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1.74 HISTORIC PAINTING. Rare, original oil on canvas rendering of the entrance to San Diego Bay in the late 1800’s by listed artist H. Slade as signed lower right, “A. H. Slade 1894.” This handsome composition was painted from real life on the easel of the artist at the shore of the Silver Strand, Coronado near the famous Hotel Del Coronado. It depicts the busy channel traffic into and out of San Diego Bay. The vessels are both steam and sail, indicative of craft during that unique, brief transitional time in maritime history. The artist has effectively captured the serenity of the rolling waves curling onto the sands with the ubiquitous yellow kelp washed up on the beach – a sight confirmed by any San Diegan beachgoer to this day! Charmingly, the landmark Point Loma Lighthouse (sometime referred to then as the “Old Spanish Light”) California’s first lighthouse, erected in 1855, is depicted atop the distinctive Point Loma peninsula. This painting measures 18 by 36 inches sight and is housed in a lovely period ornate gilt frame measuring 24 by 42 inches. It has been professionally cleaned and relined with minimal inpainting. It presents very well with bright colors and sharp detail. Included is a later engraved brass identification plaque not attached to the frame. Price Request Special PackagingBack to Top

A.H. Slade was a listed artist who emigrated from Canada to the United States in the early 1890’s. His extant works are rare.



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2.37 IMPORTANT EARLY SAILING SHIP HALF HULL with PROVENANCE. Large and impressive builder’s half block model of the British bark identified as the “LAP WING.” This genuine dockyard model is constructed in the traditional way using 8 pine “lifts” or layers, pegged together so that the sections could be individually traced then expanded to actual size in the molding loft of the shipyard. The lovely sculpted hull with classic clipper bow and clipper stern is painted in the original colors of the actual ship: with a gold (copper sheathed) hull and black bulwark accentuated by a raised gold line at the boot topping. A rarely-found plus in such examples is the beautifully-carved and gilded griffin figurehead and the fact that the vessel is identified on its quarterboard. What’s more, adding to its authenticity, is the fact that there is a notch in the focs’le to accommodate the cat head. This genuine builder’s half hull measures 48 inches long from stem to stern and 52 ¼ inches long inclusive of the bow sprit. It is 9 inches high. The ship is mounted on its original framed wooden backboard in original paint measuring 58 ½ inches long by 11 ½ inches high. Excellent original condition with no restoration or modifications but showing good signs of age and wear. Price Request Special PackagingBack to Top

Provenance: This is an original builder's half hull model from the collection of The Port Mission of Baltimore City which was founded in 1885 "for purposes beneficial to seamen visiting the port of Baltimore City, Maryland." In an accompanying letter from W. Austin Kenly, the director of the Mission, this information was provided: “One of the nine organizing directors was George W. Corner of the firm James Corner & Sons, founded by his father in 1828. The firm owned and operated several clipper ships out of the Port of Baltimore which were employed in trade with Europe, South America, Australia, and ports of the United States. Seven ship models (of which this was the oldest example) were recently sold at auction. These had been continuously mounted on a wall in our building and it is the understanding of the current Mission directors, some of whom have been in association with the Mission dating back to the early 1930's, that the models had been on that wall before 1900. Additionally it is our understanding that they were models of some of the ships owned and operated by the shipping firm of James Corner & Sons and that they had been donated to The Mission by Mr. George W. Corner.” Included with the original copy of Mr. Kenly's letter is a copy of the original charter of The Mission (dated 1885) and various articles and clippings relating to James Corner and his son George. There is also an abstract from the 1871-1872 edition of Lloyd’s Register of Shipping showing the listing for LAPWING.

LAP WING, call letters JWNR, was an iron-hulled, 3-masted sailing bark of 728 tons built in 1870 by Ilif Shipbuilders in Sunderland, England for W.J. Hodgetts, owner. She had a length of 189 feet, a breadth of 31 feet and a displacement of 19 feet. Her Homeport was Liverpool, England. (“Record of American & Foreign Shipping,” American Shipmasters Association, New York, 1885 Edition).




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3.11 AMERICAN SEXTANT SET. Ultimately rare, perhaps one-of-a kind, cased 19th century double sextant set made by the prestigious American scientific instrument company “Keuffel and Esser, New York” as engraved on the index arms and as indicated on their respective labels. This matched set features not one but TWO sextants contained within their single dovetailed mahogany box. Each sextant is made of cast bronze with classic lattice frame design in their original factory oxidized finish. The index arms are signed “Keuffel & Esser Co., New York” and are serial numbered “6101” and 6112” respectively. The large arcs are inlaid with silver scales reading from -5 degrees through 165 degrees, effectively making them “quintants.” The scales are subdivided in 20 arc minutes, with the vernier scale allowing an accurate reading down to 30 arc seconds. To aid in the reading each vernier is equipped with a light diffuser on the index arm and a pivoting magnifier. The index arm features a knurled thumbscrew stop and the double tangent screw fine adjust feature as introduced by the French circa 1880. Both instruments are complete with their full set of 4 index filters, 3 horizon filters and index and horizon mirrors. Both have their adjustable height sight tube holders designed to accommodate one of three (total six) sighting accessories. These include a peep tube, short telescope and long telescope with cross hairs. The backs of these sextants retain their original sculpted mahogany handles and long brass “feet.” These fine instruments are housed in their original machine dove-tailed box with brass furniture, functional skeleton lock and key, folding brass handle, unusual locking box closures and inlaid “shield” escutcheon in the lid. They are absolutely complete with all attachments including spare mirrors, two screwdrivers, two adjusting wrenches and 4 telescope tube eyepiece filters. Speaking to the quality of this set, the attachment compartments are even lined in protective green felt! The lid of the box bears the faux ivory maker’s label reading “KEUFFEL & ESSER CO. NEW YORK , St. Louis. Chicago. San Francisco.” But what’s more, each of the sextants has matching serial numbered “KEUFFEL & ESSER Co.” labels proclaiming its manufactory, locations with company logo and drawing of “Factories, Hoboken, N.J.” Each sextant has a 7 ½ inch index arm and measures 9 inches wide on the arc. The box measures 16 ½ inches long, 9 ½ inches wide and 5 ½ inches thick. The entire presentation is in unbelievably fine state of preservation being in near mint, factory original condition in every respect! Circa 1900. Truly a rare find! 4900




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8.57 TUGBOAT TELEGRAPH. A very nice example of an early 1900’s American engine order telegraph. It is signed on its etched milkglass dials “”JOS. HARPER & SON CO. NEW YORK, N.Y.” It has two independently operating levers with indicating arrows which sweep over the dials marked “AHEAD” and “ASTERN” over a range of commands from “STOP” to “FULL.” This type of engine order telegraph was know as a “console” E.O.T., designed to fit in the limited space of a small wheelhouse vs. the large open bridge of an ocean-going vessel. The fact that it controlled a twin screw power plant almost certainly indicates it was used on a tugboat, which required the power and maneuverability of its twin screw design. Similar size yachts and small craft typically had only one screw. The heavy solid brass construction is a testament to the quality of its construction and its designed durability. It is 7 inches in diameter on the dials and 10 ¼ inches tall. The thick flanged base is 7 ¾ inches in diameter and it stands 17 inches tall overall. It weighs a very hefty 28 pounds! Absolutely perfect condition in all respects. A very handsome relic from the age of maritime steam. 1529  Special PackagingBack to Top

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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.  127 years old! Price Request Special PackagingBack to Top

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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