1874.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-100-102-720-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0098: National Museums Scotland
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  T.1971.234
Date: Around 1870
c. 1870
Material: Black wood, brass, ivory scale and name plate, glass shades. Inscription: TAYLOR & CO. DUNDEE; C.SALMON
Dimensions: 245 mm radius / box 300 mm x 330 mm x 100 mm
What: Octant / box
Who: C. Salmond (Inscribed on the octant)
Taylor and Co., Dundee, Scotland (Maker)
Where: Scotland, Angus, Dundee
Description: Nine and a half-inch octant in a box, signed by Taylor and Co., Dundee, c. 1870
  • Bryden, D.J. Scottish Scientific Instrument Makers 1660-1900. Edinburgh, 1972. p 57 
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