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1.72 EARLY AMERICA’s CUP LITHOGRAPH. This is perhaps the holy grail of America’s Cup collectibles. This authentic hand-colored stone lithograph is entitled lower center:

open to Yachts of all Classes and Nations. August 22nd, 1851
From The original Sketch Taken On The Spot By OWSWALD W. BRIERLY.”

In this action-packed scene the artist depicts the triumphant vessel with her crew members on deck taking in the scene of spectator yachts, steamers and small craft, one of which is in the foreground. The AMERICA is shown flying the Union Jack Burgee from her mainmast. This is an original stone lithograph, the same as done by the very well-known American lithographers Currier & Eves, in their earliest days of production. Substantiating its authenticity it has a plate mark on the periphery of the image which proves is not photographic reproduction. An earlier type-written history entitled “The yacht AMERICA” is attached to the back. The image size is 19 ½ inches by 29 ½ inches. The simple wooden frame measures 22 ½ by 32 ½ inches. Framing under non-glare uv glass was done by the owner’s father in the 1960’s. Good original condition noting expected foxing and toning of paper this old. 895 Special PackagingBack to Top


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5.35 /22.32 U.S. NAVY BAROMETER. Outstanding World War II era warship’s pilot house barometer made by the “Taylor Instrument Companies, Rochester, N.Y. Tycos” as signed on the bottom of the silvered brass dial. It is boldly marked “U.S. NAVY” just above. The scale reads in inches of mercury atmospheric pressure from 27.7 to 31.3 inches calibrated in 2/100th increments marked in tenths. The mid-point is marked with a traditional fleur-de-lis. The open face dial showcases the high quality, complex movement within. Just above the opening it is marked “MOVEMENT COMPENSATED FOR TEMPERATURE.” The reading is shown by a fine blackened steel indicator needle which is overlaid by a brass set needle attached to a knurled knob rove through the glass crystal. The set needle indicates the last reading and hence the weather trend. This is all housed in a very high quality solid bronze case in a lustrous high polish. The top of the case has a pivoting brass suspension loop for hanging. The back of the case also has a small aperture by which to adjust the barometer reading. 5 ¼ inches in diameter, 6 inches high inclusive of the hanging ring and 2 3/8ths inches deep. Virtually perfect original condition in all respects. The movement is very lively and highly accurate. A better barometer of this vintage and type is not to be found! 449


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8.50  HUGE EARLY STEAM GAUGE.   Late 19th century main steam pressure gauge from an American ship.  The white enameled dial bears the bold signature of the makers “SCHAEFFER & BUDENBERG, New York & Chicago” around the open face center which shows the lovely engine-turned brass movement within.  The large dial is calibrated in pounds per square inch from 0 to 250.  Typically such dials indicated a working pressure of about 2/3 of the maximum shown, so in this case about 190 psi.  Such steam plants were the norm in the late 1880’s into the early 1890’s.  This massive example is the largest we have ever seen.  It measures 15 inches in diameter, 4 ¼ inches thick and weighs an incredible 25 pounds!  The glazed classic ship’s clock case is a thing of beauty with the decorative maker’s trade mark at the bottom of the dial.  The movement is of the Bourdon tube type with a threaded connection extending from the bottom of the case.  Beautiful polished condition exhibiting the irreplaceable mellow age patina it has acquired in the more than 30 years since it was polished.  Magnificent!  Super low priced for a quick sale.  Find a comparable one!  939 Special PackagingBack to Top

(See item 13.12)

Sincere thanks to U.S. Navy Captain Terry Tilton (Ret.), author and expert on marine engineering who provided authentication.



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9.73 EARLY SURGICAL TOOL. Rare early 19th century surgeon's tool specifically designed for the extraction of tonsils from the throat of a hapless patient. This specialty tool was used prior to the advent of antiseptic and anesthetic conditions. One can only speculate how horrendous the procedure must have been! Known as a "Tonsil Guillotine," it consists of a fearsome sharp probe and two sliding steel orifices connected to a brass shaft terminating in a cross hatched ivory handle. Pulling the handle engages a sliding blade, the guillotine, which in theory would have sliced off the patient's tonsil once engaged by the probe and held by the orifice! Clever in its construction, this no less gruesome device bears decorative elements in its construction reminiscent of instruments from the Queen Ann period. It measures 10 inches long and is in excellent original functioning condition. Both the steel and brass components bear deep patination with surface oxidation, but no rust or corrosion. The ivory handle is sound with only minor staining (blood?). A very rare early surgical tool of museum quality. 979

Elizabeth Bennion in "Antique Medical Instruments," 1979, Sotheby Parke Bernet, London, pictures and describes a similar device with finger pieces on page 108. The photograph is captioned, "Tonsil guillotine, c. 1860, Museum of Historical Medicine, Copenhagen." The text, in part, reads, "Guillotines and forceps were listed in the catalogues from the early nineteenth century and were in two sizes, for adults and children. Tonsil-guillotines are easily recognizable by means of the two parallel sliding rings, one with cutting edge... Unlike many other instruments, the earlier examples tend to be lighter while those of a later date become complicated and cumbersome with elaborate finger pieces. Cased sets with various spare attachments were made c. 1860, but simple steel and brass guillotines have survived from at least ten years earlier." It is our belief that the example here is much earlier than 1850 and thus may in fact represent a prototype!


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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.  127 years old!  Price Request Special PackagingBack to Top

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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