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4.82  WHALING SCENE BUSK.  Authentic early 19th century scrimshaw busk of unusually long size done on the jawbone of a sperm whale, known as panbone.  This example of the whalers' utilitarian scrimshaw features two vignettes depicting a whaleboat with harpooner at the ready to dart a single flue harpoon.  On the other end is a charming rendition of his quarry -- a spouting sperm whale.   This unique busk measures slightly over 14 inches in length and is 1 ¼ inches wide.  It is slightly bowed with age and shows good patina, especially on the backside.  Excellent original condition with no damage.  Scrimshaw with a whaling subject is at the top of the list in desirability for collectors.  Very reasonably priced.  895

Among the objects d`art produced by the early whalemen, perhaps the most endearing and personal were the corset busks.  19th century fashion demanded ladies wear corset stays to enhance their petite figures.  The busk was worn close to the bosom and therefore embodied an intimate expression of affection for the maker's sweetheart, worn close to her heart.  The subject matter was as diverse as the thousands of men at sea producing scrimshaw during the era.  The most popular vignettes were stars, pinwheels, floral sprays, ships, birds, geometric designs and human figures.  But by far the most sought after by modern collectors are those with active whaling scenes.



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5.97/21.35  US.S. NAVY TELESCOPE.  Genuine World War II "U.S. NAVY SPYGLASS QUARTERMASTER MARK II 16 POWER BU SHIPS 1942" as marked on the brass maker's label on the front of the box.  This impressive, high quality optical instrument was made to the Navy's wartime specifications by the "HAYWARD LUMBER CO., LOS ANGELES."  The handsome spyglass is all brass with a factory-woven covering terminating in 3-strand Turk's heads on each end.  The eye piece end is signed "U.S. NAVY SPYGLASS QUARTERMASTER MARK II 16 POWER BU SHIPS (N) 1942 HAYWARD LOS ANGLELES."   Focusing is accomplished by rotating the knurled collar which is marked in diopters from +6 to – 6.  The 2 ½ inch state-of-the-art objective lens produces a remarkably clear upright image of the finest resolution.  Seeing is believing!  The objective end has a protective hexagonal rubber collar to minimize inadvertent impact or to prevent it from rolling off of the chart table.  31 inches long by 3 ¼ inches at the widest.  The telescope is complete in its original hinged hardwood box with brass furniture.  The box measures 32 inches long by 5 inches square.  Outstanding original condition in all respects.  The telescope itself can be considered mint!  Of the several examples of this type of telescope we have handled in our 40 years, this is certainly the best.  849





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13.85  WINNING CHRONOMETER.  Second quarter of the 1800's two day marine chronometer by the very famous London makers "Robert Molyneaux & Sons No. 1558, LONDON " as beautifully engraved in cursive script on the silvered brass dial.  This handsome navigational timekeeper is the early 2-day type with Up/Down indicator reading from 0 (Up) to 54 (Down).  It has bold Roman numerals and a minute chapter swept by lovely solid gold spade hands.  A large subsidiary seconds bit is just above the VI.  It indicates single seconds marked by 10's.  The prefect dial is protected by the classic domed glass crystal with thin knurled brass bezel.  The early movement is a thing of beauty having a bi-metallic balance with large segmental pie-shaped weights, blue steel helical hairspring, diamond end stone, blued steel screws, spring détente escapement and of course a chain-drive fusee.  It is slung in its solid brass tub mounted in gimbals, with thumbscrew locking lever in the front right of the box.  The handsome 3-tier box of crotch grain African mahogany is of simple form, indicative of its early manufacture.   It has an inlaid ebony dust combing in the bottom tier and is complete with its early form ratcheted "butterfly" winding key.  The front bears a large blank ivory nameplate and starburst inlays around the key escutcheon and button latch.  The top lid is inlaid with a classic brass shield.  The sides have inlaid flush folding brass carrying handles.  This chronometer measures exactly 4 ½ inches in diameter.  Its box measures 7 3/8 inches wide and 7 1/8 inches deep by 7 7/8 inches high.  Outstanding original condition is all respects.  The chronometer is a strong runner and keeps good time.  Circa 1833. Price Request Special PackagingBack to Top

Robert Molyneaux began work as a chronometer maker in 1825.  He was a pupil of the legendary chronometer inventor and innovator, Thomas Earnshaw.  Robert took his two sons, Henry and Robert into his manufactory early on.  They were the winners of the prestigious Greenwich chronometer trails in 1832 with number 1038, once more in 1840, again in 1842 with number 2166, and yet again in 1843 with 2183.  In March 1840 Molyneaux received a British patent for his invention of a compensation balance with auxiliary.
Provenance:  Christie's London, Lot 52, July 1997.  Sold for £8,000.



in box


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18.24  SIDE LAMP.  Mid 1800's auxiliary oil lantern used to illuminate an early binnacle.  This all brass lantern is entirely hand-made with carefully formed riveted and soldered joints.  The very unusual tall chimney with mushroom top was designed to disperse the heat created by the oil-fired burner within.  The unique burner is porcelain and is signed "BARTONS Trademark"  It has a long wick advance knob which works properly, raising and lowering it into the circular brass font.  The burner assembly is seated in the aspirated semicircular body having a glazed hinged door with sliding pin closure. The glass in the door is the original old wavy type.  The forward edges of the lamp are flared to slide into a receiving tracking track on the side of a binnacle.  A double wire bail handle is provided for carrying and seating.  8 inches tall by 4 ¼ inches with (with handles) and exactly 3 ¼ inches wide on the flanges. Fabulous original condition with a beautiful statuary bronze age patina.  195




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15.28 FAMOUS IDENTIFIED PHOTOGRAPH. Genuine 4th quarter 19th century albumen photograph taken in Boston Harbor by the famous marine photographer Nathaniel Stebbins as blind signed (impressed) lower left "N.L. STEBBINS PHOTO, BOSTON" and numbered "1292." It depicts some of Boston's maritime gentry standing on the poop deck of a sailing ship with the aft boom, ship's helm, helmsman and helm bell clearly visible. In the distance is the faint outline of Boston harbor with a variety of watercraft. This very image is pictured and described on pages 346 and 347 in the section "Deep Water Sail," of W. H. Bunting's fine photographic record book, "Portrait of a Port, Boston, 1852-1914," 1971, Harvard College. The full page caption reads (in part), "June 6, 1887, "The ship Panay, of Salem, tows down the harbor. She is bound for Manila with 33,000 cases of oil, and will return in eleven months with 1437.5 tons of sugar. This will be her eighth voyage to the Far East. The departure of a sailing vessel for a long voyage was often a social occasion, and a group of well wishers and relatives usually towed down the harbor on the vessel, to return with the tug. Several of the personages in the front row are identifiable…" This image measures 7 ½ by 9 1.2 inches sight and is mounted on its original hard photographic card under old wavy glass in its original ornate gilt frame measuring 13 by 16 inches. Outstanding original condition. 485

A copy of the extract from Bunting's book accompanies this offering.




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16.71  MINIATURE CANNON.  Commemorative brass cannon on a cast iron carriage with an applied embossed brass plaque reading, "FORT  TICONDEROGA  NY."  The bottom of the carriage is marked "1/0 18 MFCO."  3 inches  long.  Excellent original condition with a nice age patina.  Circa 1930.  49

Fort Ticonderoga is located on the shores of Lake Champlain, on the New York, New Hampshire border overlooking Vermont's Green Mountains.  This remote outpost on Lake Champlain guarded the narrow water highway connecting New France with Britain's American colonies. Whichever nation controlled Ticonderoga controlled the continent.  During the American Revolution Fort Ticonderoga was the scene of America's first major victory in its struggle for independence and the United States' northern stronghold which protected New York and New England from British invasion via Canada.

In 1755, during the French and Indian War, the British pushed north into traditionally French territory. In response Governor-General Vaudreuil in Québec ordered Michel de Lotbinière to construct a fort south of Crown Point that would cover the portage between Lake George and Lake Champlain. Construction of Fort Carillon began that Fall and continued for the next four years.

In 1759 British General Jeffrey Amherst laid siege to Fort Carillon. Losses elsewhere in New France had left the garrison ill-equipped, so the French abandoned the fort after blowing up the powder magazine. Amherst repaired the fort and renamed it Ticonderoga.  Then construction of a new British fortress at Crown Point was begun.

At the outbreak of the American Revolution in 1775 Ethan Allen and Benedict Arnold lead an attack on the Fort Ticonderoga with a small band of "Green Mountain Boys," capturing it from the British in an early morning raid on May 10th.  This was only three weeks after Lexington and Concord and was America's first victory in the Revolutionary War.


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3.16/19.87 YACHT TAFFRAIL LOG. An amazing find! Late 19th century American patent log for small vessels made by the venerable nautical firm of Negus, New York. What is particularly remarkable about this set is its mint, UNUSED condition in the original box with instructions! The lovely instrument has a porcelain dial within its glazed brass housing. The dial is signed" NEGUS PATENT LOG" and is calibrated on the periphery from 0 – 50 miles in one mile increments, marked by 5's. The subsidiary dial at the bottom indicates tenths of miles. The log itself is equipped with a large brass bail handle and terminates in a free wheeling governor to which the log line and lead are attached. The "fish" (rotator) is solid brass and is marked "NEGUS M." It is attached to approximately 10 fathoms of original cotton line. All of this is contained within the original cardboard box with interior "Directions" in the lid and outer decorative label reading "NEGUS PATENT LOG." It is complete with its rarely-found separate instruction sheet entitled "HOW TO USE." The box measures 10 inches long by 3 5/8 inches wide and 3 ¾ inches high. Condition of the contents is superb – factory new. The box shows signs of normal wear expected of an object over 100 years old. 595 Price Request




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 AUTHENTIC LIGHTHOUSE.   This is the ultimate!  Here is an exceptional opportunity to own a very historic relic of America’s rich maritime heritage embodied in the original lamp room from the famous Ballast Point Lighthouse, which served its sentinel duties in the channel of San Diego Bay from 1890 until 1960.  This incredibly well-preserved piece of history was built according to specifications laid out by the U.S. Lighthouse Service in 1885.  A copy of the original specifications are included as are much printed references and photographs.  Erected in 1890, the 5th Order lighthouse was a significant aid to navigation in conjunction with the Point Loma Lighthouse (1850) poised at the entrance to San Diego Bay.   Ballast Point Light was situated further inside the massive bay on a point which jutted into the seaway which posed a hazard to shipping.  13 feet 10 inches high with a maximum width of 8 feet 8 inches.  Weight approximately 5 tons. It will require a crane and a flat bed truck for transport.  129 years old!  Price Request Special Packaging

Serious inquiries only please.  No telephone quotes.  This item has been nominated as a candidate for the National Historic Register, and is currently being considered by a number of museums, private lighthouse restoration groups and the U.S. Navy.   Clear title is guaranteed.  Please provide your qualifications for ownership and your intentions for use.  We reserve the right to select a deserving owner.   We have already soundly rejected a low ball offer of $25,000 – that being the original price of the lamp room in 1890!   A single 5th Order light house lens recently sold for $125,000.  This is the entire lamp room, much rarer, and probably the only one of its kind to ever be for sale again


On October 2, 1888, recognizing the need for a harbor light in the increasingly congested channel of San Diego Bay, Congress authorized $25,000 for the construction of a lighthouse to be built on Ballast Point.  Fashioned in the late Victorian style, the entire structure took 3 months to build beginning in March 1890.  The light was first lit on August 1st.  It was a sister of the lights at San Luis Obispo and Table Bluff, south of Humboldt Bay.  All were wood framed structures with attached living quarters.  The ironwork for the lantern was forged in San Francisco and carried south to San Diego by ship.  The French firm of Sautter, Lemmonier, & Cie. manufactured the Freznel lens for the Ballast Point Light in 1886.  The fixed 5th Order lens was visible for a distance of at least 11 miles.
When California was still part of Mexico the peninsula jutting into San Diego Bay was known as Punta del los Guijarros or “Pebble Point.”  For centuries cobblestones washed down by the San Diego River had been deposited on the point.  When California gained statehood in 1850 the point was renamed Middle Ground Shoal.  As time went on and merchant traffic in the harbor increased, many sailing ships found it convenient to load or discharge the stones as ballast.  The practice continued and eventually the name “Ballast Point” stuck.
Accompanying the Ballast Point lighthouse was a huge 2,000 pound fog bell in a wooden tower.  In 1928 it was supplanted by a single tone electric diaphone horn.

The first keeper of the light was John M. Nilsson, assigned duty on July 15, 1890.  The second was Henry Hall, who took the job on December 1, 1892.  Perhaps the most famous keeper was Irish born David R. Splaine, a Civil War veteran and veteran lighthouse keeper, who assumed the post in 1894, having served at Point Conception, the Farallons and San Diego’s own Point Loma light from 1886-1889.

In 1913 the original old kerosene lamp was replaced with an acetylene burner.  Acetylene gave way to electricity in 1928.  In 1938 a filter was fitted inside the 5th Order Freznel lens giving the light a distinctive green hue for recognition.  One of the last keepers of the light was Radford Franke who recalled receiving the order to “douse the light” upon the news of the attack on Pearl Harbor.

By early 1960 the light was deemed to be of no further service, so in June of that year the lantern room was removed to a salvage yard.  The wooden tower and its brick and mortar foundation remained a couple of years later until they too were declared structurally unsafe and demolished.  The bell tower continued to survive, mounted with a 375 mm high intensity lamp on its roof.  However the value of maintaining any light on Ballast Point diminished with the installation of harbor entrance range lights.  In the late 1960’s the bell and its tower were dismantled.  The tower found its way to a private residence in Lakeside, California.  The bell had a more circuitous later life.  It was purchased from a San Diego area junk yard in 1969 for its scrap value of 5 cents per pound!  The one ton bell remained on local private property until 1991, when it was put on loan to the San Diego Maritime Museum.  In 1999 the bell was transported to the son of the original buyer, living in Colorado.  Then in 2002, the bell finally found its way to the home of the owner’s granddaughter living in Vermont, where it rests to this day.
The story of the lantern’s later life is even more fascinating.  The nation was just recovering from the Cuban Missile Crisis between JFK and Khrushchev, when in 1964 the Cuban government cut off the fresh water supply to the U.S. Naval base at Guantanamo Bay.  By that time, an experimental desalinization plant had been in operation at Point Loma for 2 years.  The Navy hastily ordered it to be disassembled and shipped through the Panama Canal to Cuba.  A gentleman working as a crane operator during the process noted the shabby lantern room in a trash heap nearby.  He inquired as to the fate of the relic and was told it was salvage.  Asking if he could purchase it,  the yard foreman told him he could “have it” if he would haul it away.  With that, for the next 34 years the lantern room served as a gazebo in the backyard of the man’s residence in Bonita, California.  It was purchased by the present owners in 1998, fully refurbished, and then placed on public display ever since.  Now it is time for it to find its next new home.  According to the crane operator who delivered the lamp room it weighs approximately 5 tons.  It will require a crane and a flat bed truck for removal.

F. Ross Holland, “The Old Point Loma Lighthouse,” 1978, Cabrillo Historical Association, San Diego, California
Jim Gibbs, “The Twilight of Lighthouses,” 1996, Schiffer Publishing, Atglen, PA.
Kin Fahlen and Karen Scanlon, “Lighthouse of San Diego,” 2008, Arcadia Publishing, San Francisco
Kraig Anderson, “Forgotten Ballast Point “Lighthouse” Seeks New Home,” article in “Lighthouse Digest,” East Machias, Maine,  September – October 2011,  Vol. XX, no. 5 pages 34 – 37.
“Mains’l Haul,” a periodic publication of the San Diego Maritime Association, Summer 1990, Vol. XXVI,  No. 4, pp. 11-12.







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