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January 6, 2011 5:43 PM   Subscribe

Where can I buy an astrolabe in New York City?

I'm looking for astrolabes, sextants, armillary's, etc. for a project but need to have it by Saturday, preferably by tomorrow night. It can be small, or a duplication, and it doesn't have to actually work but it should look somewhat authentic. Stanley London has items like that, but they're mail-order only.

My mind is blanking on where to purchase such an item in NYC, though. The only thing I can think of would be the gift shops at the Met or Natural History Museum. Any ideas? I'm also open to items with that kind of design aesthetic (like sort of steampunk-ish stuff) or other astronautical items.
posted by greenland to Shopping (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
A nautical gift shop like this one, maybe?
posted by gingerest at 5:53 PM on January 6, 2011 [1 favorite]

This awesome store might carry them, or might be able to help you find someone who does.

I used to work at the Met's gift shop, and we didn't carry anything like that. Maybe a kiddie version in cardboard or plastic, but definitely nothing real that you could actually navigate by the stars with.

Brooklyn Superhero Supply might be another lead. Again, not sure that they would definitely carry them, but where there's superheroes, pirates and explorers can't be far behind.
posted by Sara C. at 6:06 PM on January 6, 2011

You might try places that sell astronomy-related items (planetarium gift shops and so on). I just did astrolabes with my son's cub scout den last week and we made them ourselves. I printed out the DIY plans for a mariner's astrolabe, glued it to foamboard and put it together. Works pretty well, too, for measuring the heights of things like trees and whatnot.
posted by jquinby at 6:45 AM on January 7, 2011

West Marine sells sextants.

They have a store in Manhattan:

12 W 37th St
New York, NY10018-7480

Mon: 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Tue: 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Wed: 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Thur: 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Fri: 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Sat: 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Sun: 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM

I'm not sure whether they'd have one in stock at the store, but if you call, I'm sure they can tell you.
posted by Jahaza at 6:52 AM on January 7, 2011

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