Note: According to venerable Dickens scholar and enthusiast Walter Dexter, the original of the little mid-shipman, taking a sighting with a naval quadrant, was located outside a marine supply shop at 57 Leadenhall Street, on Dickens's route from his home at Doughty Street and Covent Garden past the India House. In The Uncommercial Traveller, Dickens mentions that he was accustomed to patting the figure "on one leg of his knee-shorts for old acquaintance sake" (or possibly for good luck). As of 2, when Dexter wrote a brief commentary for The Dickensian, vol. 25, when the firm changed premises they took the statue to Minories, No. 23, "preserved from the weather inside their office" (p. 3) as a symbol of their being in trade since 1670. It has since been acquired by The Dickens Museum, 48 Doughty Street, London.
See also the plate titled "A Visitor of Distinction" where the same figure appears.
Go to Dickens' Dombey and Son original prints by Phiz