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Detailed Record


Title: Cross staff

Accession Number: 1953.4458
Category: INSTRUMENTS - CROSS STAVES
Type: cross staff
Maker:
Place:
Date: 1750
Materials:
Description: Portion of ebony cross staff; dated 1750. Eye end square to staff, other end is four-sided pyramid. Scales do not line up at 0 degrees and terminate at different points. Sides are numbered 1-4 and scales are marked every five degrees. Side 1: top scale measures from 0-53 degrees, bottom scale 90-37 degrees. Side 2: top scale measures from 0-65 degrees, bottom scale 90-25 degrees. Side 3: top scale measures 0-77 degrees, bottom scale 90-13 degrees. Side 4: top scale measures 0-83 degrees, bottom scale 90-7 degrees. Four reproduction vanes in a lighter wood (16", 10 5/8", 5 1/4", 2 1/4"). Owned by Capt. Solomon Davis of New York City and Miller's Place, Long Island, commander of a privateer out of New York during King George's War. Capt. Davis was a Tory and died in battle with patriotic forces in 1776. Because the cross-staff is dated 1750, Davis may have used the angle-finding instrument after King George's War (Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle signed in 1748) and before he died in 1776.

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