West Sea Company

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2.50 MUSEUM MODEL. True to the original in every way, the precise construction and execution of this scratch-built New York Whitehall boat exemplifies the ultimate quality of models exhibited in the finest museums in the world.   If an original Whitehall from the 19th century could have been shrunk by a factor of 15 times, this would be it!  In fact, building a model of this quality, true to scale, was surely just as challenging as building the full-size boat itself!   It is obviously hand-constructed by a master boat builder using white oak  affixed with brass rivets and pins in the traditional way.  The clinker-built, or lapstrake construction is amazingly tight and precise.  The ribs and stringers of the boat are perfectly positioned.  The 3 mahogany thwarts are properly aligned and  mortised within the ribs as is the tiller seat.  The two finely finished brass oarlocks mount to gunwale with inset brass retainers.   To these ends, the original sculpted oak oars are present.   The finely finished oak rudder is a thing of beauty affixed to the transom using the classic post and pintle method of attachment.  Steering is accomplished using a rudder head with port and starboard steering lines.   This beautiful model is complete with an old hardwood display stand having a brass rail  supporting the keel.  The rail fits the keel snugly but still allows the model to be removed from the base.   The model itself is 14 ¼ inches long (15 including the rudder) with a beam of  4 ½ inches and stands 4 ¾ inches high overall when mounted on its base.  The base has a footprint of 3 1/8 by 11 ¼ inches.  Outstanding original condition in all respects.  A finer, period model is not to be found anywhere in the world!   Simply the best.  Circa 1880.  3200

Whitehall small craft were considered one of the most refined rowboats of the 19th century.  They were first made in the U.S. at the foot of Whitehall Street in New York City for ferrying goods, services, and crewmen on and off ships in New York Harbor.  However the basic design has much older European origins.  The Whitehall closely resembled gigs carried on square riggers or Thames River wherries used as water taxis.  The boats ranged from 14 to 22 ft in length.  The larger examples had two rowing stations.  The largest version, the Whitehall gig of 25 feet, had 4 rowing stations plus a coxswain, making for a  crew of 5.

The inverted hull frame shape is characterized by a nearly straight stem,  slight flare to the bow, rounded sides, with a keel running the entire length of the bottom and a distinctive wine glass transom with a full skeg.   Considered one of the most beautiful rowboats, they were designed to handle harbor chop while tracking straight.  Speed was paramount, since being the first boat carrying goods to a ship meant better sales.  Later the shore patrol used these boats for Customs, policing, water taxi and newspaper reporting and deliveries.

In the early 20th century Whitehalls became a popular recreational boat which were colloquially referred to as "bicycles of the sea."  A novice rower found the design easy to row in a straight line because of its tracking keel.  Turning required stronger strokes on one side.  But by backing with one oar and pulling with the other the boat could be turned within a length.

The Mystic Seaport Maritime Museum has a comprehensive collection of authentic Whitehall examples.


bow detail


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5.31 / 13.14  WORLD WAR II NAVY CLOCK.   Original ship’s clock made for the U.S. Navy by the prestigious Chelsea Clock Company of Boston, as marked on the blackened brass dial.  This very substantial clock has large white Roman numerals 1 -12 and subsidiary numbers showing military time 13 - 00.  The dial is swept by large white enameled spade hands and has a silver center seconds sweep running over the innermost markings indicating individual seconds marked by 15’s.  The dial is protected by the glazed hinged Bakelite bezel which secures on the left with a thumb screw latch.  The back of the case is embossed “CHELSEA CLOCK CO. BOSTON” and bears the penciled serial number XXXXXX*, which matches the movement number and dates the clock to October 3, 1944.  The dial measures 8 inches in diameter and the mounting flange of the case is 10 ¼ inches.   Excellent cosmetic condition, showing  actual service but no abuse.   The clock is a strong runner and keeps excellent time.  Complete with period brass winding key.  695

back marking

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7.41  CLASSIC WHALING NOVEL.   Without question, the most recognized novel ever written about Yankee whaling.  Herman Melville, “Moby Dick or The Great White Whale,” 1934, Dodd Mead and Company, New York.  Hard cloth cover, 540 pages, profusely illustrated on high quality gloss paper in color with particularly poignant paintings by Mead Schaeffer.  This important book represents an early effort to recapture the drama and realism of the author’s original publication in 1851  by providing a more readable content supplemented with rich, historically correct illustrations.  As an American classic, it needs no further explanation.  Good original condition.  Slight wear to the spine and front corners.  Content perfect.  95

title page

plate 1
plate 2

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20.98  CARVED “ELEPHANT CANE.”  Very charming walking stick with the handle beautifully-carved in the likeness of an elephant complete with ivory tusks, inlaid ivory eyes and substantial ivory tusk ferrule!  This late 19th century cane is made from a single piece solid ebony!   No joints!  The very thick shaft measures an inch and a quarter thick below the elephant’s head tapering to 3/4 inch thick at the tip.  Along its length the shaft is beautifully decorated with deep carved floral designs, giving way to an exquisitely-executed diamond pattern.  The precision of the carving is truly incredible.  Next there is a second floral design, another larger diamond pattern, a rope twist, another diamond, yet another floral, then an extra large diamond which terminates in a large rope twist above the ferrule.  The elephant head handle is realistically fashioned depicting its long trunk, stubbed tusks and contoured ears making for a comfortable handle.  35 5/8 inches long overall and 4 ¼ inches wide at the widest, in excellent, very usable condition.  Likely of African origins, this ethnic item must have been made for a wealthy person of great importance. 889 Special PackagingBack to Top

Not available or for sale in California.  Shipped from Massachusetts.



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