West Sea Company


All items substantially marked down.  Some items over 80% OFF!
~Happy Holidays from West Sea Company~

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

1.23  OIL PAINTING ON GLASS.   J. Bell, English, late 19th century, oil on milkglass commemorative painting of the early steamer identified as “S.S. New England, Liverpool” in fancy lettering on the encircling life ring.  This genuine ship’s portrait is very detailed and colorfully presented, “framed” within a classic old life ring, adorned with garlands and a ship’s mast with the vessel’s house flag.  The portrait depicts the vessel flying the American flag from the foremast and the British ensign at the stern.  The painting itself measures 9 ½ by 11 ½ inches sight.  It is housed in its original carved walnut frame with gilt liner under old wavy glass secured with square nails.  The frame measures 14 ¼ inches wide by 15 ¼ inches high.  Outstanding original condition in all respects!  A delightful presentation. 1395  NOW! 995


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1.18 FAMOUS AMERICAN SILKWORK. Thomas Willis, American (worked 1875-1910), silk embroidery and oil on canvas. This classic Willis silkwork depicts the famous New York Yacht Club steam yacht MIRAGE. The sleek and powerful yacht is seen from the port side underway with the New York Yacht club burgee flying from the jackstaff, the owner's burgee of New York tycoon Cornelius Vanderbilt flying from the mast and the American yachting ensign aft. Adding to its fame, the MIRAGE was built by Nathaniel Herreschoff, recognized as the greatest yacht builder in American history! With his typically amazing detail in this delicate medium, Willis shows the helmsman at the wheel with a skylight binnacle leading the way. Two uniformed sailors are on deck and the yacht's captain sits just forward of the mast. The owner (Vanderbilt himself) and another are shown lounging in deck chairs under the canopy aft with a steward in attendance. The vessel name "MIRAGE" is finely embroidered as a nameboard just under the funnel. Many other minute details are present such as the capstan forward, deck fittings, curtained windows, whistle, lifelines, lifeboat and lifering. Signed lower right, "T. Willis." This painting measures 18 by 31 inches sight and is housed in its original ornate gilt frame with gold liner under old wavy glass measuring 25 by 39 inches overall. The frame is exquisite. The oil on canvas painting bears expected age cracilature and there are a few professionally applied reinforcements on the back of the canvas. The silkwork embroidery is in perfect condition with bright colors, no losses and no loose threads. Willis' meticulous stitchery is fully visible on the back. Overall condition can certainly be rated as excellent. Circa 1900. 10,000  NOW! 4795

Undoubtedly this mixed media ship's portrait was personally commissioned of Willis by Mr. Vanderbilt. Cornelius Vanderbilt III (September 5, 1873 - March 1, 1942) was born into the wealthy and powerful Vanderbilt family, the namesake having amassed a fortune expanding American railroads Westward after the Civil War. Called "Neily" by his friends, the younger Vanderbilt did not rest on his grandfather's laurels however. He was a businessman, inventor, engineer, decorated military officer and yachtsman. Yachting was one of Neily Vanderbilt's favorite pastimes which provided him an escape from a busy life that included a seat on the board of directors of several major American corporations. In 1910, he piloted his yacht to victory in the New York Yacht Club's race for the "King Edward VII Cup."

Thomas H. Willis was born in Connecticut in 1850. By 1875 he had perfected a technique of depicting ships using silk thread embroidery. He moved to New York where he found a greater market for his works. He was a contemporary of famous marine artist Antonio Jacobsen and there is evidence that the two artists actually collaborated on some of their ships portraits. Willis' work is publicly displayed in a number of institutions including the Mariner's Museum, Newport News, Virginia, Mystic Seaport Museum, Connecticut and the Peabody Museum of Salem, Massachusetts. Many of his works were signed with the monogram of a conjoined T and W. This painting bears his full signature.

The fast steam yacht MIRAGE was a wooden hull vessel of 75 feet in length displacing 30 gross tons. She was built and launched by Nathaniel G. Herreschoff in his Bristol, Rhode Island yard in 1900. Later in her life the yacht was retrofitted with with gas engines. MIRAGE was still in service as late as 1925 under different ownership. (Lloyd's Register of American Yachts, 1925).



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2.96  MUSEUM MODEL & PHOTO.  Genuine hand-made model of an early 20th century San Francisco Bay ferryboat operated by the Western Pacific Railroad, as identified on the bottom with pencil markings. This wonderfully detailed waterline model is constructed entirely of wood with hand-cut brass and metal fittings. It comes from the prestigious collection of the DeYoung Museum of San Francisco, California which was recently sold by that institution to generate funds for expansion and improvements of their facility. The model itself measures 4 1/2 inches long by 1 1/2 inches wide. With that, it exhibits superb detailing for a model of its size and type.  It is signed on the bottom in pencil, "Wes. Pac. RR Co. Ferry, San Francisco." Excellent condition with all original old painted surfaces.  Accompanying this offering is a rare period photograph of the actual vessel circa 1915, mounted on its original card which measures 8 by 10 inches and is in perfect original condition.  A great early San Francisco Bay offering!   495 NOW!  195

This exquisite little model is identifiable as the Western Pacific's premier ferryboat EDWARD T. JEFFERY built by Moore & Scott Iron Works, Oakland, California in 1913. She had a steel hull which displaced 1578 tons, with a length of 218 feet, breadth of 42 feet and a 16 foot draft.  The JEFFERY was a very well known ferry, highly esteemed by Bay residents at that time.  Later in her career, about 1930, she was renamed FEATHER RIVER. In 1933 she was again renamed SIERRA NEVADA when ownership was transferred to the Southern Pacific Railroad.  The identity of the modeler who constructed this fine ship model is unknown, but obviously he was in every sense a skilled professional !



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2.08 FAMOUS SHIP MODEL with MUSEUM PROVENANCE. Period, hand-made model of the World War II troop ship USS HERMITAGE. This sailor-made model exhibits excellent craftsmanship and very fine detail, with all aspects of the ship's construction meticulously executed, even down to the coxswain's rails and planking on the ship's boats! The large, solid hull wooden model measures 41 inches long by 5 1/4 inches wide at the widest on the bridge wings. It is mounted atop its original solid cherrywood base measuring 43 inches long by 5 1/2 inches wide and 1 inch thick. Outstanding original condition for a model of this size, construction and vintage! 2495  NOW!  995

A well-known Museum has commissioned us to sell this model because it is not in keeping with the purpose of its collection. The Museum has asked us to provide anonymity during this offering. However full Museum provenance will be provided to the successful buyer so that its valuable history will be retained with the model.

The grand passenger ship S.S. CONTE BIANCOMANO was launched in 1925 by William Beardmore & Co. Ltd. of Glasgow, Scotland, sailing as a luxury liner for Lloyd Triestino So. Anon. di Nav. Italia. When Italy declared war on the United States shortly after America's entry into the War with Japan in December 1941, CONTE BIANCOMANO was interned at Balboa, Canal Zone, sailed to the U.S. and converted to a troop transport by Cramp Shipbuilding of Philadelphia. She was commissioned as the USS HERMITAGE on August 14, 1942.
On November 2, 1942 HERMITAGE embarked 5,600 army troops and sailors and departed New York for the Mediterranean. Six days later the North African invasion began, and HERMITAGE debarked her passengers at Casablanca to participate in the famous campaign known as Operation Torch. Returning to Norfolk, Virginia on December 11th, HERMITAGE next steamed for the Pacific with nearly 6,000 passengers embarked. After embarking and debarking passengers at Balboa, Noumea, Brisbane, Sydney Pago Pago, and Honolulu the former luxury liner put into San Francisco on March 2nd, 1943.

HERMITAGE next made way for Wellington, New Zealand on March 27, 1943, calling at Melbourne, Australia and Bombay India. In Bombay she embarked some 707 Polish refugees, including nearly one hundred children, for a voyage back to California which ended on June 25th. In the following year HERMITAGE made three similar cruises in the South Pacific, with battle-bound troops, civilians, and refugees.

HERMITAGE departed New York on June 16, 1944 with over 6,000 troops headed for the D-Day invasion of Europe, which had just begun at Normandy. From then on, until the end of the war, she made 10 more voyages to Le Havre and other ports, bringing additional troops to the European theater and returning the wounded back to the States along with P.O.W.'s.

V-E Day, May 8, 1945, found HERMITAGE in the midst of a celebration in Le Havre Harbor, France. With the War over, she was pressed into service returning veterans home from the European theater through December 1945. Departing New York 12 December, the well-traveled transport sailed to Nagoya, Japan to embark 6,000 veterans to Seattle, arriving February 4, 1946. Assigned to the San Francisco-Marianas run for Operation Magic Carpet, she made three more voyages before being decommissioned in San Francisco on August 20, 1946.

While serving with the Navy, HERMITAGE sailed over 230,000 miles, transporting 129,695 passengers, including American, British, Australian, French and Dutch fighting men. She also carried Chinese, American, Polish, and British civilians, not to mention German and Italian prisoners. HERMITAGE was returned to the Italian Government in May 1947 and renamed SS CONTE BIANCAMANO once more. Fittingly, the sunset of her career saw her continuing in her originally designed role as a passenger liner until she was ultimately scrapped in 1969.



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2.47 EARLY U.S. NAVY DESTROYER MODEL.  Period, scratch-built model depicting the World War I era model of the famous 4-Piper destroyer USS BORIE (DD-215).  This hand-made model was meticulously constructed of wood and brass in a charming folk art way using very professional techniques.  Details, while not necessarily to scale, are very faithful to the original.  All manner of deck fittings, lockers, funnels, escape trunks with covers, scuttles, hatches, 6 inch guns, machine gun aft, chocks, bitts, twin kedge anchors, anchor fall, doors, skylight, wireless antennas, halyards, torpedo tubes, depth charges, capstan, ship’s bell, steam whistles, siren, searchlights, running lights, range finder, crow’s nest, binnacles, portholes, 3 sets of davits containing the Captain’s gig, motor launch and whaleboat, swinging boat boom, standing rigging, Union Jack, Ensign, lifelines, life rafts, ladders, accommodation ladder, bilge keels, twin propellers and rudder are all depicted among other details.  This well-built model measures 39 inches long by 3 3/4 inches wide at the widest and stands 15 1/4 inches tall at the foremast inclusive of the original stand.  The mahogany stand is noteworthy in that it is beautifully fitted to the ship’s hull in a graceful manner.  The footprint of the stand is 3 1/4 by 23 inches.  Without a doubt, this model was constructed contemporaneously with the actual ship by a sailor intimately familiar with its details.  It exhibits great age and weathering, even a variegated patina much like that of an actual ship at sea!  Excellent original condition.  Some of the more fragile lines of this model have been reinforced by a professional museum-certified model restorer.  In fact this model was recently deasseccioned by the San Diego Maritime Museum, as identified by the museum acquisition markings painted on the forward left portion of the stand.  An ex-museum bargain which should be at least double this price! 3795 NOW!  1495

The USS BORIE (DD-215) was launched by the William Cramp & Sons Shipyard, Philadelphia on October 4, 1919 and commissioned on March 24, 1920 with a compliment of 122 men.  She had a length of 314’ 4”, breadth of 31’ 9”, a draft of 9’ 10” and displaced 1,215 tons.  Top speed 35 knots.

BORIE first saw service in the Black Sea.  After a year she was transferred to the Asiatic Fleet where she spent the next 4 years.  From 1927- 1929 BORIE saw service in the Atlantic cruising the Caribbean and Europe.  In 1929 she again transferred to the Asiatic Fleet for a 3 year tour.  Returning to CONUS in 1932 BORIE joined the Pacific Fleet, stationed in San Diego.  At the outbreak of World War II BORIE was assigned to patrol Panama Bay and the Caribbean.

In late July 1943 BORIE joined USS CARD (CVE-11) as part of a hunter-killer group against German submarines in the Atlantic.  On November 1, 1943, while conducting the last of 4 patrols, BORIE rammed and sank German submarine U-405.  In doing so, the collision killed 27 BORIE crewmen and rendered the ship too badly damaged to maneuver.  BORIE was intentionally sunk by her sister ship USS BARRY (DD-248) on November 2nd.
BORIE received 3 Battle Stars for her World War II service and the Presidential Unit Citation for her participation in the CARD operations.

A second destroyer was named in her honor and commissioned on September 21, 1944.






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3.10  WORLD WAR II CLINOMETER.   Scarce “ball type” inclinometer of the type that was found on the aft bulkhead of a wheel house of a World War II U.S. Maritime Commission merchant such as a Liberty or Victory ship.  This precise navigational instrument is calibrated in single degrees of heel up to 70, port and starboard, marked by 10’s.  The black Bakelite backing is marked:


It consists of a curved glass tube filled with liquid in which a small black ball is free to act as a plum bob as the ship literally rolls around it.  The liquid damps the movement of the ball so that it remains accurate at all times.  12 3/8 inches wide by 6 ¼ inches high.  The mechanism functions perfectly and is in an outstanding state of preservation.  SOLD




4.58  WHALE STAMP.  Genuine 19th century whale stamp of very sturdy construction.  It depicts a spouting baleen right whale, the favorite quarry of the whalemen.   But this is not a whaling log stamp as used aboard the whaleships.  It is more sophisticated.  Much more likely it was used by the shipping companies or agents in reporting accounts of their respective whaling ships’ successes.  This very well-made whale stamp is beautifully carved of zinc, laminated to a wooden center and sandwiched to a brass backing held with screws.   A prominent solid brass knob assures a faithful ink impression.  1 ¼ by 2 ½ inches and 1 7/8 inches high.  A unique, professionally-made whale stamp.  195  NOW!  95


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5.37 EARLY U.S. NAVY STERO CARDS. An amazing collection of turn-of-the-last-century photographic stereo viewer cards depicting a wide array of scenes pertaining to the U.S Navy. Such cards were immensely popular in the late 1800’s prior to motion pictures. Cutting edge for their time, they gave the viewer a sense of reality by producing a 3-D effect. These original cards are all hard mounted on standard 3 ½ by 7 1/8 stiff cardboard backing. Most are original albumen or silverplate photographs affixed to the card. At least 3 are images enhanced by hand-coloring. Topics include “Cruiser Brooklyn Loading Ammunition, A Pair of 13-Inch Guns, A gunner on Ohio, After Turrets of the Kentucky, Manning the Guns, Launching a Battleship, the Dynamite Cruiser Vesuvius, 13 Inch Guns and Huge Anchor Chain Forward Deck of the Battleship Connecticut,” etc. All of the cards are in remarkably well preserved, original condition. This is a great opportunity to acquire such a rare collection with a most desirable theme, dating from the Spanish-American War, at a nominal price. A total of 20 cards. 349  NOW!  199


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6.39 NAVAL CANNONS.  Matched pair of decorative 19th century ship's naval guns on their carriages. These two authentic looking cannons have barrels of heavy cast iron  mounted on equally heavy solid oak carriages with hand forged fittings. Each weighs a hefty 70 pounds. These cannons were not designed to fire, but likely were used as display pieces or trade signs. Each of the cannons is 27 1/2 inches long overall, with their barrels measuring 24 inches long and bores of 1 1/4 inches.  Excellent original condition with the appearance of genuine 18th century ship’s guns.  3,295  NOW!  1795


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8.24  PILOT HOUSE PLAQUE.  Unusual relic from the helm of an early merchant ship in the form of a solid brass plaque.  This ship’s bridge sign made of a heavy solid brass plate is engraved “<- LEFT – RUDDER – RIGHT -> / FOR STEERING FROM / PILOT HOUSE TOP / PUT RUDDER AMIDSHIPS / ENGAGE CLUTCH”.  It measures 19 ¼ inches long by 7 ¾ inches high and is 1/8th inch thick.  The incised lettering retains its original old red paint.  Excellent original condition, as taken from the ship, exhibiting good age from years at sea.  379  NOW!  149


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9.53 AMERICAN THEODOLITE.   Early 1900’s surveyor’s theodolite by the most respected American scientific manufacturers, Keuffel & Esser Co. New York, 28908” as engraved on the silvered brass dial.  This complex precision instrument is all brass in its original black oxidized finish.  It consists of the central magnetic compass with fine steel needle and agate pivot on a silvered brass compass card showing the cardinal points of the compass divided into 90 degree quadrants marked in single degrees.  The card is encompassed by a second covered scale in a horizontal plane reading from 0-360 clockwise in single degrees and 0-360 counterclockwise by 10’s.  It is overlaid by a vernier which allows a reading down to a single arc minute.  It is operated by a knurled thumbscrew stop with a second tangent fine adjust knob.  In the vertical plane (altitude) a third circle, calibrated in single degrees in 4 quadrants, is attached to the telescope.  A second vernier on the support strut provides that reading to an accuracy of 10 arc minutes.  The rack and pinion focusing telescope with perfect optics is also mounted with two thumbscrews for coarse and fine adjustment of the reading.  The plane of the compass is provided with two functional bubble levels.  Plus the telescope has a third, long level.  To these ends the entire apparatus is mounted on a heavy brass base with 4 knurled leveling screws.  The base is threaded to fit atop a tripod for use in the field, but also comes with its threaded aluminum platform for use on a plane table.  This instrument is complete with its original machine-dovetailed mahogany case.  The instrument stands 10 inches tall and the telescope is 8 inches long fully closed.  The aluminum base measures exactly 6 by 9 inches.  The box is 12 inches tall by 10 inches wide and 7 inches deep.  Condition of the instrument is excellent.  Fully functional and accurate in all respects.  The box is sound but shows wear.  A handsome early American instrument over 100 years old.  595  NOW!  295

The famous scientific instrument-making firm of Keuffel & Esser, respectfully known as “K & E,” was founded in July 1867 by Wilhelm J.D. Keuffel and Herman Esser, both German émigrés.  They began manufacturing surveying instruments in 1885 and incorporated their company in 1889.  
“A Keuffel & Esser Co., New York Railroad transit, serial number 29034, is in the Gurley Museum, manufactured about 1914.”  (Charles E. Smart, “The Makers of Surveying Instruments In America Since 1700,” 1962, Regal Art Press, Troy, New York).  A very similar instrument, captioned “1915 Model Gurley Theodolite,” is pictured on page (ix).




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10.39  DIVING NOTES.  Original   “U.S. Naval School, Deep Sea Divers,” Revised October 1952, U.S. Naval Gun Factory, Washington, D.C.  Soft cover, 382 pages with removable binding.  This comprehensive publication deals with every aspect of deep sea diving from physiology to equipment and techniques.  Some of the topics include:  “Accidents, Air Supply, Decompression, Diver Dress, Explosives, Gauges, Physics, Qualifications Rescue Chamber, Salvage, Seamanship, Self-Contained Apparatus Submarine Rescue & Salvage, Diving Tenders, Welding” and a host of others.  Very well illustrated, particular with line drawings and detailed diagrams.  This was the primer for all candidates aspiring to be U.S. Navy divers.  Large format, 8 by 10 ½ inches and 1 inch thick.  One small loss to back cover (repaired), otherwise excellent original condition throughout.   Rare!  250  NOW!  125



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11.40  SHIP IN BOTTLE.  Delicate turn-of-the-last-century sailor-made bottle model of a 3-masted bark plying a putty sea and flying the American flag.  The one-piece carved wooden hull is identified on its quarterboard as the “OCEAN WAVE.”  The masts and spars are pleasingly to scale and the complete standing rigging is taut.  Lines attached to the hull are done in the traditional way, being rove through the wood!  The ship is contained in its clear quart whiskey bottle with bubbles and occlusions in the glass.  What is unusually desirable is the fact it retains its original glass and cork stopper!  The presentation is complemented by its original old carved teakwood stand.  11 ½ inches long.  SOLD

ocean wave



13.50  CARVED WALL COMPENDIUM.  Very handsome 4th quarter of the 19th century English clock and weather station contained within an ornately-carved hardwood wall mount case.  This decorative high quality instrument has three indicators.  At the top is an 8 day clock equipped with an all brass jeweled movement with a scarce cylinder escapement.  It is set in a brass bezel with beveled glass crystal.  The wind and set function are made from the back with the original double-ended brass key.  The middle instrument consists of a lovely mercury thermometer with large bulb reading from 20 to 152 degrees Fahrenheit.  The silvered brass scale is marked with the traditional indicators, “FREEZING, TEMPERATE, SUMr HEAT, and BLOOD HEAT” and is mounted within a shaped wooden frame covered by glass.  The bottom is graced by a high quality aneroid barometer having a white dial with an especially large range -- reading from 26.7 to 32.3 inches of mercury in 2/100ths increments.  It too is marked with the traditional weather indicators “STORMY, RAIN, CHANGE, FAIR and VERY DRY.”  It is also marked with the weather trends such as “FALL for S.Wly. S.E. S.W.” and “RISE for N.E.ly. N.W. N.E.” etc.   A fine steel indicator needle points the reading and a second brass set needle attached to a knurled knob indicates change from the previous reading.   The set needle is rove through the beveled glass crystal housed in its brass bezel.   21 ¼ inches tall by 7 ¾ inches wide at the widest and 2 ¾ inches thick.  The entire presentation is in an excellent state of original preservation.  All three functions work properly and accurately.  The clock is a good timekeeper. 1495  NOW  749



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Description: http://westsea.com/tsg3/itemlocker/14pixlocker/14-26t.JPG

14.26 DECORATED CHINA TRADE TRUNK. Outstanding 19th century Chinese export trunk with finest construction and decoration. This large lovely trunk, measuring 40 inches long, 21 inches wide and 18 1/2 inches high, is crafted of solid aromatic camphor wood using hand dove-tailed construction. It is overlaid by pigskin and then fully brass-bound and tacked for strength, durability and beauty. The lidded chest has three substantial brass hinges and a folding brass "stay" to hold it once open. Inside the reinforced lid is the entire original maker's label reading "MADE IN CANTON CHINA. KWANG-TUNG. YUT WO" The front of the chest is equipped with a brass pull ring for opening and the original functional lock with skeleton key! Both ends of the chest retain their heavy cast brass carrying handles. This colorful chest is beautifully decorated with hand-painted Oriental vignettes depicting exotic birds and floral designs set on a red background -- red being the most collectible color of this genre of chests. The top leather covering is in tact although somewhat buckled with age. The wooden structure is solid and perfectly sound. Overall this chest is in beautifully preserved condition, evidencing wear and age consistent with a 150 year steamer trunk that has been used but not abused. 3950  NOW! 1850 Special Packaging

Provenance: This China trade trunk came from the Farrell estate of Oakland, California. It was acquired by Mr. Farrell, a mining engineer, in Canton while on assignment in China in 1889. This same trunk accompanied the Farrell family while on tour in Europe in 1901.

This trunk is accompanied by a newspaper clipping reporting the sale of a similar trunk at auction in 2003. The trunk sold was smaller, not as decorative, minus its lock and key, and did not carry provenance.

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15.23 SAILING SHIP CREW PHOTO.  Original late 19th C. silver plate photograph depicting the entire crew assembled on deck in front of a massive square-rigged mast.  Judging by the large number of crewmen and their uniforms this was a military ship.  The officers are seated with the distinguished Captain front and center.  Flanking him are his officers and a civilian in a white suit, perhaps a dignitary posing for the occasion.  At least 2 women can be seen posing in the  photo.  Behind are approximately 100 sailors in the flat hats perched on stanchions, davits, one of the ship’s lifeboats and ventilators.  All manner of blocks, tackle and lines surround the scene.  One sailor can be seen holding a life ring with the visible letters “INC” perhaps preceded by a “K.”   This is undoubtedly the ship’s name which is also visible but indistinct on several of the sailors’ hat ribbons.  This large antique image measures 8 by 11 inches sight and is contained under glass in its original decorative oblong mat bearing the photographer’s signature “Nolken & Petersen, AARHUS.”  It is surrounded by a fancy gilt liner housed in its original oak frame measuring 18 by 21 inches.  Excellent overall condition noting some minor losses to the gilded liner.  The photograph itself is perfect. 195  NOW! 79 Special Packaging

 Aarhus is a principle port city in the country of Denmark and the second largest city in that country.  With research the ship could be one of a few square-rigged man-o-wars in the Danish  Navy  at the turn of the last century, and judging by its size, one of the most important.

A quick search on the Internet indicates there exists a small black and white photograph of the “Glassmakers Choral Society, Arhus” taken in 1906.  Measuring only 2 by 5 inches, it is attributed to “Hans Nolken Petersen.”


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16.94  BLACK FOREST CARVING.   Delightfully decorative, yet functional, wall carving consisting of a 19th century English aneroid barometer housed in an elaborate deep-carved wooden frame.  The brass-cased aneroid barometer is of standard form with a silvered brass dial reading in inches of barometric pressure from 26 to 31 calibrated in 2/100th increments.  At the bottom it is marked “ENGLISH MAKE.” It features a fine blued steel indicator needle overridden by a brass set needle attached to a knurled brass knob through the beveled glass crystal.  The incredible richly carved hardwood surround features two squirrels with rabbit-like ears flanking the barometer.  Both squirrels hold acorns and are perched on branches with abundantly-carved oak leaves in high relief.  Surrounding the barometer is a carved French horn with trumpet bell supporting a realistically-carved leather saddle bag!  This expertly-carved presentation stands 19 inches tall by 14 ½ inches wide.  Amazingly, it is in virtually perfect original condition, and the barometer is functional and accurate.  A most charming wall display at a very reasonable price!  895  NOW!  495   Special Packaging



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17.19  FAMOUS LINER STATEROOM MIRROR.  Original passenger stateroom mirror retrieved from the “A Deck” of the British liner S.S. NEVASA.    This handsome liner relic consists of a heavy beveled glass mirror with arched top set in a solid mahogany frame.  The back is neatly covered with pine, inset with three solid brass hanging brackets, one on the top and two on the bottom.  It measures 21 inches tall overall by 12 ¼ inches wide.  Excellent original condition showing expected signs of exposure to sea air.  Unusually heavy for its size.  495  NOW!  195 Special Packaging

SS NEVASA, also known as HMT NEVASA, was a British troopship built on the River Clyde by Barclay Curle & Company in 1955 and launched on November 30, 1955. The ship was the first troopship built since the end of the Second World War, and at 609.3 feet in length, with a breadth of 78.3 feet, a draft of 26.7 feet, displacing 20,527 tons, was the largest troopship up to that time built in the United Kingdom.

The NEVASA could accommodate 500 officers and their families and 1,000 NCOs and men on the troop deck. The ship transported many regiments to the Middle East and Far East including the 1st Green Jackets (43rd and 52nd) who left Southampton on 7 April 1962 and arrived at Penang  on 28 April 1962 via Port Said, including a stop in Malta.  The end of National Service requirements led to the Britain's decision in 1962 to reduce the use of ships for transporting troops and increase the use of aircraft. As a result NEVASA was withdrawn from service.

The ship was laid up in the River Fal from October 1962 to 1965 when it became an educational cruise ship. The Oil Crisis of 1973/74 led to the ship's final cruise in December 1974.

The SS NEVASA's final journey was from Malta to Kaohsiung, Taiwan where she was scrapped in June 1975.  We were stationed in Kaohsiung at the time and were fortunate enough to go on board the NEVASA prior to her being broken up.  At that time, we personally removed this mirror, amongst other items, from one of the ship’s staterooms on “A Deck.”


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18.73  SHIP’s SALON LAMP.  Quality, hand-made ship’s interior hanging cabin lantern of English manufacture.  This very sturdy all brass lamp features a double wick burner with the wick advance knobs stamped “DUPLEX MADE IN ENGLAND.”  Of special note is the added complexity of a built-in mechanical snuffer actuated by a ‘coma’-shaped lever.  The large font is decoratively embossed with a scalloped design.  The burner is augmented by its original crystal glass chimney marked “”ANCHOR” BRAND Heat Resistant FIRE PROOF Foreign” with a fouled anchor emblem.  The assembly fits nicely into its decorative tubular support with added ornate elements and smoke bell above.  The lamp is suspended by means of a large brass ring at the top.  The crowning glory of this handsome oil lamp is its classic cased green shade with pie crust rim.  It fits within a brass ring supported by floral brackets.  21 ¼ inches high overall and 15 inches wide at the broadest.  The glass shade measures 8 ½ inches in diameter.  Excellent condition throughout.  The brass has acquired a rich age patina with a hint of verdigris from years at sea.  The cotton wicks are new replacements.  Both of the glass components are perfect.  Ready to hang!  995  NOW!  495  Special PackagingBack to Top


font & Burner

with burner

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20.67  MATADOR’s CANE.  Genuine carved folk art cane for a Mexican bullfighter! This early 1900’s walking stick has a sculpted handle carved from the horn of a bull!  The meticulously incised polychrome wooden shaft is finely decorated with carved and painted vignettes of Mexican iconography.  The first is the emblem of the eagle and snake, then a turtle.  Next are spiral decorations followed by a matador fighting a bull.  Below are more decorative vignettes followed by yet another bull fighting scene ending in more decorative floral embellishments.  The tip of this cane is original, in its mottled painted surface.  32 ½ inches long by 4 ½ inches wide at the horn handle.  This rare cane is in outstanding original condition in all respects.   895  NOW!  395



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21.12  ANCIENT MARINER’s SPYGLASS.  Very early “decahedral” (10-sided) long glass of English origin with the objective dust slide hand-engraved in old fashioned flourishing script “Dollond London.”  This remaining relic from the early days of sail has a long wooden barrel carved from a single piece of mahogany in the 10-sided form.  The objective and ocular ends both contain their original, functional dust slides.  Indicative of its early origins the objective lens is pre-achromatic, meaning it is a simple single lens which predates Dollond’s introduction of the achromatic lens in 1758.  Also telling of its great age are two other significant features.  It has a “5” element erecting system instead of the typical 4 found in telescopes from the 1750 onward.  In addition, the lenses are simply loose and screwed into their retainers with a threaded ring.  Later telescope makers rolled their lenses into a brass seat to firmly secure them.  This is a significant observation in dating such early instruments.   Another is the draw tube wtih  early form “nipple” eye piece which pulls out of the end of the main barrel with no stop – a feature added to most telescopes around 1775!  Adding to its value and appeal this telescope was decoratively wrapped in ‘small stuff’ (using sailor terms) in a seamanlike manner and then tarred.  Cleverly, the sailor left a hand hold on the wood in the proper position for supporting the telescope when viewing.  This is the first time we have encountered such work, clearly indicating its shipboard use!  All lenses are original and in perfect condition, providing a good highly magnified upright image with the expected color distortion on the periphery of the field – the phenomenon Dollond later addressed with his patent.  This telescope has a very slight reverse taper – again another sign of early manufacture.  Its barrel measures 1 5/8 inches in diameter on the objective end and 1 3/4 inches on the ocular.  It is 25 3/8 inches long closed and telescopes to 32 inches measured at infinity.  Overall condition is excellent, untouched, original, just like a museum would want to have it!  And a museum piece it is -- well over 260 years old.  1449  NOW!  995

Peter Dollond (1731-1821) was the son of John Dollond, a Huguenot silk weaver in Kensington, England.   Peter apprenticed to his father in the trade, but his father's amateur interest in optics inspired him so much that in 1750 he opened an optical shop in London.  Two years later his father joined him in the venture.   With his father, and subsequently with his younger brother and nephew, Dollond designed and manufactured a number of innovative optical and scientific instruments.  John Dollond received a patent for his achromatic telescope lens in 1758.   In 1763, his son Peter, received a second Royal patent for what was described as an “apochromat.”  The telescope offered here, greatly precedes these innovations.

Dollond telescopes were among the most popular in England and abroad for more than 150 years.  Lord Admiral Nelson carried one.  Another sailed with Captain Cook to observe the Transit of Venus in 1769.  Dollond's more notable customers included composer Leopold Mozart, Frederick the Great and Thomas Jefferson.

After successfully defending a legal challenge of his patent, Dollond's business flourished.   His reputation and the fact that his father was a member of the Royal Society, afforded them access to the best raw materials available at the time for their manufacture.  This privilege permitted Dollond to maintain an edge in quality over his competitor's optical instruments for many years, even after his patent rights had expired.



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22.02   EARLY WALL BAROMETER.   Elegant furniture-grade English wall barometer with the silvered brass dial signed “Lione Somalvico & Co., 125 HOLBN HILL LONDON” in beautifully hand-engraved script.  In a rare departure from typical instruments of the period, the dial is Beautifully-engraved engraved with images of a squirrel and an owl perched on a branch.  Also known as a “banjo barometer” or "wheel barometer," this type of domestic weather instrument was popular from the late 1600’s into the 19th century, reaching the zenith of demand at about the time this example was produced.  As such, competition amongst manufacturers was fierce and each strived to outdo the other.  This is a wonderful result of that competition.  The circular 8 inch dial is hand-engraved with a scale indicating atmospheric pressure in inches of mercury from 28 to 31, calibrated by 5/100th  increments.  Of added charm and appeal are images of the bird and squirrel adjacent to the center arbor.  The barometric reading is indicated by its fancy, delicately pierced blued steel needle.   It is overlaid by an equally ornate brass set needle which is rove through the glass to a knurled knob.  The glass is contained in its heavy brass bezel measuring 9 ¼ inches in diameter.  Above the dial is the very large mercury Fahrenheit thermometer calibrated in 2 degree increments from -10 to 120 marked by 10’s.  It also bears the traditional temperature indications:  “Freezing, Temperate, Sumr Heat and Blood Heat.”  At its heart this barometer has a glass “J tube” mercury column with glass weights and brass pulley system -- totally functional and accurate.  The beautifully-veneered mahogany case has exquisite marquetry inlays of varietal woods in the form of floral rosettes and sea shells.  Also there is very fine string inlay of holly wood along the entire perimeter of the body.   At the top is the “broken arch” pediment and brass urn finial in excellent condition.  It measures 40 ¼ inches tall by 10 inches wide.  There are a couple of very minor chips in the edge of the case near the top of the thermometer.  These are insignificant and are mentioned here only in the interest of full condition disclosure.  The fact is, this handsome barometer is surely one of the best we have had the pleasure to offer in our 35+ years.  A working, completely original barometer of the highest order,  over 185 years old!  Was 2995  NOW! 1995 Special Packaging

From the estate of a prominent civil engineer and collector of high end barometers in Southern California.

Edwin Banfield, “Barometer Makers And Retailers 1660-1900,” 1991, Baros Books, Wiltshire, England lists “Lione Somalvico & Co. as having worked at 125 Holborn Hill, London from 1810-1830.  (p. 202)

Due to its containing mercury, this item requires special shipping.  It is not transportable via regular commercial carrier.




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