Product images of Wooden figure holding a wooden octant, the trade sign of an optical instrument maker
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Manufactured in the UK
All products are printed in the UK, using the latest digital presses and a giclée printmaking process.
We only use premium branded inks, and colours are independently verified to last between 100 and 200 years.
Wooden figure holding a wooden octant, the trade sign of an optical instrument maker
This carved and painted wooden figure holding a wooden octant was the trade sign of an optical instrument maker. Although such figures are frequently referred to as 'The Little Midshipman' or 'The Little Admiral' this particular figure is actually wearing a lieutenant's full dress uniform of the 1787 to 1812 pattern. Charles Dickens refers to such wooden figures on the Georgian and Victorian street-scene in his novel 'Dombey and Son' (1846-1848) as the '...little timber midshipmen in obsolete naval uniforms, eternally employed outside the doors of nautical instrument makers in taking observations of the hackney coaches'.
- Image reference: F4338
- National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London