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6.51  MASSIVE FLARE GUN.  Impressive World War II flare gun with a very heavy solid bronze chamber and grip.  This authentic signaling device is embossed on the handle "INTERNATIONAL FLARE SIGNAL CO. TIPPECANOE CITY OHIO."   The body is stamped "D 67" on both sides.  The handle is cross hatched to assure a firm grip.  The large trigger activates the firing pin properly.  There is a suspension loop on the butt which attaches to a sailor-made cotton lanyard.  The barrel tips forward for breech loading by means of a spring-loaded lever just forward of the hammer.  The steel barrel has a bore of 1 3/8 inches.  The action is tight and smooth.  Approximately 11 ½ inches long by 8 ½ inches high.  Excellent original condition.  495


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7.04  NAUTICAL ANTIQUE REFERENCE BOOK.  Robert Ball, "Nautical Antiques With Value Guide," 1994, Schiffer Publishing, Ltd. Atglen, Pennsylvania.  Hard cloth cover with dust jacket, 238 glossy pages exclusive of "Value Guide."  Profusely illustrated in black and white.  Here, within one cover, is a compilation of decades of auction results covering the gamete of nautical antique categories.  They include Scrimshaw, Ship Models, Whaling, Nautical Instruments, Nautical Furnishings and Accessories, Figureheads, Sternboards, Billet Heads, Ship Logs, Marine Paintings and more!  Mr. Ball drew heavily from auction results of the Richard Bourne Company on Cape Cod, then the preeminent nautical auction house.  Although clearly outdated with regard to current pricing, the Value Guide is nevertheless very informative as to relative values and the increase or decrease of worth in the past 3 decades.  Excellent, near perfect content.  The dust cover has a couple of minor tears (mended).  39

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9.18  WOODEN DIPTYCH COMPASS.  Fine, late 19th century folding pocket compass of French manufacture.  This quality traveler's compass is constructed of two hinged wooden tablets, the body of which bears a silvered brass compass protected by old wavy glass.  The compass rose shows the cardinal and intercardinal points of the compass.  The periphery is calibrated in single degrees 0 – 360 marked by 10's.   The compass deviation for late 19th century Europe is indicated by a feathered arrow just West of North.  The center is finely marked "MADE IN FRANCE." Speaking to its quality the delicate double ended compass needle has a ruby pivot.  The compass has a cleaver caging device which locks the needle in place when the lid is closed.   The all brass piano-type hinge assures a secure closure aided by 2 delicate brass hooks pivoting on the front.  3 inches square by 1 3/16 inches thick.  Excellent original condition showing good age.  The compass is lively and accurate.  This is an excellent buy!  199

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17.36  FAMOUS LINER SALT.  Diminutive, very decorative component of First Class silverware from the famed liner RMSP ALMANZORA as elegantly portrayed on the cloisonné coat of arms applied to the front.  This lovely piece has indistinguishable hallmarks on the bottom.  It measures 5 inches wide overall, 2 ½ inches in breadth, and 1 7/8 inches high.  Outstanding original condition.  A beauty! 119

RMSP stands for Royal Mail Steam Packet.

RMS ALMANZORA was a 15,551 gross ton liner of the Royal Mail Steamship Line.  She was built in Belfast, Ireland in 1912, the same place and year the RMS TITANIC was launched.  During World War I she served as a Royal Navy armed merchant cruiser from 1915 until 1920. Returning to civilian service in 1920, she was scrapped in 1938.

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22.57  ANEROID BAROMETER.   Finest quality 19th century aneroid barometer made by the esteemed Paris maker Pierre (alternatively Paul)  Naudet as indicted by the maker's mark "PNHB" (Paul Naudet Holostric Barometer) on the bottom of the silvered brass dial.  It is additionally stamped on the back of solid brass case "PNHB" within a circle.  The open face dial with brass rim showcases the amazing mechanism within.  Through a series of complicated linkages atmospheric pressure activates the mechanical bellows transmitting movement to the lovely blued steel indicator needle with amazing accuracy!  The reading is recorded on the dial calibrated in inches of atmospheric pressure form 24 to 31 in 2/100ths inches marked by tenths.  The dial bears the standard weather indications "STORMY, RAIN CHANGE, FAIR and VERY DRY.  The top of the dial is marked "Made In France" and the bottom is marked "Holosteric PNHB Barometer."  To record the previous reading, a brass set needle riding above the set needle is attached to a knurled knob rove through the beveled glass crystal.  This barometer has the unusual dual feature of being hung by the suspension loop at the top or by resting on a shelf or desk with its 2 turned brass feet.  5 ¼ inches in diameter by 2 1/8 inches deep.  Excellent original condition.  All surfaces retain their original orange lacquer showing expected age, but no damage or wear.  The barometer function is lively and very accurate.  395

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 holostric 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."   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.

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10.56 EARLY DIVING/SALVAGE PHOTOGRAPH. Very scarce albumen photograph of the refloating of the steam/sail ship CITY of ATLANTA in 1893. It is identified in the artist's hand lower right "City of Atlanta pumped out by prop Williams & Chapman" Jany 18-93." The image shows the 2 masted schooner at dock in the midst of winter with a salvage lighter alongside. Below it is the prominent label reading "Wrecking Heavy Hoisting DIVERS and STEAM PUMPS CHAPMAN DERRICK & WRECKING CO. 70 South Street New York." It is housed in its original gilt wooden frame under old wavy glass with wooden backing. On the back is an old type-written label indicating information on the vessels involved. The image measures 7 ½ by 9 ½ inches sight. The frame measures 14 by 16 inches. Condition is very good (no damage), but showing its 125 year old age. A quite rare and sought after subject matter spanning several collector categories. 239

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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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