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Important early azimuth compass.
Selling price: $24000
The 22cm diameter card itself is made of a sheet of mica sandwiched between two identical printed and hand colored cards, with straight compass needle, brass hub, stone cap, and outer brass circle divided every degree. The card has a central image of a Dutch galleon under sail, surrounded by a twice-12 hour circle, and a 32-point rose with an elaborate fleur-de-lys and seven magnificent figures of the planetary deities. Overall condition is fine, noting darkening of the brass and various signs of use. A c.1900 label in the box reads Azimuth Compass owned by Capt. Joseph Nickerson .
Designed for taking directional sights on the sun (or stars)near the horizon, to determine the local magnetic variation (and therefore the ships true heading), the azimuth compass was developed in the 16th century and became an essential navigational instrument.
Extremely rare. The Maritime Museum of Amsterdam owns a similar compass signed by Van Keulen.
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