West Sea Company

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2.60/5.86 IMPRESSIVE MODEL. Genuine World War II recognition model made for the U.S. Navy by the "South Salem Studios, So. Salem, N. Y." as stenciled on the bottom. This unusually large identification model is marked "ESSEX Class (U.S. CV)" on the bottom. The beautifully-detailed representation is solid wood with cast metal fittings. It depicts the classic World War II flat top with at least 49 guns on deck along with its faithfully-produced superstructure. It is of exceptional size for these types of models measuring 21 inches long and 3 1/8 inches wide! Outstanding original condition with no flaws. The bottom also bears a museum acquisition number. Ex. The San Diego Maritime Museum. A truly historic, real time model. 395

The USS ESSEX (CV-9), innovative for its time, was an answer to the fast evolving Naval warfare strategies of World War II. With only the USS YORKTOWN and USS ENTERPRISE available to fight the war in the Pacific, the new ESSEX class was the spark needed for America's victory.

In the years before the evolution of radar and other electronic means of identifying friend or foe, the U.S. Navy concentrated on the albeit primitive method of visual recognition, training pilots, lookouts and gunners to identify World War II ship profiles as enemy or friendly through the use of training devises such as this. The policy created a cottage industry which produced exacting ship models for that purpose. Whether or not such a policy was really ever effective is speculative, since literally thousands of hull types were involved in the World War II fray.




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8.76 COMMEMORATIVE TRAY. Small, very early 1900's souvenir tray from the famous Hudson River steamer the "ROBERT FULTON." This handsome tray is made of solid pewter with an extremely detailed image of the huge vessel plying the waters of the Hudson with mountains in the background. The exquisite detail bears close scrutiny under magnification. It is entitled on the bottom "DAY LINE STEAMER "ROBERT FULTON."" It is also embossed "ROBERT FULTON" on the vessel's starboard side amidships. The tray has a curvaceous ornate floral boarder in high relief. 2 ¾ by 3 ½ inches. Excellent original condition showing good age and no damage. 69

The massive side wheel excursion vessel ROBERT FULTON was built by the New York Shipbuilding Company, Camden, New Jersey and launched in 1909. She featured a beautifully decorated interior with a garden theme and was licensed for an amazing 4000 passengers!

Interestingly, this tray was obviously inspired by a lithograph printed by the Bryant Union Publishing Co., New York depicting the identical scene copyrighted 1906. The discrepancy in dating is unexplained.


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13.83 EARLY AMERICAN BELL CLOCK. Classic American ship's clock by the prestigious Seth Thomas Clock Company as boldly marked between the winding arbors "SETH THOMAS." Then at the bottom of the dial it reads "Made in U.S.A." The silvered brass dial has Roman numerals and a minute chapter ring. The subsidiary seconds bit below the XII is calibrated in single seconds marked by 10's. Above it is the Fast/Slow regulator. A lever to adjust the strike sequence is provided just outside the IX. The dial is protected by a hinged bezel with reflector ring and its original old wavy glass. It hinges on the left and closes on the right with a press fit. The solid brass movement is Seth Thomas' number 10 with double wind springs running for 2 days. The entire assembly is mounted on a wooden backboard which bears the original Seth Thomas label in very legible condition. This clock strikes the ship's bell sequence on a very loud external brass bell. The clock measures 7 inches wide overall, with the main body 6 ¼ inches in diameter. It stands 11 ¼ inches high between twin mounting brackets. It is an excellent time keeper, having just been serviced by a professional watch and clock maker. Complete with period brass winding key. 895

Known as the "bottom bell clock" this innovative form was distinctive in that it was unlike all other bell clocks of the era. Rather than ringing internally, it chimed on an exterior bell.



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17.29  EARLY LINER TRADE CARD.  Rare, second half of the 19th century ocean liner trade card advertising the "Royal and United States Mail Steamers WHITE STAR LINE" as printed on banners surrounding a large 4-masted steam/sail ship with two funnels. This beautifully chromolithographed advertising flier is printed on a heavy stock card measuring 3 1/2 by 5 1/2 inches. The reverse is printed with much information extolling the virtues of the company's fleet, entitled in part: "The Splendid Steamers of the WHITE STAR LINE Sailing Weekly Between Liverpool and New York, Are all, without exception among the largest and fastest of Ocean Steamers..." Card is in excellent condition noting some toning to the back and just a tiny loss on the lower right corner. Was $149 NOW! 79

This rare card was issued more than a quarter century before the appearance of the most famous liner in the White Star fleet -- indeed the most famous liner of all time -- the RMS TITANIC!


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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! Was $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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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. Was $395 NOW! 195


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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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