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

4.90 SCRIMSHAW BELT BUCKLE.  One-of-a–kind nickel silver buckle bearing an oval slab (not plastic) of bone engraved with a 3-masted sailing ship at sea under full sail.  The workmanship is exquisitely hand-done and very artistic.  The centerpiece measures 7/8 by 1 1/8 inches.  The buckle is 1 ¾ inches long and accommodates a 1 inch wide belt.  The pivoting belt loop is ferrous metal for strength.  49


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5.23/15.42  PHOTOGRAPH U.S.S. CALIFORNIA.  Historic original photograph entitled "Boat Deck U.S.S. California" showing a sailor posed on a crane next to a lifering marked USS 2   2 CALIFORNIA.  Below are 2 early binnacles and 2 pelorus stands along with two wheeled ammunition limbers.  The ship appears to be nested next to another capital warship with towering smokestack, huge funnels and a sailor leaning on the rail.   3 ½ by 5 ½ inches.  This is an interesting identified professional photograph with very unusual subject matter.  Pre-1910. 59

 The second USS CALIFORNIA (ACR-6) was launched on April 28, 1904 by the Union Iron Works of San Francisco, builders of the famed Battleship OREGON 15 years earlier.  CALIFORNIA was renamed USS SAN DIEGO on September 1, 1914, in order to free up her name for  the Tennessee-class battleship CALIFORNIA (BB-44).

 Early on July 18, 1918 SAN DIEGO left Portsmouth Naval Yard bound for New York where she was to meet and escort a convoy bound for the War in France. At 11:05 A.M. the next day she was steaming northeast of the Fire Island Lightship when an explosion occurred on the cruiser's port side below the waterline.  About 10 minutes after the explosion, the order to abandon ship was given as it was apparent she was going to capsize.  The Navy Department received information that a German minelaying submarine was operating off the east coast so planes of the U.S. Naval Air Service were dispatched.  Those aircraft dropped several bombs on what was thought to be a submarine lying on the seabed in approximately100 feet of water.  But it turned out to be the hulk of USS SAN DEIGO!

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5.11  WHITE FLEET STEREO CARDS.  Two original identified stereo cards displaying actual photographs of ships from the Great White Fleet era (circa 1907).  The first is entitled "A view on the Deck, Off San Diego" taken from the foc'sle of a capital warship with at least 5 ships of the Great White Fleet in the background.  The second is entitled "An Officer of the Deck" showing an officer and sailor posed next to a massive early gun turret.  These cards are standard size 3 3/8 by 7 inches.  Excellent original condition.  69/pair

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5.12  CAPTAIN's EAGLES.  Matched pair of sterling silver collar devices for a "full bird" (4 striper) Captain in the U.S. Navy.  These scarce World War II insignias are in perfect original condition.  Each measures 1 inch across.  Rare to find a period pair such as these, mint with an identified early maker.  99

GEMSCO was the acronym for the "General Embroidery & Military Supply Company."  The  GEMSCO name dates to the 19th century when the company was originally founded in New York.  Their hallmark was a wreath surrounding the name, GEMSCO.  That symbol continued to be used on papers and cards up until the company went out of business.  Other hallmarks used were GEMSCO N.Y. and GEMSCO STERLING.  These are seen on WWII period insignias. Soon after WWII GEMSCO began using GEMSCO AGO G2 as their hallmark


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9.07   EARLY DIVIDERS.  Authentic 18th century dividers with a brass body and shaped steel limbs.  The telltale 1700's style of an octagonally-faceted head contains amazingly tight finger joints which fit together precisely allowing for a smooth yet tight action.  5 ¼ inches long with an effective working radius of about 8 inches.  Very well preserved.  Rare.  89

head detail

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9.08   HYDROMETER FLOAT.  Pristine precision shipboard scientific instrument used to determine the specific gravity of a liquid, in this case the purity of water in the ship's boilers.  This nickel-plated brass float is marked "Hezzanith, Made In England 60o" and is calibrated from .0035 to .0050, representing the difference in the ratio of the liquid being tested to pure water in thousandths.  0.000 being pure water.  In another application a very similar instrument was routinely used in the distilling industry to determine the proof of spirits (alcohol and water).  39

"Hezzanith" was the trade name of Henry Hughes & Son, a well known nautical instrument maker established in early 1800's England into the mid-20th Century..


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9.09  PROTRACTOR.  Small, all brass precision protractor made by the famous scientific company "WELCH Quality Service, Chicago, Ill." as signed on the front.  It reads 180 degrees left or right in single degree increments.  The focus on the lower limb is marked with a fleur-de-lis.  4 ¼ inches wide by 2 inches high.  Good original condition showing actual use.  10

William Welch founded an educational supply company in Chicago in 1880.  In 1906 the Welch Scientific Instrument Company was established.  Among other things Welch supplied the U.S. Navy with mercury stick barometers during World War II.

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12.87  SHIP's PLAQUE.  Cast aluminum ship's plaque bearing the crest of a post-war British warship, depicting a plumed knight in armor, castle gates and war arrows.  Nicely hand-painted.  With a little research this ship's name can be determined.  5 by 7 ½ inches.  15

If identified and mounted on a wooden backing, this is a $150 item.

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12. 88   SERVING MALLET.  Large sailor's working tool in the form of a device helping to "serve" (tightly wrap) small stuff around a larger line to prevent it from fraying.  This commercially made example is constructed of hard, dense maple.  14 ½ inches long by 3 inches wide on the head.  Very sturdy!  29


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12.89   PACKING LABEL.  Brilliant old California fruit crate label reading "CHANNEL Brand Santa Barbara County LEMONS, Goleta Lemon Association Goleta California (California Red Ball)."  This artistic chromolithograph has a central oval scene depicting a schooner passing a lighthouse and lemon grove with Santa Cruz and Santa Rosa Islands on the horizon.  Seagulls frolic in the surrounds.  The image is bold and bright with intense colors.  9 by 12 ½ inches.  MINT original condition dating from the 1940's.  39


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12.90  NET SHUTTLES.  Pair of matching net making tools, consisting of a shuttle and an awl (driver).  These genuine 19th century sailor's tools are finely hand-carved of dense oak made to   exacting tolerances.  The shuttle in particular is especially well made and bears close scrutiny to appreciate its workmanship.  7 ¾ and 5 inches long respectively.  The awl is slightly thicker than 1/8 inch and the shuttle is amazingly just over 1/16 inch thick!  Both in excellent original condition showing actual use by no abuse.  49/pr


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17.34  FAMOUS LINER POSTERS.  Authentic early 1930's advertising poster for the "Compagnie Generale Transatlantique" touting their famous liners the "ILE de FRANCE, the FRANCE, and the PARIS."  These two parts of one larger poster were found sealed behind yet another later steamship poster as backing material and have not seen the light of day in over 70 years!  They are perfect!  The only problem is that they have been cut!  Nevertheless, they are wonderful, identifiable examples of the lithographer's art, from the art deco period, and pre-date the famous liner NORMANDIE .  These would be worth well over $2,000 if in full.  NOW! 49 for the two.  A fantastic buy!

poster A

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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.  132 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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