West Sea Company

5. NAVY, USLHS, USLSS & Military

Prices in U.S. Dollars are in GREEN

5.86 VERY, VERY RARE U.S. NAVY BATTLESHIP COFFEE POT!  An amazing relic from an American Naval ship-of-the-line dating to the 4th quarter of the 19th century.  These pots certainly saw service during the Spanish-American War and cruised aboard the Great White Fleet around the globe in the very early 1900's.  The bottom is marked "Reed & Barton" with the letters "U.S.N."  The inside of the pot contains an insulating porcelain liner which is in perfect original condition.  Still usable!  The bottom is signed "REED & BARTON 67627 U.S.N." with the company's Roman fasces logo.   According to a noted Naval historian only 48 of these "special coffee pots" were ever produced for the Navy by Reed & Barton, Wilcox and Wallace silver plate companies from the late 1870's.  All were made for captains of capital ships (battleships) and Admirals' messes.  One such pot, now in the collection of the Naval History Museum at the U.S Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland, was recently appraised for $20,000.  10 ¼ inches wide at the widest.  The body is 6 1/8 inches in diameter and it stands 11 inches tall.  The overall condition of this coffee pot is excellent.  But it is not mint.  It does show some scratches and expected minor dents.  Yet, these are good indicators of its actual service in the fleet.  Without question, a museum-quality U.S. Navy relic of the first order from the late 1800's. Price Request Special Packaging

Please see http://westsea.com/USnavymuseum.html, which indicates these coffee pots were patented in 1878, and have a current appraised value of $20,000. 



Order Info

5.85  COMMEMORATIVE LIFERING.  Very rare ship's relic in the form of an authentically-made miniature lifering.  This unusual example of sailor folk art consists of a carved wooden core overlaid by sail canvas tightly stitched on the inner circumference.  A laid rope "grab line" encircles the ring attached by 4 sections of interlaced coachwhipping sinnet.  At the bottom is a six-bight double strand button knot with trailing fringe.  The lifering is beautifully-identified in gold lettering with black "shadow" highlights U.S.S. SAVANNAH.  The ring itself measures 5 ¾ inches in diameter by 8 inches wide and 11 ½ inches tall.  Excellent overall condition with only minor spotting due to age.  There are no losses or damage.  Here is a genuine  tangible piece of U.S. Navy Civil War history!  Civil War relics are hot!  385

USS SAVANNAH 1842-1870

The second ship in the U.S. Navy to be named SAVANNAH was laid down in 1820 at the New York Navy Yard.  But due to a lack of funding the frigate was not commissioned until 12 years later.  SAVANNAH joined the Pacific Squadron as its flagship in 1844.  In anticipation of the Mexican War (1846-48), the SAVANNAH and her squadron were positioned off the coast of California.  On July 7, 1846 less than two months after war broke out, SAVANNAHsuccessfully captured the provincial capital Monterey, without firing a shot.
In 1853 she was transferred to Brazil Station with ships assigned to protect American trade with Brazil and Argentina.  Upon completion of those duties in 1856 SAVANNAH was converted into a twenty-four gun sloop of war to serve as part of the home squadron patrolling the Gulf of Mexico.  On March 6, 1860, the SAVANNAH and USS SARATOGA participated in the engagement off of Anton Lizardo, Mexico where they captured two Mexican pirate ships taken over by mutineers.

At the outbreak of the Civil War in 1861 SAVANNAH deployed off the coast of Georgia where she participated in the capture of two Confederate prizes, the schooner E.J. WATERMAN and the ship CHESHIRE.  Subsequently SAVANNAH was taken out of active service to serve as a training ship at the U.S. Naval Academy.  She continued in that capacity, crossing the Atlantic several times until 1870.  In 1883 the vessel was sold to a private shipping company.



Order Info


5.83/6.50   WWII U.S.N. FLARE PISTOL.  Authentic signaling pistol made for the U.S. Navy by the R. F. Sedgley Co. as marked on the top of the barrel "SIGNAL PISTOL MK 5 R. F. SEDGLEY INC. 1942."  It is further marked with an impressed "S" along with the serial number just forward of the trigger.  The blackened tapered steel barrel tilts forward from the body to receive the canister charge, locked into place by a spring-loaded button underneath.  Both sides of the Bakelite pistol grip handle have non-slip checkered patterns engraved with a diamond shape and a circle in the middle reading "USN."  It is equipped with a pivoting lanyard ring on the butt.  This 10 gauge flare gun measures 11 inches long, 5 ½ inches top to bottom and 1 ½ inches thick.  Virtually mint condition in all respects.  The action is tight and functional.  295

This compact and relatively light weight flare gun was the obvious choice of Navy fliers early in the War.




Order Info

5.81/10.74  IMPORTANT WWII SUBMARINE PLAQUE.  Original commemorative plaque from the famous U.S. Navy diesel submarine USS BLACKFIN (SS-322).   This handsome historic plaque is cast in high relief from solid brass which has acquired a rich statuary bronze age patina.  Charmingly, it depicts a 19th century "copper" (policeman) in uniform twirling a torpedo as if it was a nightstick.  The top of the plaque displays the submarine service emblem of dolphins flanking a submarine with "USS BLACKFIN" in high relief.  The plaque is mounted to a lovely, very rich, solid African mahogany backing in traditional shield form.  It measures 11 by 13 ½ inches.  The plaque itself is 7 ¼ high by 5 5/8 inhe4s wide.  Outstanding original condition.  This is a museum piece.  295

USS BLACKFIN (SS-322), a BALAO-class submarine, was the first ship of the U.S. Navy to be named for a fish from the Great Lakes.   She was launched on March 12, 1944 by the Electric Boat Company of Groton, Connecticut and was commissioned on July 4th, 1944, Lieutenant Commander George Hays Laird, Jr., in command.

BLACKFIN arrived at Pearl Harbor on September 11, 1944.  During her war operations from September 30th to September 5t th1945 she completed five war patrols.  Her operating areas included the South China and Yellow Seas.  BLACKFIN sank the Japanese destroyer SHIGURE on January 24, 1945 and a Japanese cargo ship of 4,325 tons.

During her fifth war patrol World War II came to an end, but not before she occupied a Japanese lifeguard station and destroyed 61 floating mines.  Thereafter she sailed to Apra Harbor, Guam, on September 5, 1945.  After receiving voyage repairs and fuel she proceeded to San Diego where she joined Submarine Squadron 1.   She operated with Submarine Force, Pacific Fleet, based out of San Diego until March 8, 1954 and thereafter from Pearl Harbor.  During this time she completed two tours in the Far East from December 1951 – June 1952 and January – June 1955.

During her career, BLACKFIN was used in two famous movies: 1963 "Move Over Darling" with Doris Day, and James Garner; then in 1968 "Ice Station Zebra" with Rock Hudson and Ernest Borgnine.

The long-lived BLACKFIN was decommissioned and struck from the Naval Record on September 15, 1972.  But even then her usefulness continued as a target to be sunk by a torpedo in the "SubSinkEx Project Thurber" project off San Diego, California on May 13, 1973.  Her partial sinking was deliberately used to acquire acoustic data on submarine implosions.

BLACKFIN received three battle stars for her World War II service.


Order Info

5.78 /20.83   HISTORICAL  SPANAM WAR PRESENTATION CANE.  Very rare authentic gentleman’s walking stick dated 1898 with the rare feature of being a functional cannon!  Known as a “cherrot cane” because of its likeness to a cigar of that era, this cane was a presentation piece engraved with the name “Chas W. Test” on one side and the name of the Spanish Naval ship “Reina Mercedes 1898” on the other.  REINA MERCEDES was the flagship of Spanish Naval forces in Cuban waters as the station ship at Santiago de Cuba.  This solid brass cannon is functional with bore and touch hole.  It is mounted atop a brass orb which connects to the collar of the cane with the engraving.  It connects to a lovely tiger stripe hardwood cane which tapers to its original brass and iron ferrule at the bottom.  The brass surfaces are gold plated.    It measures 33 ½ inches long and the shaft is 7/8 inches in diameter at the collar.  The cannon is 4 inches long and has a bore of 5/16 inch diameter. This cannon is functional. The inside the barrel has gunpowder residue. The original 29 inch long hardwood shaft has never been refinished and remains in great condition with its beautiful grain pattern and deep brown tiger striping. The bottom of the shaft retains the original 2 inch long nickel silver and iron tip.  This walking stick is in outstanding, untouched original condition in all respects, noting some wear to the gold plating.  1995

At the outbreak of the Spanish-American War in 1898, the battle cruiser REINA MERCEDES was serving as a harbor defense ship at Santiago de Cuba.  On June 3rd a landing party commanded by Lt. Richmond Hobson attempted to run USS MERRIMAC aground in order to block the channel in the shallow water at the harbor entrance.  REINA MERCEDES commended firing with other Spanish ships and shore batteries defending the harbor.  MERRIMAC was sunk and Lieutenant Hobson with his seven men were taken prisoner aboard REINA MERCEDES.

During the remainder of June and into July, U.S. Navy ships continuously bombarded Spanish positions at Santiago de Cuba, damaging REINA MERCEDES on at least eight separate occasions.  Following the destruction of Admiral Cervera's squadron on July 3, 1898, the Spanish scuttled the battered REINA MERCEDES in the channel to prevent U.S. ships from entering.  The Spanish towed her to the mouth of the harbor late in the evening of July 3d.   But her movements were discovered by the American battleships USS TEXAS and MASSACHUSETTS which took REINA MERCEDES under fire.  Their fierce salvos inflicted heavy damage but did not prevent her from sinking at the intended location.  Even so, a chance shot cut her mooring lines allowing her to settle in shallow water out of the main channel  with her upper works still visible.

U.S. Forces overtook the REINA MERCEDES on July 17, 1898 when the Spanish defenses at Santiago de Cuba were surrendered.  The U.S. Navy decided to salvage REINA MERCEDES, assigning the famous salvaging company Merritt & Chapman Co. to raise her.  Work was begun on January 2, 1899 and she was refloated on March 1st.

After extensive repairs the old cruiser was designated as a non-self-propelled receiving ship on December 10. 1902 where she served until 1912. 

This piece obviously belonged to Charles W. Test, someone of importance who must have served aboard the USS TEXAS or the USS MASSACUSETTS.


touch hole


Order Info

5.74 /8.70   U.S. BELL.   Genuine World War II or earlier ship’s bell from a medium size American military vessel.  This high quality bell is heavy solid bronze.  Cast in high relief on its front are the letters “U.S.”  The bell is complete with its “swan’s neck” mounting bracket, acorn finial, and rarely-found original mounting shoe.  The shoe provides security when the bell is not in use allowing it to be easily removed for safe storage.  The bell measures 8 inches in diameter and 6 ¾ inches tall.  With bracket and shoe it extends 8 3/4 inches from the bulkhead.  It is complete with its old sailor-made macramé bell rope and brass shackle.  The overall presentation is 17 inches tall and it weighs 8 1/2 pounds.  All surfaces retain their lovely original aged statuary bronze finish.  The clapper, when striking the thick wall of the bell, exudes an amazingly loud and clear tone which carries for nearly half a minute!  This indicates a professional manufactory using the highest quality bell alloy (silver?).  The original condition is outstanding.  That this bell was employed in either U.S. Army or U.S. Navy service is indeterminable.  What is certain is that it is a proud veteran of World War II service.   Included in this offering are 6 heavy duty brass mounting screws. Price Request

Surprisingly, the U.S. Army boasted over 127,000 vessels and small craft of various sizes in World War II service!   The U.S. Navy operated 6,768 ships by war’s end.  They included 28 aircraft carriers, 23 battleships, 71 escort carriers, 72 cruisers, 232 submarines, 377 destroyers, and thousands of amphibious, supply, auxiliary ships together with hundreds of thousands of yard craft and small boats.



Order Info

5.57   RARE ZEPPLIN PHOTO.  Extremely scare original photograph of an equally rare subject.  This is a large sepia tone silverplate image of the gigantic American Navy airship the USS LOS ANGELES (ZR-3).   It shows a port broadside view of the huge craft flying over pine trees in the foreground.  The image is clear with good contrast and no damage.  It measures 6 ½ by 10 ½ inches sight and is housed in its original stiff double mat (some corner damage only) measuring 10 ¼ by 14 ¼.  195

The USS LOS ANGELES was a rigid airship designated ZR-3, built by the Zeppelin company in Friedrichshafen, Germany, and given to the United States as a war reparation.  It was delivered to the U.S. Navy in October 1924 and immediately began performing experimental air tactics.  In 1929, the LOS ANGELES was used to test the “trapeze system” developed by the U.S. Navy to launch and recover fixed wing aircraft from rigid airships, particularly in the development of the American parasite bi-plane fighter program.  The huge airship had a length of 658 feet and a beam of 90 feet and had a top speed of 65 knots.   After the disastrous fire and destruction of her sister ship the Graf Zeppelin Hindenburg on May 6, 1937, public support for the continuance of flying these ships filled with explosive hydrogen gas plummeted, as did the airships themselves.  Although the LOS ANGELES was decommissioned from service in 1932 she was maintained in a hangar at Lakehurst, New Jersey (scene of the Hindenburg disaster) until 1941.  Unlike the other rigid Navy airships SHENANDOAH, AKRON and MACON, the German-built LOS ANGELES was the only Navy airship which did not meet a disastrous end.


Order Info

5.70 / 15.33  FAMOUS ORIGINAL PHOTO.  Genuine silver plate photograph of one of the very first “4-piper” destroyers, USS DRAYTON, conducting speed trails.  DRAYTON was laid down on August 19, 1909 at the Bath Iron Works Bath, Maine.  She was launched on August 22, 1910 and commissioned on October 29th.  This photo is signed lower left “USS Drayton Copyright by N. L. Stebbins, Run 25 South 32.88 Knots.”  Although undated it is obviously 1910 before commissioning.  The sepia tone image clearly shows the sleek vessel belching coal smoke in a mighty effort to attain top speed.  Scrutiny under magnification shows crewmen on the bridge and just aft on deck.  It is interesting to note this photograph was taken prior to the installation of the ship’s armament.  Measuring 7 ½ by 9 ¼ inches sight, it is mounted on the stiff card 9 ½ by 11 ¼ inches.  There are a few light stains here and there, but in general the image is clear without faults.  A good original photograph by one of New England’s premier marine photographers over 110 years old!  99

 After commissioning DRAYTON arrived in Key West, Florida to patrol Cuban waters.  Beginning April 9, 1914 she served on blockade duty off Mexico during the uprisings there and  took refugees out of  troubled areas.

In advance of World War I DRAYTON served on neutrality patrol and conducted torpedo and gunnery exercises out of Newport, Rhode Island and in the Caribbean.  After war was declared in early April 1917, she overtook the German steamer FREIDA LEONHRDT interning the crew.  DRAYTON departed the Boston Navy Yard on May 21 for Queenstown, Ireland arriving on June 1st.  From there she patrolled the coast of Ireland and escorted arriving and departing merchants.  On June 20 she searched for the submarine which had torpedoed BENGORE HEAD and rescued 42 survivors from Bantry, Ireland.  From June 26 to July 4th she escorted a transport convoy to St. Nazaire and took part in a submarine hunt with two French cruisers.  In December she picked up 39 survivors of the ship FOYLEMORE.

DRAYTON continued her patrolling duties out of Queenstown until she departed European waters on December 16, 1918 arriving Boston on January 2, 1919.  She then cruised along the east coast on various exercises and maneuvers until July 18th, when she reported to the Philadelphia Navy Yard for decommissioning.  She was decommissioned on November 17, 1919.  On July 1st 1933, her name was dropped, thereafter known as DD-23  until sold on June 28, 1935.


Order Info

5.51  ADMIRAL’s TABLE SERVICE.  Rare, authentic pre-World War II U.S. Navy gravy boat used in the Vice Admiral’s Mess of an American capital ship.  This splendid example is oval in shape and is complete with its built-in tray/base, cover and serving spoon.  The exterior of the boat is embellished with the hand-engraved emblem of three stars encircling the initials “U.S.N.”  This is the “fancy” model with the “ropework” trim on the tray and cover.   The cover fits the boat  precisely and bears a decorative acorn finial on the top.  The base is signed “R. WALLACE Silver Soldered.”  This silverplate item has a base metal of brass.  Many lesser table service items had a base metal of iron which corroded over time.  The interior of this example is perfect, still fit for actual use!   It measures 8 inches long by 5 3/4 inches wide and stands 5 inches high.  Outstanding original condition.  229


Order Info

5.48  U.S. NAVY GRAVY BOAT.    Authentic World War II  U.S Navy server as used in the Wardroom Officer’s Mess of  an American capital ship.  This splendid example is the nicest we have encountered in our nearly 40 years in this business.  With its oval shape it is complete with built-in tray/base, cover and ladle.  The exterior of the boat is embellished with the exquisite hand-engraved Navy emblem of a fouled anchor over the decorative letters “U.S.N.”  This is the “fancy “ model with the “ropework” trim on the tray and cover.   The cover fits the boat with a precisely and bears a decorative acorn finial on the top.  The base is signed “Reed & Barton Silver Soldered.”  This silverplate item is with a base metal of brass.  Many lesser table service items had a base metal of iron which corroded over time.  The interior of this example is perfect, still fit for actual use!   It measures 8 inches long by 6 inches wide and stands 5 inches high.  A better, cleaner example does not exist.  169



Order Info

2.52/5.45  MOST IMPORTANT BUILDER’s HULL.   Original, historically very significant builder’s half block model of the famous 19th century American battleship the U.S.S. OREGON (BB-3).  This large sculpted model is constructed in laminated “lifts” of mahogany mounted to its original framed and painted pine backboard.  This builder’s model is known as a “hull plating model” because it depicts and identifies in specific detail the armor plating of the ship’s steel hull.  As such this very model was actually used as a basis for the design and construction of the ship.  On the bottom center of the backboard just below the hull is the hand-painted designation “U.S.S. OREGON” in gold.  The hull has acquired a lovely age patina and variegated surface in the 125+ years since it was laid out.  The backboard measures 97 inches long by 13 inches high.  The hull model itself is 88 inches long, 8 ½ inches wide and 8 inches high.  The entire presentation protrudes 10 inches from the bulkhead when displayed.  This authentic builder’s model of one of the most famous ships in U.S. Naval history belongs in a museum.  It is likely the only identified such model still in private hands.  Outstanding, untouched original condition showing wonderful age.  The price is more that $10,000.  Serious inquires only please. Price Request Special PackagingBack to Top

Ex.  Collection of the De Young Museum, San Francisco, California.  Deaccessioned at public auction early 1990’s.

The battleship OREGON was laid down by the Union Iron Works, San Francisco, Cal.  in 1891 and commissioned in 1896.   She spent the next two years conducting exercises off the Pacific coast.  On February 15, 1898  news was telegraphed  that the battleship MAINE had exploded in Havana Harbor.  OREGON was in the Puget Sound Navy Yard, Bremerton, Washington at the time.  War with Spain was becoming imminent and OREGON was dispatched to Spanish-held Cuba without delay.  En route, she made a brief stop in San Francisco to load more coal for the long journey ahead, departing on March 19, 1898.  Traveling around Cape Horn OREGON arrived at Jupiter Inlet 66 days later  –  a distance of 15,000 nautical miles!  This was a remarkable achievement at the time.  The record breaking voyage immediately popularized the ship with the American public.  It also emphasized the need for a shorter coast to coast route, which ultimately led to construction of the Panama Canal.  Upon arrival OREGON joined Admiral William T. Sampson’s squadron under the command of her Captain Charles Clark.  On July 3 OREGON spearheaded the Battle of Santiago de Cuba, where she and the cruiser BROOKLYN were the only ships fast enough to chase down and capture the Spanish flagship CRISTOBAL COLON.   The remainder of the Spanish fleet was decimated.   It was at this time OREGON earned the nickname "Bulldog of the Navy," because of the “bone in her teeth” – a reference to her distinctive bow wave at cruising speed..

After the Spanish-American War OREGON sailed to China Station for 2 deployments which included her presence during the Boxer Rebellion.   She was briefly decommissioned in 1906 but recommissioned in 1911.  WWI saw her escorting troop carriers to Europe.  After the Great War, as a result of the Washington Naval Treaty, OREGON was declared "incapable of further wartime service."  In June 1925 she became a museum ship in Portland, Oregon where her forward mast is on display to this day.  But by WWII her scrap metal was deemed more crucial to the war effort than her historical value and she was sold.   Her stripped hulk was later returned to the Navy to be used as an ammunition barge during the Battle of Guam.  In the typhoon of November 1948, she broke loose and drifted 500 miles out to sea.  But her hull was located southeast of Guam and she was towed back.  Sold again on March 15, 1956 OREGON’s venerable hulk was finally salvaged in Japan.

The accompanying original photograph shows OREGON in drydock at the Navy Yard, Bremerton in 1911.  Note that her Great White Fleet era configuration has been changed to haze gray and she has been fitted with a “cage mast” aft as was popular with Naval architects in the first decade of the twentieth century.



hull plating
uss oregon

typical markings

Order Info

3.14/5.46  U.S. NAVY CLINOMETER.  Authentic World War II fighting ship’s pilot house inclinometer made for the Navy by the John L. Chaney Instrument Company.  The face of the Bakelite body is engraved:


This precision device is calibrated in single degrees of heel port and starboard up to 70 marked by 10’s.  The reading is made by a small black ball within a curved glass tube containing fluid.  The fluid acts to dampen (slow) the ball as the ship rolls.  This is exactly the same principle used in an aircraft’s turn and bank indicator.  The instrument measures 12 ½ inches wide by 6 ¼ inches high.  It is in excellent original condition, even showing the desirable “real world” remnants of old red and green paint applied by a zealous sailor!  The action of the ball is perfect.  395 


Order Info

5.23 RARE PHOTOGRAPH GROUPING. Historically important group of 6 original black and white and sepia tone photographs of America’s first and arguably most famous aircraft carrier the USS LANGLEY (CV-1 and AV-3). These photographs show her in both capacities as an aircraft carrier and her later conversion into a seaplane tender. Two of the photographs are identified on the front as “USS Langley” and a third is signed “Browne.” The largest image measures 8 by 10 inches and the smallest 2 ¾ by 3 ¾ inches. All are in very good condition with only minor edge wear. Museum quality. Shipped FREE in the U.S. 249

USS LANGLEY (CV-1/AV-3) was the first aircraft carrier in the United States Navy. After notable service as the coal carrier USS JUPITER (AC-3) in the Atlantic during World War I, she was converted to an aircraft carrier in 1920. This was an epic shift in global naval strategy at the time. Not only did it usher in naval aviation, but it marked the transition from the outdated coal burning fleet to oil. LANGLEY was the namesake of Samuel Pierpont Langley, an American aviation pioneer. In a twist of fate, she would later be accompanied by two sister carriers. While she was being converted, the Washington Naval Treaty required two partially completed battle cruisers to be cancelled. But ironically these were then to become the legendary LEXINGTON and SARATOGA of World War II fame!

Immediately following World War I LANGLEY served in the Atlantic, with brief periods in the Pacific. In 1927 she was assigned full time to the Pacific Battle Fleet. By 1936 it was apparent that LANGLEY’s bi-planes were becoming obsolete. In October of that year she entered Mare Island Naval Yard for conversion into a seaplane tender.

It was in this capacity that LANGLEY entered World War II in the Pacific. On the Day of Infamy, she was anchored in the Philippines. LANGLEY was ordered to pick-up and transport Allied aircraft from Freemantle, Australia to embattled forces in Southeast Asia. While in pursuit of that mission on February 27, 1942 she was attacked by nine twin-engine Japanese “Betty” bombers. The attack so badly damaged her that the order to abandon ship was given. Later that day she was scuttled by her escorts using deck guns and 2 torpedoes. Her loss was the first major United States ship to be sunk since Pearl Harbor 2 months earlier. It was an event which would later be seen as America’s darkest hour of the war.

detail 2

Order Info

5.18 VERY IMPORTANT LIFESAVING PRESENTATION. Extremely rare, highly sought after official governmental award for conspicuous bravery in the saving of life. In this case, the efforts of an isolated lighthouse keeper in the remote area of Grindstone Island are documented in a sterling silver pocket watch. This pure silver hunter case English pocket watch is beautifully engraved on the inside back cover:

By The
-> Government of Canada <-
to Mr. John R. Stiles
in recognition of his humane and gallant exertions
__> in the rescue of the crew <__
on the 22nd December 1881

The watch with double sunk porcelain dial has Roman numerals and minute chapter swept by gold hands. The subsidiary seconds bit is over the VI. The dial is signed “SAML BUCKELY & Co LONDON.” Opening the inner dust cover reveals the high quality, jeweled all brass movement with lever escapement and compensated bi-metallic balance with numerous timing screws. The balance cock is profusely decorated with engraved floral designs. The top plate is singed in fancy script “Sam.. Buckley & Co. LONDON.” Speaking to its quality, this watch is lever set – a feature which prevents inadvertent setting of the time when winding, which is done by the crown. The fine silver case is hallmarked with a lion, anchor and the Gothic letter “g” indicating a Birmingham case maker in 1881/1882. It is further marked with an “[RB]” which may refer to silversmith Robert Beale. The exterior of the case is beautifully engine turned and engraved with the conjoined letters “JRS.” The watch comes in a handsome hinged mahogany case with inlaid mother-of-pearl shield on the lid. The button latch opens to reveal the lavish green felt-lined interior. The watch measures 2 ¼ inches in diameter, 3 1/8 inches high inclusive of the stem wind and bow, by ½ inches thick. The custom case measures 5 ¾ inches wide by 4 1/8 inches deep and is 1 ¼ inches thick. This watch is in good running condition, having just been serviced by a certified watch maker. It is excellent cosmetic condition inside and out, with no significant flaws, just evidence of careful use. SOLD

At the time, Grindstone was a small, isolated island in the mouth of Chigneto Bay on the Bay of Fundy, just north of the Saint John on the southern coast of New Brunswick, Canada. The light station was erected in 1859. Subsequently the original lighthouse was replaced in 1908. After a devastating fire, it was reconstructed. However the existing lighthouse has fallen into a state of disrepair. Further research on the lighthouse keeper’s name, John R. Stiles, and the Brig Annie Bogart will undoubtedly reveal much more fascinating information in addition to that which we have already provided here.


in box



5.37 EARLY U.S. NAVY STERO CARDS. An amazing collection of turn-of-the-last-century photographic stereo viewer cards depicting a wide array of scenes pertaining to the U.S Navy. Such cards were immensely popular in the late 1800’s prior to motion pictures. Cutting edge for their time, they gave the viewer a sense of reality by producing a 3-D effect. These original cards are all hard mounted on standard 3 ½ by 7 1/8 stiff cardboard backing. Most are original albumen or silverplate photographs affixed to the card. At least 3 are images enhanced by hand-coloring. Topics include “Cruiser Brooklyn Loading Ammunition, A Pair of 13-Inch Guns, A gunner on Ohio, After Turrets of the Kentucky, Manning the Guns, Launching a Battleship, the Dynamite Cruiser Vesuvius, 13 Inch Guns and Huge Anchor Chain Forward Deck of the Battleship Connecticut,” etc. All of the cards are in remarkably well preserved, original condition. This is a great opportunity to acquire such a rare collection with a most desirable theme, dating from the Spanish-American War, at a nominal price. A total of 20 cards. 349

group 1
group 2

Order Info

5.32 PERIOD WWII SHIP PHOTO. Original large format black and white image of the Buckley Class Destroyer Escort USS GEORGE (DE-697) as depicted steaming off of the Customs House in the Philippines in 1945. This clear image shows good detail of the man-o-war’s deck and armament along with crew members on the foc’sle. This valiant veteran of the Pacific campaign exhibits remarkable upkeep after all she has been through! The glossy 7 1/8 by 9 inch image is in perfect original condition. 15

The USS GEORGE (DE-697) saw intense action in World War II. Launched on August 14, 1943 by the Defoe Shipbuilding Company in Bay City, Michigan, she was commissioned on November 20, 1943 and wasted no time in heading for the Pacific theater, arriving in the Spring of 1944. During the period of May 19-31 GEORGE was credited with sinking Japanese submarines I-16, RO-104, R0-105., RO-106, RO-108 and RO-116. GEORGE continued her anti-submarine patrols in the areas in and around the New Hebrides, Solomons and Marshall Islands into the summer of 1945, operating out of the Philippines. It was then that this photograph was taken. When Japan surrendered in August of1945, GEORGE delivered the terms of the surrender to the Japanese garrisons still holding out on Truk and the Carolines. For her service, USS GEORGE received two battle stars.

Order Info

5.05  U.S. COAST GUARD BAROMETER.  Very scarce, highly sought after World War II or earlier ship’s aneroid barometer made for the “United States Coast Guard” by “Taylor Rochester. NY” as marked on the bottom of the silvered brass dial.  It is calibrated in inches of mercury from 25.5 to 31.5 in 2/100th increments marked by tenths and showing the standard weather indications “RAIN, CHANGE, FAIR.”   It is further marked “Compensated” (for temperature).  The simple black indicator needle is overlaid by the brass set needle attached to a brass knurled knob running through the glass crystal.  The dial, with bright brass reflector ring, measures 4 ½ inches across.  The open face provides an interesting aspect of the high quality movement within.  A small aperture on the back is for adjusting the reading and a pivoting brass suspension ring is provided at the top of the case for hanging.  The solid brass case is in its highly polished bright bronze finish and measures 5 ¼ inches in diameter and is 2 3/8 inches thick.  Outstanding original condition in all respects and extremely accurate.  The quality of this instrument is superb, built to wartime standards, as necessitated by the rigors for which it was intended.  449


Order Info

5.24  EARLY U.S. NAVY CLINOMETER.  A museum piece!  A rare Naval relic which was produced immediately following the American Civil War.  It is embodied in a large functional mechanical inclinometer.  The scale is beautifully hand-engraved in the most handsome script “U.S. Navy Yard Washington 1871.”  This impressive device is made of thick solid brass mounted onto its original solid teak backboard.  The precisely calibrated scale indicates degrees of heel (or list) port and starboard from 0 – 35 in single degree increments, marked by 5’s.  The ingenious construction of this instrument allows the heavily weighted brass plumb bob to pass over the scale while being damped in its motion by the secondary articulated bob above.  This  clever arrangement allowed a real time read-out of the ship’s stance at the moment of observation, without deflection or vibration. The instrument itself measures 20 inches high by 11 ¼ inches wide.  Its backboard  is 23 ½ inches tall by 11 ¾ inches wide.  Excellent original condition in all respects.  There is no such relic better preserved! 2979


Order Info

5.03  U.S. LIGHTHOUSE SERVICE BAROMETER.  Genuine late 19th century aneroid barometer made for the United States Lighthouse Service by the respected early French firm of Paul Naudet, Paris as marked on the lower center of the dial “PNHB” and again stamped on the back of the case.  This precision instrument contains the highest quality barometer mechanism available at that time.  It registers atmospheric pressure on the enameled paper dial with a the wide range spanning 25 inches of mercury to 32 inches, marked in tenths and sub-divided to 2/100ths.  The reading is indicated by a thin blued steel needle which is overlaid by a brass “set needle” connected to a knurled knob to record a prior reading.  The dial is marked “MADE IN FRANCE” at the top and “U.S.L.H.S.” at the bottom along with the notation “HOLOSTERIC BAROMETER (PNHB).”  The beveled glass crystal is housed in its rolled brass bezel with silvered reflector ring.  The solid brass case is remarkable in that it is wall-mounted with 3 attachments versus the more typical ship application using a pivoting suspension loop – an obvious indication of its terrestrial use in a lighthouse.  There is an aperture on the back for adjusting the reading.  5 ¼ inches wide overall and 2 1/8 inches thick.  Outstanding original condition, very accurate, showing just enough good age.   A real rarity amongst barometers!   SOLD

   From the holdings of Jack Low, New York City, son of Max Low, famed nautical chandler and clock maker to the U.S. Navy during World War II.  The Low Company purchased the existing inventory and business rights of T.S. & J.D. Negus in 1962.

U.S.L.H.S.  In 1789 Congress passed an Act creating the United States Lighthouse Establishment (USLHE) which was operated by the Department of the Treasury.  The Act also transferred ownership of all existing U.S. lighthouses to the government.  In 1852 the United States Lighthouse Board was created, which dissolved the prior administration of lighthouses under the Treasury Department's Lighthouse Establishment.  The board consisted of six senior naval officers governing 12 lighthouse districts, each having a Naval inspector who was charged with building lighthouses and maintaining their good working order.  The Lighthouse Board immediately began its duties by installing Freznel lenses in all newly-built lighthouses.  The Board also oversaw the construction of the first lighthouses on the West Coast.  By the Civil War, all U.S. lighthouses had Freznel lenses.  In 1886, electricity was tested to illuminate the Statue of Liberty.  Thereafter the lighting of the statue was the Lighthouse Board's responsibility.  It remained such until 1902, when the “modern age in lighthouse illumination” began.  In 1900, the Lighthouse Board started converting lighthouses to electric service.

In 1910, the Board was dissolved in favor of a civilian run “Lighthouse Service.”   It is uncertain as to when the exact time line was drawn between the existence of the U.S. Lighthouse Establishment and the U.S. Lighthouse Service.  Both terms for the agency seemed to have been used interchangeably in the second half of the 19th century.

In 1939 the U.S. Lighthouse Service itself was formally disbanded and merged with the U.S. Coast Guard.

PNHB.  The first practical aneroid ("without liquid") barometer is generally attributed to Parisian, Lucien Vidie in 1843, who was awarded an English patent for his device in 1844.  Vidie's patent rights expired in 1859, allowing other makers to produce instruments.  The most successful makers in France were Naudet, Hulot & Cie, who reportedly made 20,000 instruments between 1861 and 1866.  (1)

Another reference to the firm was made by Middleton who states, "...there were several makers soon after the patent expired in 1859, the most successful being Naudet, Hulot, & Cie.  According to Le Roux they made 20,000 aneroid barometers between 1861 and 1866.  They called them baromètres holostériques...  references occur in the continental literature to Naudet barometers and to holosteric barometers for the rest of the nineteenth century.  They acquired a great reputation and were widely imitated." (2)  Middleton goes on to state,  "For many purposes aneroids continued to be made - and are indeed still made - of a form very like that arrived at by Naudet, Hulot & Cie about 1860." (3)   In the Appendix is an entry for a barometer held in the collection of the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.  It reads, "230,002  A "Holosteric  Barometer- Compensated, "made by Naudet & Co. Marked on the back of the case, U.S. Signal Service" (4) indicating manufacture around the time of the First World War.

Surprisingly, little is written about the innovative and prolific Paris aneroid barometer maker, Pierre (alternatively "Paul”) Naudet, although it is known that his firm was begun in 1861 and continued producing aneroid barometers into the 1930's. 

The dating and meaning of the markings HBPN (alternatively PNHB) are less clear.  An entry for a barometer sold on eBay indicates the markings refer to "Hulot, Pertius & Naudet, Paris, barometer makers in the 1930's.  However Andy Demeter, writing about the history of the Chelsea Clock Company notes, "With the possible exception of recording barometers, Chelsea did not assemble holosteric or aneroid movements for their barometers preferring to purchase them from the legendary French maker, Pierre (alternatively Paul) Naudet.  His firm's trademark is typically found in a circle on these early barometer dials with the letters "HBPN" as an abbreviation for "Holosteric Barometer, Pierre Naudet." (5)  On page 220 a barometer dial is pictured with the caption, "1909 Pierre Naudet barometer."

1. Edwin Banfield, "Barometers Aneroid and Barographs," 1985, Baros Books, Wiltshire, England, p. 21.
2. W.E. Knowles Middleton, "The History of the Barometer," 1964, The Johns Hopkins Press, Baltimore, p. 407.
3. Ibid. p. 409.
4. Ibid. p. 464.
5. Andrew Demeter, "Chelsea Clock Company, The First Hundred Years," 2001, Demeter Publications, Ltd., Boston, Massachusetts, p. 221.


5.06  CIVIL WAR SHIP CAPTAIN’s  WASH BASIN.   Here is an incredibly rare Civil War relic from the Union Navy.  This bowl should rightfully be in a museum. But we have been fortunate enough to find it and offer it for sale.  This wash basin is not porcelain or ceramic, but actually turned out of a solid piece of alabaster!  On the front it bears the very early conjoined U.S. Navy mark from that era.  The fact that it is natural stone and not porcelain or china is of great significance to its value.  It measures 15 1/8 inches in diameter and stands 5 inches deep.  It is very study and only exhibits a couple very minor hairline cracks near the center of the bowl. 975 Special Packaging



 Order Info

5.61  EARLY NAVY GUN CREW LITHOGRAPH and GENUINE BUCKET.  Authentic late 19th century color print of a U.S. Navy gun crew live firing a deck gun.  This genuine stone lithograph is signed lower right by J. O. Davidson, the noted marine artist from Nyack, New York.  It depicts a gun crew on an early Navy battle cruiser firing a breech loaded deck gun.  Four crewmen and an officer attend the gun as a gunner’s mate cautiously pulls the firing lanyard.  Smoke from an earlier salvo surrounds the scene and a swab, bucket and ramrod lay on the wooden deck.  This action packed scene is in lovely original condition with the colors crisp and vivid.  It is additionally signed upper center Copyrighted 1892.  It measures 9 by 11 inches and is matted under glass in its original gilt-lined wooden frame measuring 17 ½ b7 21 ¾ inches.  A genuine 120 year old color lithograph at a bargain priced. What is awesome is that it comes with a period relic depicted in the scene.  It is a leather and wood dowsing bucket, otherwise known as a “swabbing bucket,” which was used to swab the barrel of such a gun after firing, before charging it with a subsequent powder round.  This early relic of Naval gunnery is of heavy leather construction with a brass reinforced rim impressed “ORD. DEPT. W. N. Y. 1889 (then the Navy inspector’s mark of an anchor) W. M. F.”  The bluish green bucket with red interior has a circular-sewn leather bottom reinforced with wood.  A leather handle with brass attachments is provided for carrying.   15 inches in diameter on the bottom tapering to 13 inches on the top.  The bucket stands 12 inches tall exclusive of the bail handle.  Original condition showing actual use.  The bucket is no longer water tight, but it would make a “dynamite” waste basket!  1495/both





Order Info

5.99  IDENTIFIED SAILOR HAT.  Most scarce early 1900’s seaman's hat from the famous World War I British battleship, HMS BARHAM as indicated on the silk hat ribbon in bold gold letters.  This bowler style straw hat was professionally made with the rim exhibiting a finely sewn tan cloth edge.  The top bears a beautifully hand-embroidered compass rose in gold thread.  The interior liner is also hand-sewn.  12 inches long by 11 inches wide.  Amazing original condition for such a delicate item, considering it about 100 years old!  449

The Queen Elizabeth class British battleship HMS BARHAM (pennant number 04) was laid down in February 1913, launched October 31, 1914 and commissioned October 19, 1915.   She had a length of 643 feet and displaced 33,000 tons.  Her main armament was eight 15 inch guns.  Her crew numbered 1,150.

On May 31st and June 1st, BARHAM participated in the famous Battle of Jutland off the coast of Denmark.  The ensuing battle between the heavily armored and heavily gunned vessels of the Royal Navy and the Imperial German Navy is widely regarded by Naval historians as the final classic battle between surface combatants.  BARHAM fired 337 shells and received 5 hits during that action.  This hat is from that era.

In the intervening period between world wars BARNHAM was extensively modernized.  At the outset of World War II she operated in the Atlantic and Mediterranean, sustaining damage from a German submarine torpedo attack in December 1939 while operating in the North Sea. The ship again saw action on September 25, 1940 when she engaged the French Battleship RICHELIEU, which struck her with a 380mm shell off the coast of Senegal. Returning to the Mediterranean, the ill-fated ship took part in the Battle of Cape Mattapan in March, and incurred bomb damage off Crete in May.

On April 21, 1941 BARHAM attacked Tripoli harbor in company of battleships WARSPRITE and VALIANT and the cruiser GLOUCESTER.

On November 25, 1941, while screening an Allied offensive on Italian convoys, BARHAM was struck by 3 torpedoes fired in rapid succession from German submarine U-331.  The brutal attack caused the ships magazines to explode, whereupon she quickly capsized to port and sank taking two thirds crew of her crew with her.

News of the sinking was not made public in Britain until January of 1942. Incredibly, the instant of BARHAM’s sinking was captured by an overlying British aircraft.  Subsequently the film was used in several movies and war documentaries.



Order Info

5.25 EXTREMELY IMPORTANT HISTORICAL COLLECTION "USS BEAR." This is an incredible find, consisting of the original signed, dated and identified telescope used on board the USS BEAR during the Greeley Polar Relief Expedition in 1885, 2 large framed period photographs of the Brigantine BEAR and a period scratch-built model of the vessel! Also included are a number of charming original deck views with physical photographs of her last commander, Captain C. S. Cochran. Contained in the offering are several original copies of official correspondence from the BEAR dated 1921 through 1923, including a letter with Admiral Richard Byrd's name pencil signed at the top and an envelope printed "Byrd Antarctic Expedition II, S.S. Bear of Oakland" postmarked "Little America Antarctica Jan 30, 1934." There are a number of personal letters and other memorabilia from Captain Cochran including a lovely hand-engraved copper printing plate depicting the BEAR in an ice floe and reading, "Seasons Greetings, U.S. Coast Guard Cutter 'BEAR'." There is a an extensive collection of period newspaper articles from the 1920's and 30's pertaining to the BEAR. All of these genuine items have come down through the Cochran family via the late daughter of Captain Cochran, Frances Cochran Hartray.  The large hand-held telescope is a high quality 4-draw instrument with leather covered main barrel and built-in sun shade measuring 44 inches fully extended and collapsing to 12 1/2 inches long closed.  It has a pivoting eye-piece dust cover with sun filter and a perfect 2 1/4 inch diameter objective lens.  Two brass bands encircle the main tube.  The first is engraved "U.S.N. THE BEAR 1885."  The second is engraved "WILKINSON & BAXTER, BOSTON MASS."  This telescope is in outstanding working condition producing a large, highly magnified, clear image with its all original optics.  Excellent cosmetic condition noting some abrasion to the original leather coverings and evidence of use expected from a working instrument over 130 years old.   It comes complete with a custom-made shadow box display with engraved brass plaque reading "USS BEAR ARCTIC EXPEDITION 1885." SOLD

    There are two original photographs of the BEAR. The first is an albumen type showing BEAR anchored in pack ice and is signed and dated lower left, "J.M. Justice `95." The second photo shows BEAR in San Francisco Bay with Oakland in the background and two of its boats in the water, circa 1930.

    The cased model of the BEAR is of scale, museum-quality construction with even the finest details depicted.  All aspects of the ship are hand-made.  This is not a kit model!  The hull is of solid wood construction with all other components being of wood and metal.  Attesting to its quality, all of the numerous dead eyes on this model are made of ivory!  Seeing is believing. This model is truly worthy of being displayed in the finest public collection!  The ship itself measures 28 inches long, 17 inches high and 6 inches wide.  It is housed in its original glazed oak case measuring 32 1/2 inches long by 9 inches wide and 21 1/2 inches high.  A truly exceptional presentation of original items of very significant historical importance!  Sold as a group. SOLD

Built in Greenock, Scotland in 1874, the steam/sail whaler BEAR was engaged in the whaling and sealing trade out of Dundee, Scotland for eleven years.  In 1885 this proven, staunch Arctic vessel was purchased by the U.S. Navy to aid in rescuing the famous Greeley Polar Expedition. When relief efforts were successfully completed BEAR was transferred to the U.S. Coast Guard and stationed at San Francisco.  There, for over forty years she made regular annual cruises to Alaskan waters and acted as flagship for the famous explorer, Admiral Richard E. Byrd.  BEAR also acted to protect the seal fisheries and extended aid to merchant ships in distress.  BEAR was looked upon as "mother" by thousands of Eskimos in the Territorial Alaskan frontier who looked to her for protection from foreign exploitation.

byrd letter
copper plate

in the arctic
capt cochran & hector

telescope 'bear'
telescope closed

telescope maker
telescope display

in 1895
in the ice
in oakland

ship model
focsle detail

stern view
stern detail

Order Info

5.87  FAMOUS EARLY BATTLESHIP GROUPING.  Rare compilation of 3 items relating to
the Great White Fleet battle cruiser USS SOUTH DAKOTA.  This grouping consists of 2 period post cards.  The first is an original chromolithograph depicting the vessel from a port bow aspect entitled, “1292 – U.S. ARMORED CRUISER “SOUTH DAKOTA.” 800 OFFICERS AND MEN.  LENGTH 502 FEET.  MAIN BATTERY 18 GUNS.”  The reverse of the card is signed “Edward M. Mitchell. Publisher.  San Francisco.”  The second card is a genuine photograph entitled lower center “SOUTH DAKOTA” & “PUEBELO” C-203.”  These cards are the standard 3 ½ x 5 ½ format  in excellent condition.  The third item is a scarce original sailor’s silk hat ribbon embroidered “U.S.S. SOUTH DAKOTA” in gold thread on a black field.  It measures
36 inches long by 1 5/8 inches wide.  The gold thread has toned with age, but the entire presentation is in outstanding original condition.  95


south dakota white fleet

South dakota & Pueblo

Order Info

5.62   LIGHTHOUSE and LIFESAVING SERVICE STEREO CARDS. A pair of genuine antique stereo cards with desirable subject matter.  The first sepia-toned double image is identified as being that of the “Life-Saving Station, near Cliff House, San Francisco, California, U.S.A.” and is signed “Underwood & Underwood, Publishers.”  The second is a chromolithographed original stereoscopic photograph entitled, “The Lighthouse Station at Hong Kong China” and is signed “Copyright. 1903. Kawin . and. Co.”  Both cards are in standard format and size, measuring 7 by 3 ½ inches.  Condition of both is good, noting some surface soiling, but importantly, no damage or losses.  Very rare subject matter.  99 /both

Order Info

5.08  LIFESAVING SCENES.  1850 or earlier artistic depictions of various lifesaving scenes and apparatus contemporaneous to the period.  A total of 11 vignettes very precisely depict the various aspects, each captioned below the image.  It is entitled “APPARATUS FOR SAVING LIFE IN CASE OF SHIPWRECK.”  The end of the page is marked “LIFE SAVING PLATE CVI” and was produced by “Blackie & Son London. Glasgow & Edinburgh."   These engravings are of superb quality with the finest detail, bearing scrutiny under magnification printed on high quality stock.  6 ½ by 9 ¾ inches.  Outstanding original condition.  Very rare and highly desirable subject matter depicting the infancy of lifesaving techniques.   Perfect for framing.  59

Order Info

5.27 U.S. LIGHTHOUSE SERVICE FLASK MEASURE.  Extremely rare, highly sought after, 19th century example of a lighthouse keeper's equipment used in the course of duties maintaining his sentinel.  This authentic veteran of that noble service is made entirely of brass and bears the stamped mark on the front of the spout "U.S. LIGHTHOUSE ESTABLISHMENT."  It is further marked on the bottom "U.S. LIGHTHOUSE (ESTABLISHMENT)" the latter being faintly impressed.  The circular spun brass body has a rolled, reinforced handle riveted to it for pouring.  The body of the measure is scribed with lines starting at the bottom, marked "1 PTS." upward to "3 QRTS" for a total of 6 graduations.  The interior is tinned to resist corrosion and exhibits a dark gray patina.  This large flask measures 10 3/4 inches high by 6 ¾ inches in diameter at the base and 8 ¼ inches wide overall.  Condition is excellent and original with a nice age patina, noting just a few very minor dents of no consequence.  A lovely, genuine lighthouse object from the 1800's. PRICE REQUEST 

In 1789 Congress passed an Act creating the United States Lighthouse Establishment (USLHE) which was operated by the Department of the Treasury.  The Act also transferred ownership of all existing U.S. lighthouses to the government.  In 1852 the United States Lighthouse Board was created, which dissolved the prior administration of lighthouses under the Treasury Department's Lighthouse Establishment.  The board consisted of six senior naval officers governing 12 lighthouse districts, each having a Naval inspector who was charged with building lighthouses and maintaining their good working order.  The Lighthouse Board immediately began its duties by installing Freznel lenses in all newly-built lighthouses.  The Board also oversaw the construction of the first lighthouses on the West Coast.  By the Civil War, all U.S. lighthouses had Freznel lenses.  In 1886, electricity was tested to illuminate the Statue of Liberty.  Thereafter the lighting of the statue was the Lighthouse Board's responsibility.   It remained such until 1902, when the "modern age in lighthouse illumination" began.  In 1900, the Lighthouse Board started converting lighthouses to electric service.

In 1910, the Board was dissolved in favor of a civilian run "Lighthouse Service."   It is uncertain as to when the exact time line was drawn between the existence of the U.S. Lighthouse Establishment and the U.S. Lighthouse Service.  Both terms for the agency seemed to have been used interchangeably in the second half of the 19th century.

In 1939 the U.S. Lighthouse Service itself was formally disbanded and merged with the U.S. Coast Guard.






Order Info

Back to Top