This image is All rights reserved.
Please follow the Buy or license link under each image to apply to use this image. (Charges may apply)
Why you need to apply for the use of this image
Rights for this work may be:
- controlled by the artist, the artist's estate, or other rights holders; or
- unclear - Te Papa will do a more detailed analysis of the work’s rights history; or
- covered by Te Papa’s Mana Taonga principle which supports the rights of holders of traditional knowledge to determine how the image may be used.
You need to make sure you don’t infringe on the rights of third parties before you use this image. Our image request process helps with this. Te Papa does not authorise the use of this image beyond the uses allowed by the “fair dealing” provisions of the New Zealand Copyright Act, 1994.
More information about copyright
We recommend these resources for more information:
- Copyright in NZ - Ministry of Economic Development
- Copyright guidelines and resource - Lianza
- Enabling use and re-use - Digital NZ
Find more information about Te Papa's rights project on our blog, including how rights types are assigned.
Get in touch
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
- if you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, or
- if you wish to contact the rights holder for this work. We will assist where we can.
von Zatorski, Walter (manufacturer(s)), 1916, New Zealand
|Materials||brass, glass, wood|
x 122mm (Length)
x 283mm (Width/Depth)
|Credit line||Gift of the Minister of Defence, 1918|
This sextant (navigational instrument) was made in 1917 by German merchant marine cadet, Walter von Zatorski. At the time he was interned as a prisoner of war on Motuihe Island in the Hauraki Gulf, about eleven kilometres northeast of Auckland, New Zealand. He had been captured when New Zealand forces took the Pacific Island of German Samoa (now the Independent State of Samoa) during World War I (1914-1918).
The sextant and its case are totally improvised, and were made using the fuel tank from a Primus stove and the brass hinges from a rudder that had washed ashore. The adjusting screw came from the handle of a safety razor. Von Zatorski ordered tools and solder through the camp canteen to assemble the instrument.
In December 1917, von Zatorski's sextant was put to use when a party of prisoners, lead by Count Felix von Luckner ('Sea Wolf'), escaped from Motuihe and captured the scow Moa. Using von Zatorski's handmade instrument and a map copied from a school atlas, the men navigated an accurate course to the Kermadec Islands - around 1000 kilometres northeast of New Zealand - before they were recaptured.
The New Zealand government confiscated the sextant on the prisoners' recapture. However, the fine workmanship of the piece was greatly admired and it was gifted to Te Papa's predecessor, the Dominion Museum, in 1918.
Results from DigitalNZ
Searching 25 million digital objects from over 140 content partners across New Zealand
- Captain Cook with sextant - Ministry for Culture and Heritage
- Unidentified men looking through sextants on ship's deck - Alexander Turnbull Library
- Two unidentified men looking through sextants - Alexander Turnbull Library
- The dolphin and the sextant: Traditional knowledge and modernity in Polynesian navigation. - Open Polytechnic
Disclaimer: This information was created from historic documentation, and may not necessarily reflect the best available knowledge about the item. Some collection images are created for identification purposes only and may not be of reproduction quality. Some images are not available due to copyright restrictions. If you have information or questions about objects in the collection, contact us using our enquiry form. You can also find out more about Collections Online.