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2.36

2.36 SHIP DIORAMA.  Absolutely delightful 19th century American sailor folk art diorama depicting a charming coastal scene with 3 sailing ships and a tugboat.   The foremost vessel is a 4-masted American bark identified on the starboard trail board and the mizzen pennant as the "DIRIGO."  She is depicted under full billowing sail, all of which are made from carved wood!  She is outfitted with a carved wooden female figurehead, a capstan on the focs'le, anchor on the cat, 2 deck houses, a lifeboat in davits and even a skylight on the poop.  All lines are in tact rigged with carved wooden blocks.  Aft of the DIRIGO is a small 2-masted schooner under sail, also flying the American ensign.  Forward of the DIRIGO, passing to starboard, is a steam tug towing another American bark out to sea.  The tug billows dark (cotton) smoke as it pulls the bark with no sails into a head wind.  This smaller 3-masted bark is also very nicely executed with carved figurehead, good deck detail and all lines present.   Filling out the scene is a prominent lighthouse on a spit of land.  It towers over 3 adjacent buildings surrounded by a white fence and trees in the background.  Yet another American flag is depicted flying from a tall flagpole capped by pearl.  Ingeniously, a luminescent "light" made of mother-of-pearl adorns the lantern of the lighthouse.  All vessels are of carved wood and ply a painted putty sea.  The large background panel is made from a single piece of pine, nicely painted with subtle colors portraying the sky in a realistic manner.  Evidencing its age, the paint has become slightly alligatored with time.  The sides of the diorama are also pine affixed with old nails and wood screws.  The back is painted in its original dark blue/gray paint with evidence of old newspaper used to seal the joints.  The entire presentation is nicely framed in a period "Eastlake" style walnut frame with gold liner and retains it original old wavy glass.  It measures 24 ½ by 40 ½ inches overall and  18 ½ by 34 ½ inches sight.  The diorama is constructed on a slant, tapering from 7 inches thick at the bottom to 4 inches at the top.  A magnificently preserved example of this desirable form of sailor folk art.  Circa 1890. Price Request Special PackagingBack to Top

The 4-masted Bark DIRIGO was homeported in the Pacific Northwest in the gold4en age of the lumber trade there, also coinciding with the Alaskan gold rush.  Further research could reveal additional information about the time and place of this scene.


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2.30

2.30  AMERICAN SCRIMSHAW MODEL.   Rare!  Genuine 3rd quarter of the 19th century sailor-made scrimshaw model of a 3-masted packet ship.  This well-rigged, highly detailed model is scrimshaw.  It is NOT a beef bone P.O.W. model!  Constructed of whalebone, whale ivory, baleen and rich tropical hardwood, the keel and bottom of the ship are dark brown wood.  The boot topping is a narrow strip of black baleen attached with tiny pins.  Above it, from the bulwark to the rail is planked whalebone attached with brass pins.  Deck fittings are carved of bone and whale ivory including the bowsprit, figurehead, catheads, foc'sle capstan, bilge pump, main deckhouse, cargo holds, ladders, aft deckhouse with bench, skylight, binnacle and steering gear box with brass helm. The detail is really quite amazing given the material from which it is made.  The masts and tops are all of carved whalebone as are the meticulously-fashioned bone blocks in the running rigging.  The spars are all of dark hardwood which provide a very pleasing contrasty effect.   The ratlines and stays on each mast are hand-tied and terminate in "bead" dead eyes along the bone-braced bulwarks.  This model is in superb original condition mounted on its original African mahogany stand.  It measures14 inches long overall by 10 inches tall and is 4 ¾ inches wide on the mainmast spar.  A superlative, museum-quality example of American whaleman scrimshaw art at its finest, proudly exhibiting its 140+ year age. Price Request Special PackagingBack to Top

A nearly identical model was sold from the very prestigious collection of Alice and Murray Braunfeld at Sotheby's American Furniture and Folk Art sale conducted January 17, 2004 during "Americana Week" in New York.

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


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FIGUREHEAD

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5.06  CIVIL WAR SHIP CAPTAIN's  WASH BASIN.   Here is an incredibly rare Civil War relic from the Union Navy.  This bowl should rightfully be in a museum. But we have been fortunate enough to find it and offer it for sale.  This wash basin is not porcelain or ceramic, but actually turned out of a solid piece of alabaster!  On the front it bears the very early conjoined U.S. Navy mark from that era.  The fact that it is natural stone and not porcelain or china is of great significance to its value.  It measures 15 1/8 inches in diameter and stands 5 inches deep.  It is very study and only exhibits a couple very minor hairline cracks near the center of the bowl. 975 Special PackagingBack to Top


BASIN
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5.32 PERIOD WWII SHIP PHOTO. Original large format black and white image of the Buckley Class Destroyer Escort USS GEORGE (DE-697) as depicted steaming off of the Customs House in the Philippines in 1945. This clear image shows good detail of the man-o-war's deck and armament along with crew members on the foc'sle. This valiant veteran of the Pacific campaign exhibits remarkable upkeep after all she has been through! The glossy 7 1/8 by 9 inch image is in perfect original condition. 15

The USS GEORGE (DE-697) saw intense action in World War II. Launched on August 14, 1943 by the Defoe Shipbuilding Company in Bay City, Michigan, she was commissioned on November 20, 1943 and wasted no time in heading for the Pacific theater, arriving in the Spring of 1944. During the period of May 19-31 GEORGE was credited with sinking Japanese submarines I-16, RO-104, R0-105., RO-106, RO-108 and RO-116. GEORGE continued her anti-submarine patrols in the areas in and around the New Hebrides, Solomons and Marshall Islands into the summer of 1945, operating out of the Philippines. It was then that this photograph was taken. When Japan surrendered in August of1945, GEORGE delivered the terms of the surrender to the Japanese garrisons still holding out on Truk and the Carolines. For her service, USS GEORGE received two battle stars.

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13.48 19th C. AMERICAN SHIP's CLOCK.  Rare, late 1800's ship's clock made by the venerable Seth Thomas Co. of Thomaston Connecticut as marked above the center arbor on the porcelain dial, "'SETH THOMAS."  This very high quality clock has a perfect porcelain dial with Roman numerals and minute chapter swept by fancy spade hands.  A subsidiary seconds bit indicating single seconds marked by 15's is located just above the VI.  The winding arbor is at an unusual position, located between III and IV.  The Fast/Slow adjustment is within the XII.  The pristine dial is encircled by a brass Roman ogee reflector ring.  It is housed in the thick glazed bezel which attaches to the case with a spring-loaded fit.  The all brass movement is a thing of beauty having a jeweled balance with numerous timing weights and a lever escapement.  The front plate is marked SETH THOMAS.  It also bears the Seth Thomas trademark of an ST within a diamond and a circle and it is signed "F. Hotchkiss."  The case is of especially heavy solid bronze in classic ship's clock form with flared bezel and mounting flange.  The dial measures 3 ½ inches in diameter.  The clock is 6 ½ inches in diameter and 2 ½ inches thick.   Outstanding cosmetic and functional condition in all respects.  The case has acquired a phenomenal age patina.  This model predates its Chelsea competitor by 10 years!  American ship's clocks of this vintage routinely command thousands of dollars and porcelain dial ship's clocks are particularly sought after.  Complete with period winding key.  879

In his landmark reference book "Military Timepieces," 1992, American Watch makers Institute, author Marvin Whitney discusses this clock on page 143.  It is model number 5003 with a movement number of 208 dating 1883.  It is described as a "Chronometer Lever" running one day with a fitted jeweled balance and a tempered steel hairspring.


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18.83  GREAT LAKES RUNNING LIGHT.   Finest quality small craft running lamp with "TRIPLEX" port and starboard lighthouse-like lenses patented in 1910.  The lamp itself was made by "Geo. B. Carpenter, Chicago," as indicated on the oval brass maker's tag.  It was patented April 1st 1913 as embossed on the rear bracket.  This sturdy little lamp has a brass chimney cap and stout iron ring for hanging when not supported by the bracket.  The all brass font and burner screw into the base with a bayonet twist.  Well aspirated for maximum light output including an internal reflector.  A removable "light curtain" is installed in a sliding track between the two lenses.  The red and green lenses are both in perfect condition.  10 ½ inches tall overall and 5 1/8 inches in diameter.  7 ¾ inches front to back.  Sound but well-used condition.Totally complete and original.  269

CAUTION

PORT
STARBOARD

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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

HISTORY

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.

BIBLIOGRAPHY
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.


LIGHTHOUSE BACK
DETAIL BRASS WINDOW MOLDINGS AND GLASS

INTERIOR

ENTRY DOORS. THERE WAS NO INTERNAL ACCESS TO THE LAMP ROOM

BALLAST POINT LIGHT STATION AS IT LOOKED IN 1903. NOTE THE BALLAST STONES ON THE BEACH AND THE DOG HOUSE ON THE RIGHT. THE OLD WHALING STATION IS IN THE BACKGROUND LEFT
KEEPER STEVEN POZANAC AND THE 5TH ORDER FREZNEL LENS IN 1939. NOTICE THE FILTER INSIDE

THE LIGHTHOUSE COMPLEX AS IT APPEARED IN THE 1940'S
DISMANTLING THE LANTERN ROOM IN 1960

LIGHTHOUSE GINGERLY BEING REMOVED OVER HIGH TENSION POWER LINES

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