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Prices in U.S. Dollars are listed in GREEN.

1.87 AMERICAN PAINTING.  Gordon Grant, (1875-1962), American, watercolor on artist’s paper, signed in a flourish lower right “Gordon Grant.”  This colorful rendering by the preeminent turn-of-the-century American marine artist is of exceptional size, measuring 15 ½ by 21 ½ inches sight.  It depicts the Boston Harbor pilot number “4” heading to sea against the wind destined to board a large 2-masted schooner in the distance.  The scene dates circa 1865.  The vessel flies a commissioning pennant from the main mast and the American ensign from the spanker.  The helmsman and a single crewman are depicted on deck.  This dynamic presentation shows great action.  The colors are as distinctive and brilliant as the day it was painted!  It is professionally framed and matted with a color-matched border in a modern wood and gilt-lined frame under glass.  The opening measures 21 ½ by 27 ½ inches.  The frame is 24 ½ by 30 ½ inches overall.  Perfect original condition in all respects.  In this medium they don’t come any nicer.  1975  Special Packaging

Gordon Hope Grant was a famous American artist, best known for his maritime watercolors.  He was born in San Francisco in 1875, and died in 1962.  He produced war time posters during WW I and illustrations for many books and magazine covers including the “Saturday Evening Post” and illustrations for the BSA magazine “Boys’ Life” in 1911.  He was the illustrator for “The Story of American Sailing Ships” by Charles Strong, the “Scarlet Plague” by Jack London, the “Eternal Sea” by William Williamson and many other works.  Grant was a member of the Association of American Artists.  Large numbers of Gordon Grant prints have been issued and sold throughout the years.  This is an original!

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3.23   DIMINUTIVE BOXED COMPASS.  Charming miniature small craft boxed compass by the famous American marine maker and chandler Durkee, as signed around the central pivot “C.D. DURKEE & CO. ٠ NEW YORK ٠ “  The small composition compass card is marked in half points of the compass rose with the Cardinal and Intercardinal points identified.  A testament to its quality is its jeweled pivot.  The compass body is weighted brass with a polished bezel stamped “S617.”  It is slung in gimbals mounted in its original mahogany box measuring 4 ½ inches square by 3 inches high.  There is no lid.  The compass itself is lively and accurate, gimbaling properly in its box.  The face of the compass is 3 inches in diameter.  Excellent condition.  Was $395 NOW! 195

Charles Doremus Durkee (1862-1930) began business as a ship’s chandler in lower Manhattan in 1879.  He incorporated the business at 2 South Street Staten Island, New York in 1894 as “C. D. Durkee & Co.”  The company were known as makers and sellers of all sorts of marine hardware, colloquially referred to as “The Tiffany of the Trade.”  Durkee supplied equipment for the building of the Panama Canal between 1904 and 1914.  At the end of World War I the company’s stock was divested.  The elder Durkee died in 1930.  But the company continued to produce significant hardware and motorboat equipment well into World War II.

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8.90  SHIPBUILDER’s PLAQUE.  Genuine builder’s plate from a North American shipyard during World War II.  This heavy solid bronze nameplate reads: “THE COLLINGWOOD SHIPYARDS-LIMITED. Collingwood – Ontario BUILDERS 1943” in high relief letters.  The oval presentation measures 16 ½ inches wide by 10 ½ inches tall and weighs an impressive 13    pounds!  It is quite unusual to see a plate of this size made during the height of the Allies’ war effort when this valuable raw material was in such short supply.  That noted it is very likely from a Royal Navy warship.  Excellent condition, as removed from the ship.  1200

The Collingwood Dry Dock, Shipbuilding and Foundry Company was founded in 1882 on the shores of Lake Huron, Ontario, Canada.   Over the company's lifetime it built over 200 ships.  During the Second World War (1940–1944), the yard was contracted to build 23 warships for the Royal Navy and the Royal Canadian Navy.  Most of the ships were corvettes and minesweepers.   The shipyard was closed in 1986.


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16.32  EAGLE CARVING.   Authentic 19th century wood sculpture of a fiercely patriotic American eagle carved in high relief.  This imposing antique carving depicts the iconic spread-winged symbol perched on a flowing banner with foliate ends.  The representation of the eagle’s plumage is beautifully expressed and his talons show realistic detail.  This period carving retains its original gilded finish (not paint) in beautiful original condition showing its age.  The back of the carving retains its original paint.  Bare wood scarcely shows, but it appears to be two thick pine panels laminated together.  A later metal brace assures stability, but there is no evidence of cracking or separation.  Interestingly, both sides of the eagle’s wings are notched out on the back, presumably to fit within a larger presentation, possibly a sailing ship’s sternboard.  The carving measures a manageable 26 inches wide and 15 inches high.  It has a depth o f 10 ½ inches.  Outstanding, original, untouched condition.  This would make a splendid focal piece on a back bar, over door, or above fireplace statement!  1985 Special Packaging

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21.53  VERY EARLY TELESCOPE.  Remarkable late 17th or very early 18th century telescope by the noted Italian inventor and optician “LEONARDO SEMITECOLO” as printed on the base of the main tube.  This hand-held mariner’s telescope is constructed entirely of heavy vellum with turned horn fittings.  The main barrel is beautifully embellished with floral and geometric designs.  It expands with 3 draws to a focusing point of infinity marked on each of the draw tubes.   The collars holding the tubes are turned bovine horn in near perfect condition.  But even more remarkable, both the ocular and objective lenses still retain their original screw-on horn dust covers!  The fact that these separate items are still together after more than 300 years is miraculous!  The optics are entirely original and provide a magnified upright image.  This telescope was manufactured long before Peter Dollond’s introduction of the achromatic lens in 1750, so the telltale “chromatic fringe” on the periphery of the image is present.  This is a good indicator of age.  What is most important is the state of preservation.  Made after Galileo’s model, using delicate materials, this optical instrument is in amazing condition.   12 ½ inches closed extending to 34 ½ inches extended at infinity.  Without a doubt museum quality of the first order.  Price Request



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16.26  MINIATURE ANTIQUE BOTTLE.  Charming brown glass bottle standing a mere 4 ¾ inches tall by 1 ¼ inches in diameter.  This molded bottle is made of very thick irregular glass and dates from the Civil War era or earlier.  29

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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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