18th Century Brass Graphometer

Mariners' Museum, Newport News, VA

The Mariners’ Museum houses an extraordinary collection of nautical and scientific instruments for navigation, Included among the astrolabes, quadrants, sextants, compasses and back staffs is a graphometer made in Paris by F. Sautout-Choizy in the late 18th Century. The brass and glass device was designed to accurately survey angles which can assist in chart navigation. It features a compass, vernier scale, and telescope. The instrument features elegant lion heads and decorative scroll work off-setting its accurate measurement markings.

Our conservators were contracted to repair damages to the artifact in 2008. Bent features and elements were annealed and carefully straightened until they no longer showed the effects of the damage. Breaks were then repaired using reversible means. The glass covering for the compass dial was adhered and reset within the dial. All surfaces were polished and restored before it was packed and returned to the client.