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5.66/13.66  WWII MARINE CORPS CLOCK.   Highly sought after, very scarce clock made for the United States Marine Corps by the prestigious Chelsea Clock Company of Boston as indicated under the center arbor and below the “6.”  This highest quality clock designed for wartime service has a silvered brass dial with Arabic numerals and a minute chapter swept by blued steel spade hands.  A subsidiary seconds bit and the Fast/Slow adjustment are just above the center arbor.  The winding arbor is just below.  The high quality movement is Chelsea’s innovative K-type featuring nickeled brass plates. The face of this clock is protected by its glazed ship’s clock bezel in classic flared ship’s clock form.   The bezel readily screws onto the solid brass case providing an air tight fit.  The back of the case is stamped with the matching serial number 311*** dating this clock to May of 1942.  7 ¾ inches in diameter by 2 5/8 inches thick.  Outstanding original cosmetic condition showing just enough wear to confirm its 75+ years since the greatest war of all time.  Complete with period winding key.  869

If only this clock could talk!  The early years of 1942 when this clock was made, were the most uncertain of this nation’s survival in the 20th century.  The Battle of the Coral Sea with the Japanese in February 1942 was considered a draw.  The first major invasion of enemy-held territory by the U.S. Marines was in the fabled assault on Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands in August 1942.  This clock, dating 4 months earlier, may well have been present!

*This number is withheld for the privacy and security or the ultimate buyer.



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6.50  17th C. PIRATE CANNON  Rare!  The real deal!  Authentic ship’s rail gun made by Spanish foundries in the Philippine Islands from the late 1600's to early 1700’s.  Also known as a "Lantaka," many of these cannons found their way into the possession of marauding pirates who plundered the shipping lanes between the Malay Peninsula northward to Formosa during that era.  This magnificent relic is made of solid bronze, weighing a hefty 32 pounds!  It is beautifully cast with decorative details in high relief including “S” curved handles forward of the touch hole and the maker’s cartouche above the enclosed breech.  This genuine cannon (“gun” in Naval parlance) is mounted on trunions attached to a pivot which allowed it to be slewed from side to side and elevated with ease.   It has an elaborate sighting system, with the front sight in the form of a stylized bird.  The flared muzzle at 4, 24 inches is twice the diameter of the barrel which has a bore of exactly one inch.  The decorative embellishment along the entire barrel are amazing.  They consist of inlaid foliate scrolls of copper and brass.  Just behind the muzzle is another decorative diamond-shaped maker’s mark of similar construction.  The barrel abaft the trunions is octagonally faceted and decorated with more inlays and very detailed metalwork patterns in relief.  The butt of the cannon has a very substantial handle for training and elevating.  The barrel is 4 ¼ inches in diameter at the widest point tapering to 2 ½ inches.  The trunion mount is 8 inches tall by 5 inches wide.  The swivel tip of the mount is 4 ½ inches long.  The handle is 4 inches long by 1 ¾ inches in diameter.  The entire presentation measures just under 4 feet long and weighs 32 pounds.  There is evidence of encrustation on some areas suggesting this cannon may have been submerged for an extended period as a result of the ship it was on being sunk.  Condition is excellent and original with a great original weathered bronze patina and evidence of actual use in the bore.  If only this thing could talk, what incredible stories it could tell!   Museum quality at its best.  Again, make no mistake, this is a REAL PIRATE CANNON!   3900  Special PackagingBack to Top

Lantaka( aka "Kanyon" in Tagalog) were bronze swivel guns mounted on merchant vessels trading in the Malay Archipelago.  They were especially popular in precolonial Southeast Asia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Indonesia and were primarily used to defend against the ever present Malay pirates marauding those waters in the 17th and 18th centuries.

Most Lantaka weighed under two hundred pounds.  Hand-held versions weighed as little as a few pounds.  But the largest weighed over a ton!  Most were mounted in trunions functioning as swivel guns.  The medium-size guns were mounted on the ship's bulwarks and referred to as "rail guns."  They could also be lashed in the rigging.  The heaviest Lantakas were mounted on modified gun carriages to be more portable.

The earliest cannon were decoratively-cast with beautiful ornaments originating in the foundries of Malacca and Pahang.   Later models were produced in foundries of the Netherlands and Portugal.  The last generation of Lantakas was produced in Brunei by local craftsmen.

Dutch and Portuguese merchants found they could trade cannon for spices and porcelain, and also for safe passage through pirate-infested waters.  But the need was great.  Local foundries produced cannon using native patterns and designs from their respective cultures.  Stylized crocodiles, dolphins, birds and dragons were common motifs.   The villagers who lived along Borneo's rivers feared being taken captive by pirates who used both vessel-mounted and hand-held cannons.   Accordingly, tribesmen who were armed with mounted or handheld cannon had a distinct advantage over those who could only rely on bows and arrows, spears, blowguns and knives.

Overland transportation in Java and Borneo during the 17th and 18th centuries was nearly impossible.  As a result cannons were frequently used for signaling.  They were used to send messages reporting urgent or special events.  In these villages, important visitors were greeted with great ceremony, accompanied by the firing of the resident cannon, much like today's twenty-one gun salute. This was a display of the status and wealth of the family holding the cannon.

The smallest cannon, often called "personal cannon" or "hand cannon," were passed down in families and was also considered a form of currency.  As such, the cannon could be traded for food stuffs, drums, canoes, tools, weapons, livestock, debts, and even payment of penalties for crimes ranging from the accidental death of a villager or headhunting another tribe.
Large cannon had the extra value of being used in both celebratory times and in warfare.  The larger and more elaborate the cannon, the greater its value, and the greater the status of the owner.

Panday Piray of Pampanga, Philippines forged heavy bronze Lantakas to be mounted on Lakan's, the Naval Commander, ships called "caracoas" against the Spanish invaders.  Cannons were also commissioned by Rajah Sulayman for the fortification of Manila.

By the 1840s England had began to suppress headhunting and piracy in the region.  Rajah James Brooke, a wealthy Englishman established a dynasty which ruled Sarawak from 1841 to 1946.  He distributed numerous Brunei hand cannon to local chieftains to guarantee their allegiance.

Lantakas were used by Moro soldiers in the Moro Rebellion against U.S. troops in the Philippines.  They were also used by the Filipinos during the Philippine Revolution, when cannon copied from European models were cast from the bronze of church bells.

Today such cannon can still be found on nearly every island of the Pacific Rim.  The largest collection is in Brunei, where it is now illegal to export them.  But when found in other countries, a museum export permit is still required.  These cannon are now highly sought after by collectors with some prices exceeding $50,000.

A smaller and obviously inferior cannon was recently offered on eBay for $7,500.  It was described by the seller (quote), “The entire cannon is made of bronze.  It measures 38 inches long, 4 inches wide.  It has a 3/4 inch bore size.  This cannon appears to be a status item used to mark special events by the people of Borneo, Malaysia, and was most likely cast in Brunei, probably mid 1800s.  The surface decoration is a nice feature and adds value, but there are no animals cast onto the barrel as found on the most desirable of these cannons.  This cannon has a lot of casting flaws and casting cracks.  The yoke part of the cannon has a loose mount on the side and looks like it was repaired years ago.  The pin the yoke rides on is wobbling.  This cannon has seen a beating over the years.”




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 21.22  TRIPOD TELESCOPE by FAMOUS MAKERs.  Magnificent mid-19th century floor standing telescope by one of England’s premier makers, William Newton & Son, as beautifully engraved on the ocular end of the barrel “= NEWTON & Co. OPTICIANS 3 Fleet Street Temple Bar, London=.”  This state-of-the –art terrestrial telescope has an achromatic doublet objective lens as invented by the famous telescope maker, Peter Dollond a century earlier.  It is incorporated in the long pure brass telescope tube which terminates in the smaller draw containing the 4 element erecting lens system.  Focusing is accomplished by the fine internal rack and pinion adjustment operated by a large knurled knob on the right side of the main barrel.  The eyepiece has the standard flared exit pupil knurled fitting.  Attesting to its quality, this telescope is fitted with an adjustable strut with 2 positions.  A second rack and pinion in the strut allows for smooth and steady elevation.  The high quality tripod has an adjustable “spider” controlled by 2 beefy butterfly wing nuts which allow tilting of the support column.  The column attaches to the body of the telescope by means of a horizontal support attached by 2 circular knurled nuts.  The column easily revolves on the spider for training in any direction.  The spider is supported on its handsome tripod with hardwood legs and bronze feet.  The telescope measures 53 inches long closed and approximately 61 inches long fully extended.  The objective lens measures 2 ¾ inches across and the main tube is 3 ¼ inches in diameter.  As configured this telescope stands 64 inches tall with a footprint of about 31 inches between each leg.  Outstanding, near mint condition in all respects.  The large objective lens produces a highly magnified upright image free of color (achromatic) distortion.  This is as good as they come,   providing function with an elegant décor statement. 3295  Special PackagingBack to Top

The Newton family of opticians and scientific instrument makers began with William Newton I in 1729.  Perhaps most famous of the numerous family makers was the partnership of William Newton II and his son William Edward which began in 1841 producing globes and telescopes until 1883.  The firm was in business at the address of 3 Fleet Street Temple Bar, London from 1851-1857.  (Gloria Clifton, “Directory of British Scientific Instrument Makers 1550-1851.”  1995, Philip Wilson Publishers and The National Maritime Museum, Greenwich.)



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22.17   ANEROID  SHIP’s BAROMETER/THERMOMETER.   Superb, early 1900’s ship’s mounted barometer.  Certainly one of the finest of its kind to be found, this extra high grade barometer was made by the legendary French firm of Paul Naudet for the equally famous American nautical instrument makers and chandlers, “T. S. & J.D. Negus Navigation Warehouse 140 Water Street, New York,” as engraved on the pristine silvered brass dial.   This aneroid barometer is also marked “HOLOSTERIC (meaning “solid, without liquid”) BAROMETER” and “Made In France” at the top of the dial.  It is calibrated in inches of mercury from 27.8 to 31.2 in 2/100th increments and is boldly marked with the standard weather indications “STORMY, RAIN, CHANGE, FAIR and VERY DRY.”  Adding to its functionality and desirability the lower half of the dial is equipped with a curved mercury thermometer reading “FAHRENHEIT THERMOMETER” calibrated in 2 degree increments from 6 to 136 degrees.  A fine blued steel needle indicates the barometric pressure while a brass set needle attached to a knurled knob shows changes.  The set needle is rove through the beveled glass crystal, held in place by the brass bezel.  The barometer case is all brass with three  brass mounting lugs screwed and soldered to the back for very secure mounting to the ship’s bulkhead.  In addition to an adjusting screw, the back of the case is also marked with the familiar Naudet logo of “PNHB” (Paul Naudet Holosteric Barometer) in a circle.  The dial measures 5 inches across while the entire instrument is 5 ½ inches wide and 2 inches thick.  Magnificent original condition with a nice old age patina.  Fully functional and accurate.  They don’t come any nicer!  549


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9.56   MICROSCOPE.  “Society of the Arts” microscope as produced during the 4th quarter of the 19th century in Britain.  Quite often these microscopes were awarded to university students who graduated at the top of their class in the sciences.  This handsome example is all brass with a heavy black enameled iron base.  The main tube receiver is engraved “THOMPSON, 94 Manchester St., LIVERPOOL.”  The base is equipped with a very tight rack and pinion focusing mechanism and the screw-in optical tube has a separate fine focus.  This microscope comes with some period accessories, but it is not altogether complete.  It is housed in its original fine mahogany box with folding brass carrying handle, original skeleton lock and key, ivory-knobbed drawer containing numerous glass slides and ultra-thin glass specimen covers.  As shown the microscope measures 12 1/4 inches high closed.  The nice box measures 6 by 7 by 7 10 inches.  A good quality microscope from the 1880’s to be sold at a very reasonable price.   Our List Price $495 Make Offer

Gerard L’e Turner, “Collecting Microscopes,” 1981, Christie’s International Collectors Series, Mayflower Books, New York.  A similar instrument is illustrated on page 79.


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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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