Celestial navigation, Astronomical and navigational instruments

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Backstaff

NAV0033
Celestial navigation

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Object ID NAV0033
Description The backstaff is made from a hornbeam frame with boxwood arcs. The staff has an inlaid ivory plate on the main strut and rivets capped by decorative ivory triangles. There are no vanes. Small decorative stamps, including flowers and fleurs-de-lis, are stamped at the ends of both arcs. The transversal scale on the thirty degree arc is from 0° to 25° by 5 arcminutes and reads to 0.5 arcminutes. The graduation on the sixty degree arc is from 0° to 65° by 1°.
Date made circa 1750

Artist/Maker Unknown
Place made Unknown
Credit National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
Materials wood; ivory
Measurements Overall: 20 mm x 640 mm x 353 mm
Parts
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