West Sea Company

8. Ship Relics

Prices in U.S. Dollars are in GREEN



8.92   BRASS PORTHOLE.   Authentic solid brass ship’s porthole.  Known as a “dead light,” this port does not open, but was for admission of light into a ship’s space without compromising its water tight integrity.   The glass is 7 ¾ inches in diameter and the entire porthole measures 12 inches across.  The heavy glass is slightly under ½ inch thick.  Beautiful high polished condition.  Perfect for installation in a door or as a nautical picture frame.  189 


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8.45  SHIPS’ IDENTIFICATION PLAQUES.  An assortment of World War II vintage non-metallic compartment plaques of various forms and sizes.  All are engraved and guaranteed to be authentic.

CHIEF OFFICER.  5 ½ inches.  19

OWNERS.  4 3/8 inches.  19

PILOT.  4 3/8 inches.  14

BOATSWAIN STORE.  4 1/8 inches.  19

3RD OFFICER.  5 1/8 inches.  14

2ND LIEUTENANT.  5 ¾ inches.  12

SECOND MATE.  5 7/8 inches.  14


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8.44  COMPARTMENT PLAQUES.  Engraved solid brass ships’ compartment plaques from an early 1900’s Polish steamer.  These authentic plaques are all 4 inches in length and bear their inscriptions in both English and Polish.

SHOWER.  29

CAPTAIN’S BEDROOM.  69

PANTRY.  29

CREWS MESSROOM.  39

BOATSWOIN. (sic)  39

OFFICER’S ACCOMODATION.  49


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8.43  SHIPS’ PLAQUES.    Original solid brass plaques removed from various locations on  ocean-going steamships built prior to World War II.  This collection has been in storage for more than 30 years.  Authenticity and age guaranteed.

DISPENSARY.  Cast brass. 6 ¼ inches.  49

P.O. & RATINGS’ PANTRY.  Cast brass.  7 inches.  59

CERTIFIED FOR USE IN NAVIGATING SHIP.  9 ¾ inches.  99

PASSENGERS.  Cast brass.  5 ¾ inches.  49

CERTIFIED ACCESS.  Engraved brass.  6 ¼ inches.  39

OFFICERS MESS.  Engraved brass.  6 ¾ inches.  54

WC.  Engraved brass.  4 inches.  34

STEAM.  Engraved brass.  4 inches.  34

CERT. HOSPITAL W.C.  Engraved brass.  7 3/8 inches.  44


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8.90  SHIPBUILDER’s PLAQUE.  Genuine builder’s plate from a North American shipyard during World War II.  This heavy solid bronze nameplate reads: “THE COLLINGWOOD SHIPYARDS-LIMITED. Collingwood – Ontario BUILDERS 1943” in high relief letters.  The oval presentation measures 16 ½ inches wide by 10 ½ inches tall and weighs an impressive 13    pounds!  It is quite unusual to see a plate of this size made during the height of the Allies’ war effort when this valuable raw material was in such short supply.  That noted it is very likely from a Royal Navy warship.  Excellent condition, as removed from the ship.  1200

The Collingwood Dry Dock, Shipbuilding and Foundry Company was founded in 1882 on the shores of Lake Huron, Ontario, Canada.   Over the company's lifetime it built over 200 ships.  During the Second World War (1940–1944), the yard was contracted to build 23 warships for the Royal Navy and the Royal Canadian Navy.  Most of the ships were corvettes and minesweepers.   The shipyard was closed in 1986.


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5.35/8.89  EARLY U.S. NAVY INCLINOMETER.  Very rare surviving example of a large ship’s pilot house clinometer which saw service aboard a World War I U.S. Navy warship.  This handsome all brass instrument is absolutely premium quality.  It has a fine silvered brass dial which boldly displays the ship’s roll ((heel) in single degrees up to 70 port and starboard marked by 10’s.  The dial is signed by the maker “Graff, Washbourne & Dunn, New York.”  The complicated internal mechanism consists of a heavy pendulum bob connected to its outer indicator needle which sweeps over the appropriate degree scale.  On either side are 2 brass arms which mark the extent of travel of the needle – the maximum roll encountered.  To reset the  arms a knurled brass knob rove though the glass moves them back to center.  At the bottom of the instrument is another large knob which can be turned to lock the bob in place when not in use.  To its right is a second smaller spring-loaded knob.  Pressing it dampens (stops) the movement of the pendulum.  This ingenious device has an 8 inch dial protected by a lovely thick beveled glass crystal.  The entire instrument is 9 ¼ inches wide and 2 ¼ inches thick.  The back is distinctively engraved “U.S. NAVY [N] 899.”  Remarkable original condition.  A real rarity over 100 years old!  This is the first such identified U.S. Navy inclinometer we have ever encountered in our 40+ years.  785 

Graff Washbourne & Dunn were preeminent silversmiths in America at the turn-of-the-century.  A distance reading “stadiometer” dating to World War I, manufactured by Gaff, Washbourne & Dunn, circa 1917 is held in the collection of the NMAH (Smithsonian).

Leading up to its involvement in the Great War America’s armed forces were woefully ill equipped to fight a global war.  This fact was particularly acute in the U.S. Navy.  As the Navy Department, under direction of the Secretary of the Navy, Franklin D. Roosevelt, scrambled to outfit its warships, the call went out to the civilian sector to provide (purchase or loan) all manner of equipment to enhance readiness at sea.  The patriotic response was overwhelming.  One such example is this inclinometer which bears the engraved Navy serial number “U.S. NAVY [N] 899.”  A goodly number of loaned items were returned to their owners after the War together with a letter of thanks personally signed by FDR.


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8.88  BOAT WHEEL.  Early 1900'ssmall craft helm wheel.  This diminutive relic with classic nautical symbolism consists of a cast bronze steering wheel fitted with wooden grips on 6 spokes with brass end caps.  The inner rim is stamped “PERKO.”  The central brass hub is riveted to a wooden spindle (drum) over which the tiller lines were wrapped connecting to the rudder.  The body of the wheel measures a mere 5 3/8 inches in diameter measuring 12 ½ inches across, spoke to spoke.  Of particular desirability are the maker’s mark and the existence of the drum, still attached.  Excellent original condition noting 2 age cracks in the drum.  Nice original age patina.  289

Frederick Persky, a Russian immigrant, schooled in Germany as a machinist, came to the United States in 1890 and soon found work at the Bliss Company in Brooklyn, New York.  In the early 1900's he and his partner began their own business out of his house under the name F. Persky & Company, Lantern Manufacturer.

In 1907, Frederick's son Louis joined him in the business, and together they enlarged their product line and manufactory.  By 1912, then under the name of Perkins Marine Lamp Corporation with trademark PERKO, they were manufacturing a wide range of lanterns and marine products

(See item 8.74)

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8.86   SHIP's BUILDER's PLATE.  Very handsome early 1900's ship builder's plaque of heavy cast brass with raised letters reading, "B/T "ART. 32 CONSTITUTIONAL" TAMPICO- MEXICO ARMADORES FLOTA MERCANTE NACIONAL S. A."  Translated it means the B/T Corporation of Tampico, Mexico, builders of the ship "'ARMADORES" for the Mexican Merchant Fleet.   This solid brass builder's plaque is beautifully–made in high relief, mounted to a large oval backboard of heavy mahogany measuring 17 ½ by 11 inches.  The plate itself measures 16 x 9 ¾ inches.  The casting is of the very highest quality attainable.  The entire unit weighs 11 pounds.  Circa 1940.  Rare!  895

S.A. or "Sociedad Anonima" in Spanish refers to a type of corporation.  Tampico is a coastal town on the Gulf of Mexico.


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8.85  E.O.T. BELL.  Heavy solid brass enunciator bell from a World War II vintage U.S. Navy pilot house engine order telegraph.  It is marked "HENSCHEL CORPORATION AMESBURY, MASS. TYPE 3, VOLTS 6 CYCLES DC."  The bell works with a loud clear tone when properly electrified.  5 inches tall by 4 inches wide.  The bell is 3 inches in diameter.  5 pounds. Untouched original condition with a nice sea patina.  WAS $189 NOW! 99


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8.83  ENGINE OFER TELEGRAPH.  Turn-of-the-last century pilot house telegraph from a coal burning, twin screw British ship.  The term "unique" is frequently abused in the antiques trade.  But in this case it is absolutely appropriate.  This unique E.O.T. is actually two telegraphs in one!  Literally Siamese in construction, the two dials are supported on twin columns joined at the base forming an ellipse rather than a circle.  The glass dials are signed "MECHANS LIMITED SCOTSTOUN GLASGOW."  The AHEAD direction is marked "STAND BY, SLOW, HALF and FULL."  The ASTERN direction, marked in red, reads "FINISHED WITH ENGINES, SLOW, HALF and FULL."  The engineroom indicating arrows, now conjoined with the handles, point to the speed ordered and ring the internal bells when moved.  The bells ring with a pleasingly clear, crisp note.  The dials measure 10 inches in diameter.  The turret head is 11 ¾ inches in diameter and 11 inches side.  This heavy, solid brass telegraph stands 42 ½ inches tall exclusive of the handles and 47 inches tall overall.  The base measures 14 ½ by 10 ¼ inches and had a total of 8 countersunk holes for mounting to the deck.  Each of the two columns has a recessed rectangular inspection cover.  Excellent overall condition showing good age and no abuse.  The brass surfaces have acquired a rich bronze age patina from years of sea service.  Price Request Special Packaging


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8.82  ENGINEROOM TELEGRAPH.   Genuine turn-of-the-last century engineroom telegraph from a coal-fired steamship.  This early mechanical device has a perfect hard porcelain dial 12 inches in diameter.  It is boldly signed "MECHANS LIMITED SCOTSTOUN GLASGOW."  It is marked with the AHEAD indications "Full, Half, Slow, Stand By."  The "ASTERN" segment, marked in red, reads "Full, Half, Slow, Finished With Engine."  In between the two is "STOP" in red.  A large brass indicator needle rotates at the center indicating signals from the bridge.  The dial is covered by glass held in by a thick brass bezel 14 ½ inches in diameter overall.  The engineroom's answering lever with brass arrow overrides the bezel, extending 4 inches beyond.  The body of this E.O.T. is heavy cast iron with several ports to exude the sound of the large internal brass bell.  The housing is backed by a 13 inch diameter mounting flange with 4 holes for attachment.  The body is 7 inches thick and 14 ½ inches high, top to bottom, inclusive of the rectangular port at the top which accommodated the signal chains (now removed).  Excellent original condition throughout.  Weight 56 pounds.  The internal bell rings with an astonishingly loud, clear tone of long duration.  Price Request Special Packaging

Mechans. Ltd. were engineers and shipbuilders in Scotstoun, Glasgow, Scotland, founded by Sir Henry Mechan in 1856.  The Scotstoun Ironworks was located between South Street and the River Clyde, with the Charles Cornell Shipyard to the east.  The company continued to operate into the 1960's.



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8.81   IDENTIFIED HELM BELL.  Genuine mid-19th century ship's bell from the full-rigged sailing ship "CITY OF PERTH" as deeply hand-engraved on the front.  This handsome solid brass bell has a hefty brass clapper which rings with a loud, sonorous, long-lasting tone.  9 inches tall by 8 ¾ inches in diameter at the mouth.  Excellent original condition, showing good age, especially on the interior.  1689

The 3-masted sailing ship CITY of PERTH was built in 1857 in Glasgow, Scotland for owners Smith & Son.  With a part iron hull she displaced 457 tons and was 155 feet in length with a draft of 18 feet.  It was still listed in 1871.  (Lloyd's Register of Shipping 1864-1865 and 1871 editions).


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8.78  BRIDGE BOX.  Authentic early 1900's ship's telescope box from the bridge wing of a British merchant steamer.  This high quality box was hand-made, quite likely by the ship's carpenter, with dove-tailed joints out of solid teak.  It has all brass hardware including 2 brass hinges, screws and a heavy brass hasp.  Indicative of its quality the top of the box is fitted with a very clever trough to catch rain leaking through the joint in the lid.  The interior is lined in green felt.  The box measures 24 ¾ inches wide, 8 ½ inches deep and 10 ¾ inches high.  Condition is excellent showing good age and ample use but no abuse.  As an added feature this offering comes with an antique padlock with two keys.   This is a rare relic, since most or its genre did not survive the salvage yards.  Excellent for a variety of innovative "re-purposed" uses!  379 Special Packaging


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5.92/8.77    U.S. NAVY E.O.T.   Authentic World War II pilot house engine order telegraph from the bridge of an American Naval fighting ship.  This solid brass E.O.T. is from a twin screw vessel.  The dual handles work independently of each other.  Both sides have milk glass dials boldly indicating "AHEAD" and "BACK."  The ahead mode indicates "1/3, 2/3, STAND (Standard), FULL and FLANK."  Flank speed, also known as "battle speed" is unique to warships..  The back mode is "1/3, 2/3 and FULL."  When moved the levers ring the internal belss and the brass indicator arrows point to the speed selected.  The dials read "BENCIX BROOKLYN NY."  For night use there is an internal light which is activated by a push switch located on the port side below FLANK.  There is also a provision for an oil fired auxiliary lamp in the the ship lost electrical power.  On the pedestal there is a small plaque reading "BENDIX AVIATION CORPORATION, MARINE DIVISION, BROOKLYN, NY."  This E.O.T. stands 44 inches tall to the top, 49 inches high inclusive of the handles.  The turret head is 12 ½ inches in diameter and 8 ½ inches across.  The thick brass base with 5 countersunk mounting holes is 12 inches in diameter.  Excellent overall condition with a nice original age patina.  The dials are in perfect original condition and the internal bells ring.  2889 Special Packaging



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8.76 COMMEMORATIVE TRAY. Small, very early 1900's souvenir tray from the famous Hudson River steamer the "ROBERT FULTON." This handsome tray is made of solid pewter with an extremely detailed image of the huge vessel plying the waters of the Hudson with mountains in the background. The exquisite detail bears close scrutiny under magnification. It is entitled on the bottom "DAY LINE STEAMER "ROBERT FULTON."" It is also embossed "ROBERT FULTON" on the vessel's starboard side amidships. The tray has a curvaceous ornate floral boarder in high relief. 2 ¾ by 3 ½ inches. Excellent original condition showing good age and no damage. 69

The massive side wheel excursion vessel ROBERT FULTON was built by the New York Shipbuilding Company, Camden, New Jersey and launched in 1909. She featured a beautifully decorated interior with a garden theme and was licensed for an amazing 4000 passengers!

Interestingly, this tray was obviously inspired by a lithograph printed by the Bryant Union Publishing Co., New York depicting the identical scene copyrighted 1906. The discrepancy in dating is unexplained.



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8.74  BOAT WHEEL.  Early 1900's small craft steering wheel.  This charming little relic consists of a solid cast bronze steering wheel fitted with rich wooden mahogany grips on 6 spokes with brass end caps.  The central brass hub is attached to the steering shaft by 3 screws.  The shaft itself bears a 3/16 inch hole for attachment to a larger shaft by means of a taper pin.  The body of the wheel measures a mere 5 ½ inches in diameter and 12 ¼ inches across, spoke to spoke.  Excellent original condition with a lovely original age patina.  249

Although unmarked, it is highly likely that this wheel was made by the Perkins Marine Hardware and Lamp Company of Brooklyn, New York.


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8.71  SHIP’s KEY BOX.  Authentic ship’s key locker from the early 1900’s.  This handsome example is made of sturdy oak with a glazed door.  It houses 20 authentic ship’s keys of various sizes and types used in locks throughout the ship.  Each key is hung on a brass hook.  The backdrop is classic green felt.  Many of the keys are marked with compartment numbers or identifying brass tags such as “4TH OFFICER, STRONG ROOM or Br D DOOR NO 128 WC.- PASS.”   All keys are authentic, there are no reproductions.  The hinged door with brass pull and brass lock opens from the left.  The back of the case is marked “KEY LOCKER CHIEF ENG’R’S OFFICE CONT. #448 SUN SKT. #52.”  The case measures 16 ½ by 19 ½ inches that is 3 inches thick.  Excellent original condition.  Ready to hang as a most interesting display. [REQUEST PRICE]  Special Packaging


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8.68/19.89 YACHT WHEEL WITH IDENTIFIED MAKER. Very handsome turn-of-the-last century steering wheel from a major yacht. This classic 6 spoke helm bears the inlaid brass maker's plate reading "American Engineering Company, Phila. PA." It is beautifully constructed with a hefty laminated rim consisting of teak inlaid with two concentric rings of a lighter blonde wood, either birch or maple, interrupted at the each spoke with inlays of mahogany. The spokes and spindles are of nicely turned oak. The hub is of heavy solid brass with a key way corresponding to the king spoke identified by the maker's label. This substantial ship's wheel measures 41 inches from spoke to spoke, 31 inches across the outer rim and weighs a hefty 24 pounds. Excellent condition with the original old finish, showing goods signs of use at sea, but no abuse. Price Request Special Packaging


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8.59  KENOTOMETER.  Very scarce, turn-of-the-last century English steamship’s vacuum gauge.   This surviving dinosaur from the engineroom of a coal-burning ship is actually a “manometer” which indicates negative pressure (vacuum) in inches of mercury in real inches of mercury!  It consists of a complex arrangement of brass tubes, glass vials and canisters contained within a solid teak case with glazed front for viewing.   On the right is the prominent faux ivory scale marked “INCHES OF MERCURY” on the left hand scale and “PERCENT OF PERFECT VACUUM (BAROMETER = 30o) ABSOLUTE PRESSURE IN CONDENSER,” on its right side.  The scale is adjusted using a rack and pinion system operated by a brass knurled knob on the right outside of the case.  The inlet for this gauge is mounted on the left, complete with a knurled shut off valve.  In case of spills the bottom is lined with an old fashioned blue and white hard-fired porcelain tray!  Above it the maker’s plaque reads, “KENOTOMER Brand Vacuum Gauge --->.<--- Brady & Martin Ltd. Newcastle-On-Tyne.”  The glazed front is hinged on the left, closing on the right with two brass hook and eye closures.  On the outer left is a brass sleeve containing a blown glass check valve which was connected to the condenser.   It would have protected the condenser from blow back.  At the top is knurled pin valve to close off the system completely.  There are 2 large screw holes in the back at the top and another just below the maker’s plaque for mounting to the bulkhead.   The case measures 17 ½ inches high by 10 3/4 inches wide and 5 inches deep, exclusive of the exterior brass fittings.  This rare relic is in a remarkable state of original preservation given its potential fragility and the harsh working environment in which it served over 100 years ago.  A simply great looking “What is it?” maritime relic.  1495  Special Packaging


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8.22   TRIMMETER   Genuine early 1900’s ship’s instrument used to compute the loading of cargo on early merchant ships.  This complicated device of English manufacture is signed on the maker’s label, “The “UNIT “ Trim Indicator PATENT John Lillie & Gillie Ltd. North Shields. No. 1269.”  As the name implies, this unusual instrument showed the Chief Mate (Super Cargo) the fore and aft orientation of his vessel during the loading and unloading of freight.   As such it obviated the need for the officer to physically view the ship’s fore and aft draft readings known as “trim.”  This was cleverly accomplished by the internal glass tube filled with a combination of mercury and immiscible red alcohol backed by a sliding ivorene scale.  The scale is marked “FEET BY THE STERN” and “EVEN KEEL” divided by half foot increments from -13 to +2, and is further marked “SCALE FOR SHIP 640 FEET LONG.”  Because the tube contains mercury and alcohol, it is affected by temperature.  So to these ends a small mercury thermometer graces the presentation in the upper left, reading from 30 to 130 degrees Fahrenheit and signed “John Lillie & Gillie, Ltd., North shields.”  Accordingly the sliding scale can be adjusted for temperature by means of the knurled Bakelite knob on the right.  A small indicator points to the varying temperature indications on the scale, 50 – 110 F, with the notation “Set Scale To Temperature.”  This handsome ship’s relic measures 18 inches wide by 9 ¼ inches high and 2 ½ inches deep.  It is made of thick, solid teak using high quality machine-dovetailed construction.  It has 3 solid brass hanging brackets and another brass tab for fine adjustment of its position on the bulkhead of the cargo office. 795  Special Packaging



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8.54 SHIP’s VOICE TUBE. Very, very scarce late 1800’s flexible sound-powered voice tube. Every aspect indicates it is British. This very well-made device has a heavy solid brass “telephone” receiver and mouthpiece, both encircled by thick rubber rings. The brass handle is insulated with hand-stitched leather. It is attached by means of a wire coupling to a canvas-covered corrugated tube containing an inner spiral ribbing which provides complete flexibility with extreme durability. At the opposite end is a knurled brass coupling, secured by multiple wire turnings attached by wires, which connected it to the ship’s internal hard-mounted voice tube network. Of great significance is the fact that this early device is sound powered, accomplished by thin diaphragms of mica in the handset, which picked up and amplified the vibrations of the user’s voice. This clever system is similar in time and function to Alexander Graham Bell’s invention of the telephone using such oscillations augmented with electricity. However, on shipboard, a simplistic system sans electricity was the preferred fail safe method of interior communication. This was true whether the ship lost power, or of course if it was pre-electric. In either case the system provided a very effective means of reliable interior communication. 73 ½ inches long overall. The handset measures 11 ½ inches long by 6 inches wide. This rare shipboard relic is the first of its type we have ever seen. It is in an outstanding state of original preservation showing good use, but remarkably no abuse or damage. Without question, this is a precious survivor from the age of steam/sail, the likes of which was little valued and summarily discarded at the time of the ship’s demise. Price Request



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8.39  STEERING STATION.   Early 1900’s American steamship’s steering pedestal with helm wheel.  This exceptionally handsome example is made entirely of heavy solid brass.  The distinctive “mushroom” pedestal is capped by a rudder angle indicator arrow on top sweeping an arc of 38 degrees, port and starboard from the amidships centerline “0.”  The wheel is connected to the pedestal on a fitting with bearings and grease cup, secured by a large bonze hexagonal cap nut.  The hefty all brass wheel has 8 spokes radiating to bulbous brass handles measuring 41 inches from tip to tip.  The rim of the wheel is 32 inches in diameter.  The gracefully tapered pedestal flares at the bottom to a massive deck flange 1 inch thick and 11 ½ inches in diameter.  The entire assembly measures 50 ½ inches tall as pictured.  Excellent cosmetic condition with a particularly nice, smooth high polish, showing some age spotting.   A stunning original steamship relic with a bold nautical statement. SOLD



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8.28  SALON CARVING.   Artistically-carved plaque depicting a classic old fashioned kedge anchor intertwined with a ship’s wheel, bound by rope.  The central theme is flanked by a flowing Acanthus leaf design.  The background is embellished with literally thousands of chip carvings which appear to have been made with a traditional triangular sail needle.  All of this is “framed” in a border carved in relief.  The carving is made of solid walnut in 5 planks laminated together, later supported by 2 pine splines.  The back of the carving bears the old penciled inscription “Pass Salone” (sic).  There are 4 large old wood screws in the back which originally held this carving in place on the ship’s bulkhead.  It is now fitted with a strong picture frame wire for hanging.  1 ½ inches wide by 33 ½ inches high.  1 1/8 inches thick at the maximum and weighing 16 pounds.  Excellent original condition in the original varnished finish, noting an age crack running through the middle.  The crack is stable.  A super decorative piece with documentable ship’s history.  1275 Special Packaging

Provenance:  Originally fitted on the SS OCEAN MONARCH, a British passenger ship built by Vickers-Armstrong in 1951.  She had a length overall of 516 feet, a breadth of 72 feet and displace 13.700 tons.  She carried 430 passengers.  When scrapped in 1964 this carving was transferred to the M/V OCEAN HAROMONY II, which was sold to Greek interests, and herself scrapped in 1979.


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