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3.84   CASED OCTANT with AMERICAN PROVENANCE.  Mid-19th century or earlier mariner's navigational octant of standard form with all the bells and whistles of instruments from that era.  This high quality navigator's tool is of English manufacture having a rigid frame of ebony with ivory inlays and brass furniture.  The large ivory arc is calibrated from -2 to 109 degrees in 20 minute increments marked by 5 degrees.  The ivory index vernier is calibrated left to right from 20 to 0 allowing for a reading down to one arc minute, or about 60 nautical miles of longitude at the equator.  The ivory scales are perfect.  There is some minor non-structural distress to one of the ebony limbs. The braced brass index arm measures 11 ¾ inches in length.  This lovely instrument is complete with all attachments, filters, mirrors, sight tube, brass "feet" and ebony handle.  It fits nicely into its original keystone mahogany box with hook and eye closure.  In the lid is the handsome label of D. EGGERT & SON, New York.  The large arc is 10 inches wide and the box measures 12 inches long by 12 inches wide and 5 inches thick.  There is some wear and tear to the box but the overall condition is very acceptable for an item of this vintage over 150 years old.  The value of this rare, identified item is over $1,000.   But our special price is 595

in box



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5.02/13.90   U.S. NAVY DECK CLOCK.  World War I era ship's clock made for the United States Navy by the prestigious Chelsea Clock Company of Boston.  The handsome brushed brass dial is flawless.  It has bold Arabic numerals and a minute chapter swept by blackened Breguet moon hands.  The dial is marked "U.S. NAVY Deck Clock No. 2" with the Naval Observatory's serial number (N) 2420.  It is also marked at the bottom "Made In U.S.A." underneath the blackened brass reflector ring.  The subsidiary seconds bit is below "12" indicating single seconds marked by 10's.  The all brass 11 jewel 8-day movement is marked "CHELSEA CLOCK CO. BOSTON. U.S.A." and is serial numbered 122XXX* dating it to July 6, 1918.  It is housed in its original classic ship's clock case of heavy solid brass with matching serial number and flared screw-on bezel.  The bezel retains its original old wavy glass held in with plaster.  5 3/8 inches in diameter by 2 ½ inches thick.  Outstanding condition in all respects.  The clock is a good timekeeper and the case is in a lovely high luster finish.  From America's dreadnaught Navy over 100 years ago!   Complete with period winding key.  849

* For the privacy and protection of the ultimate buyer this serial number is being withheld.



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10.84   MAKE JAKE.  This is the ultimate!  By far the most highly sought after hard hat diving helmet.  Offered here is an authentic World War II U.S. Navy Mark V which served during the fiercest fighting of the War in 1944!  It is a particularly handsome example in exceptional condition.  But what's more, this offering consists of a COMPLETE hard hat diving outfit known as a JAKE!  The oval brass maker's tag riveted to the  helmet's breastplate reads:

NO. 12XX*
DATE 5  5  44

The helmet is made of heavy spun copper with cast brass fittings and thick glass ports.  Complete with its 4-prong external exhaust valve with the desirable BTW logo, mounted in the banana diffuser and faced on the inside by the spring-loaded chin button.  On the diver's left, above the functional spitcock, is the mounting plate for a sacrificial zinc.  The interior retains its original tinning.  The air inlet gooseneck is complete with its functional non-return valve which is stamped with the U.S. Navy's inspector mark.  Air channels from the air intake goose neck lead to all three ports.  The phone gooseneck contains a portion of its original wiring and the original brass packing gland with its threaded octagonal cap.  Attached to it is a chain leading to the entire dumbbell lock assembly on the rear neck ring.  It is complete with all 4 original brales marked "FRONT" and "BACK" respectively, retaining their seldom-found "pinch plates" at the junction of each brale.  In addition, all 4 brales are twice numbered "133," totaling 8 marks.  All lug nuts are original and the breastplate retains the longer "bastard stud" on the diver's front left for attachment to the air control chest valve and whip.   The helmet itself weighs over 55 pounds and is in excellent, very handsome condition.  There are a few minor dents and dings in the top of the bonnet consistent with a working helmet 75 years old, as tangible evidence of its age and actual use!  Of great significance to its value and desirability is the fact that this helmet bears the U.S Navy's inspector's mark in 2 places indicating it was in Navy service during the Second World War!  If only it could talk!  BUT WAIT!  That's only the half of it!  This helmet comes complete with its original rubberized canvas diving suit (dress), air supply chest valve with hose (whip), diver's knife in sheath with leather strap, leather weight belt and lead weights, diver's boots having wood and bronze treads with canvas uppers, and a cuff stretcher.  All items are authentic, in excellent condition and period to the helmet.   The rubber of the suit is in perfect condition.   The boots were made by the same maker as the helmet.  The total weight is over 150 pounds.  The price is more than $10K.  This offering is not intended to be used as a price guide.  Sold as a complete set.  Serious inquiries only will be promptly answered.

 Price Request Special Packaging

*  For the privacy and security of the ultimate buyer the serial number is being withheld.



neck mark
non-return mark

front detail

exhaust valve

whip detail
whip maker



dress marking

boot maker

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21.41  ESPECIALLY EARLY CAPTAIN's  SPYGLASS.  Most desirable early 1700's sea captain's spyglass of 10-sided form known as a decahedral.  This ancient veteran of the sea is of English manufacture having an early form pre-achromatic objective lens and a very unusual 5 element erecting lens system.  Telling of its age the draw tube has an early type "nipple" end, and the draw pulls out without a stop.  The long main tube is carved from a single piece of rich African mahogany.  The barrel is slightly tapered.   All brass fittings are original and in very good condition.  The telescope measures 46 inches long fully extended and 37 ¾ inches closed.  The objective end is 2 inches in diameter.  Outstanding original condition in all respects, showing expected wear and use.  The period optics provide a clear, highly magnified upright image.  This telescope is at least 270 years old!  Without question a museum piece.  2400

The technology of lens making and the grinding of optical glass was in its infancy at the time this telescope was made.  Glass without occlusions was hard to make.  Accordingly lens makers reverted to small, thin glass lenses whose power could be enhanced by increasing their focal length.  The result was the characteristically long telescope barrel with very small objective lens.  But Peter Dollond's patent of the achromatic lens in 1758 changed telescope manufacturing for the ages.

ocular open

objective open
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15.21  FAMOUS RIVERBOAT PHOTOGRAPH.  Original, commercially-produced photographic representation of the famed stern wheel river boat  GEORGE C. GREENE.  It depicts a port broadside view of the grand vessel underway belching black coal smoke as it passes the river bank in the background.  Below the main image are the identified portraits of Tom R. Green, Master, and Captain Mary R. Greene.  Signed by their own hand in period ink are the signatures of Tom R. Green, and Mary B. Greene, among others.  The actual image of the steamboat measures 5 ¼ by 9 ¼ inches with the entire presentation being 8 by 9 ½ inches.  Perfect original condition, mounted under shrink wrap on a foam core backing.  The GREEN was converted to oil in 1936.  This image clearly depicts the boat prior to that conversion.  95

The stern paddle wheeler was built by the Howard Ship Yards & Dock Company at Jeffersonville, Indiana, for the Eagle Packet Company and launched in 1923.  She was christened CAPE GIRADEAU on April 24, 1924.  She had a length of 201 feet, a beam of 38 feet.  A true, traditional stern wheel riverboat, she was initially employed in the packet trade carrying passengers and freight between Louisville, Kentucky and St. Louis, Missouri, along with annual trips to New Orleans for Mardi Gras.

In 1935 she was sold to Greene Line for $50,000 and renamed GORDON C. GREENE, in honor of the founder of the company.  She operated as a tourist boat on the Ohio River between Pittsburgh and Cincinnati, while still making annual trips to New Orleans.  In 1936 her Captain, Thomas R. Greene added an extra sun deck, increasing the number of passenger cabins and converted her from coal to fuel oil.  As time and the ravages of water borne service made their mark, the boat suffered a series of mechanical breakdowns which lead to her withdrawal from service in 1951.

In 1952 she was sold again, to eventually pass through a succession of owners.  First, under the name SARA LEE, she was converted to a floating hotel at Portsmouth, Ohio.  Soon afterward she was renamed RIVER QUEEN and served as a floating restaurant in Owensboro, Kentucky.   Not long after she was fitted out as a tourist attraction in Bradenton, Florida.  In 1954 her boilers were removed.  In 1960 she was towed to New Orleans to be converted into a night club, but ended up as a restaurant on the Mississippi at Hannibal, Missouri.  In 1964 she was sold for the last time to owners in St. Louis as a bar and restaurant.  There, on the morning of December 3, 1967, RIVER QUEEN met her ignominious demise, sinking at the pier.

This notable steamship appeared in several famous feature length films including, "Steamboat Round the Bend" (1935), "Gone with the Wind" (1939) and "The Kentuckian" (1955).

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17.25 OCEAN LINER TEAPOT.  Original teapot used in the service of the P & O Lines in the liner heyday of the 1950's.  This pristine example is hard fired porcelain complete with vented top which has a lip to prevent the top from slipping while pouring.  The bottom is marked "P & O Ashworth Bros., England" inside a floral wreath with two hand-painted red marks.  It is also impressed with the number "30" on the lower rim.  7 ¼ inches across including the spout and handle.  4 5/8 inches in diameter overall.  Perfect original condition.  59



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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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