West Sea Company

14. Furniture

Prices in U.S. Dollars are in GREEN

 



14.41  WALL MIRROR.  Authentic 1800’s  decorative mirror with a distinctively nautical motif.  This handsome parlor mirror is carved and turned of rich, tight grain mahogany.  It features a period chromolithograph of a massive 4-masted full rigged ship under sail in a blue sea with white caps.  The detail of the ship is clear and crisp and is protected under its original old wavy glass.  Below the decorative inset is the mirror, free of occlusions, framed by the two tall columns carved in a rope twist fashion and crowned by bulbous caps.  On the top is a scalloped plinth adorned with 11 hanging “tear drop” ornaments, each of which was obviously hand-made, owing to slight differences in their size and shape.  The overall size is 25 ¼ inches high by 15 inches wide.   The mirror is 8 ¾ by 11 /2 inches and the lithograph is 8 ¾ inches wide by 6 ½ inches high.  There is a standard picture hanging bracket on the top back.  Perfect original condition throughout.  A very handsome as well as functional wall hanger.  499 Special PackagingBack to Top


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14.39  LAP DESK.  Just another ordinary 19th century writing desk, right?  WRONG!

This finely detailed and strikingly handsome traveler’s box is of 19th century Anglo-Indian origin.  It is made of solid black ebony – the most highly prized and expensive wood in the world!   Then, accentuating its dark surface, are hundreds of individual ivory inlays meticulously-done in a very pleasing decorative, geometric pattern.  This classic lap desk folds open on solid brass hinges to reveal its pristine leather-covered writing slope in two halves measuring 11 ¾ by 16 ½ inches overall.  In the upper compartment are 4 trays.  Two are for an ink well and sand shaker, coming complete with ivory-inlaid ebony covers.  Then there is an open tray for smalls and a covered pen/pencil tray inlaid with ivory which opens by pressing on the right end.  Upon opening the upper writing slope the very intricate inlaid horizontal partition is exposed.  It conceals secret compartments.  Removing the partition reveals 3 draws of hand dove-tailed construction with leather pulls!  The lower half of the slope opens to a large storage compartment.  When folded shut, the slope is held in place by a small brass tab.  The upper lid is equipped with an early style brass lock and skeleton key which engages the lower slope for a secure closure.  To these ends, that slope is faced with a substantial brass bar.  Two folding brass eye hooks assure positive closure.  The exterior of this lovely box is entirely covered with decoratively-grooved beading on all 5 sides.  It measures 16 ½ inches wide, 9 ½ inches deep and 5 ½ inches high.  The workmanship on this box is nothing short of amazing.  It must have taken the maker hundreds of hours to create!  Truly magnificent, original condition.  One of the very best we have ever seen.  1979


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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. 3800 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 asignment 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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14.30  CAMPAIGN CHEST of DRAWERS.  Genuine second half of the 19th century stacking chest of drawers as used aboard ship.   This classic 5-drawer chest is constructed with the highest standards using solid aromatic camphorwood and hand dove-tailed finger joints.  The quality of execution is carried through in the solid brass hardware.  The drawer pulls are inset folding handles in a “shield” motif.  The key escutcheons are cast brass opening to the functional keyed brass lever locks in all 5 drawers.   The top of the chest bears four heavy brass corners, while each end has hefty cast brass drop handles for carrying on and off ship.  Speaking to the quality of this chest, the middle drawer slides of both sections are secured with pinned and dowelled construction.  Finishing off the presentation are the original 4 turned bun feet on which it rests.  All 5 drawers slide in and out smoothly and lock shut securely.  The upper stack sets atop the lower aligned by two positioning dowels.  This handsome chest is constructed of figural grained wood which obviously was specially selected for it beauty.  As configured the chest stands 39 ¾ inches high, 35 ¾ inches wide and 17 ½ inches deep.  Incredibly the sides and top are fashioned from huge single planks!  What’s more the end sections are matching grain!  As such, all have expected age cracks.  These in no way affect the integrity of the chest or its desirability.  Opening any one of the drawers immediately releases the delightful aroma of camphor.  A most handsome example of genuine shipboard furniture over 120 years old.  Complete with 2 skeleton keys. Request Price Special Packaging 


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14.35 BATTLESHIP FURNITURE. A really amazing furniture find. Our best in 35 years! Genuine officer’s stateroom chest of drawers as outfitted on the famous early American dreadnaught, battleship U.S.S. SOUTH CAROLINA (BB-26). This rare surviving example of authentic ship’s furniture is made of solid quarter sawn oak with poplar, pine and cedar secondary woods. The construction was expertly hand-made with hidden dove-tail joints, chamfered edges and solid brass fittings throughout including all 4 matching lever locks with 2 working skeleton keys. The lovely side panels are inset in the traditional manner. This classic “stacking” campaign chest is in two parts centered on two dowels between. The upper stack houses a large single cupboard with one removable shelf. The left door locks in place with a heavy brass cane bolt. The right door closes with a positive button latch and can be locked closed with the key. On the back, construction is of vertical tongue and grove cedar. The upper right hand corner is marked “9501 Fitted Aug 4th /01”. In orange grease pencil, “#2 L S. Carolina.” Then in black paint, “U.S.S. So. Carolina Ward Officers Stateroom “L”. The bottom section is also painted, “U.S.S. So. Carolina K.K. Ward Officers Stateroom “B.” There are holes in all 4 back corners where this furniture was originally secured to the ship’s bulkhead. All drawers move freely and lock closed properly. The two cabinet doors open and close smoothly with a positive fit. This handsome chest of drawers measures 51 ¾ inches high by 21 inches deep overall and is 42 inches wide. Overall condition is excellent and very sturdy. As expected this piece of genuine U.S. Navy shipboard furniture 110 years old has undergone some minor modifications as evidenced by plugged screw holes here and there. Importantly there are no cracks, splits, chips, warpage or dents. A genuine, very rare surviving relic of functional and identified shipboard furniture from America’s first dreadnought! Request Price Special Packaging

The battleship SOUTH CAROLINA (BB-26) was laid down on December 18, 1906 at the William Cramp & Sons Shipyard in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She was launched July 11, 1908 and commissioned on March 1st 1910. The ship had a length of 453 feet, a beam of 80 feet and a draft of 24 ½ feet, with a displacement of 16,000 tons.

Impressively armored and gunned, the ship carried 8-12 inch guns and 22-3 inch guns, with 8-10 inches of armor in crucial areas. Her compliment was 751 officers and men.

The SOUTH CAROLINA was the first of her class -- the first American dreadnought -- all-big gun battleship. Soon after her commissioning the battleship made voyages to Europe in late 1910 and in 1911. During 1913-14, SOUTH CAROLINA was intimately involved in the U.S interventions in Haiti and Mexico.

During the First World War SOUTH CAROLINA deployed in the Western Hemisphere. In September 1918 she escorted a troop convoy across the submarine-infested Atlantic. Following the end of World War I, she served as a troop ship, bringing over 4,000 servicemen in four voyages from France to the United States in the period February-July 1919.

In June-August 1920, SOUTH CAROLINA carried Naval Academy midshipmen on a training cruise to the Pacific, visiting ports on the U.S. west coast and Hawaii before returning to the east coast by way of the Panama Canal. She made another midshipmen's training cruise to European waters in mid-1921. USS SOUTH CAROLINA was decommissioned at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in December 1921. She was stricken from the Navy list in November 1923 and was scrapped in accordance with the Washington naval limitations treaty.

Interestingly this chest-of-drawers found its way West and was used for a number of years in the lobby of the famous, historic old Smith River Hotel. Smith River is the most northerly town on the California coast.


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14.32 WALL MIRROR. Splendid, second half of the 19th century American wall mirror containing a broadside portrait of the USS VANDALIA as painted by listed artist James Scott Maxwell. This very handsome presentation consists of a carved walnut frame with columns carved in the form of rope twists. The top of each column is finished with decorative beading. They support the overhanging cover which is inset with 11 "tear drop" finials and a scalloped border. The remainder of the frame has repetitively beaded panels matching the columns. The large mirror in the bottom reflects its age with its old wavy glass construction.The crowning touch of this presentation is the fine watercolor entitled "United States Corvette "Vandalia". 8 Guns. 2000 Tons 1874." At the bottom and is signed lower left "JSM 1878". This port broadside view shows the staunch vessel at anchor with commissioning pennant streaming from the main mast and the American ensign flying aft. Several crewmen are depicted on deck along with rigging details and deck fittings. The painting measures 9 1/4 inches by 6 inches sight. The entire presentation measures just short of 32 inches high by 16 1/2 inches wide at the top. Condition is "excellent" in every respect. The painting, under old wavy glass, is perfectly preserved. The wooden frame is in its original old finish with a nice dry surface, just the way furniture collectors like them! The back of the mirror still retains its original brass hanging bracket at the top and is covered with old protective wooden panels with exhibit good oxidation. .Request Price

The 8 gun screw sloop of war VANDALIA was laid down at the Boston Navy Yard in 1872 and commissioned on January 10, 1876. Soon after commissioning VANDALIA deployed to the Mediterranean where she spent the next 3 years with the European Squadron. It was during her European deployment that this painting by British artist Maxwell was rendered. In April 1879 she transferred back to the U.S. and the North Atlantic Squadron. She was home ported in Norfolk, Virginia for the next 5 years. It is likely that this mirror was manufactured during that time frame.

In October 1884 VANDALIA underwent extensive repairs at the Portsmouth Naval Yard, New Hampshire. Recommissioned on February 15, 1886 she deployed for the West Coast as the flagship of the Pacific Squadron. The next two years saw her operating in Hawaiian and Samoan waters as well as along the coasts of North and South America.

In October 1888, while undergoing repairs at the Mare Island Navy Yard, California, VANDALIA was again called to duty in Samoa due to increasing tensions between American and German interests there. While anchored in the harbor of Apia, Samoa on March 16, 1889 the American fleet was beset by typhoon force winds and mountainous seas. VANDALIA and her sister ship TRENTON sank despite heroic efforts of their crews. American casualties totaled 49 killed, 43 from VANDALIA alone. After the disaster the ships were declared a total loss and their scrap was donated to the Samoans.

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14.29 PORTABLE WRITING DESK. Exquisite early 19th century English traveler's writing desk This exceptionally lovely and complex example is the best we have offered in our 31 years! It consists of a fully brass-bound box made of rare solid African crotch grain mahogany with banding, corners, blank presentation plaque in the top, key escutcheon and 2 recessed folding drop handles. The lid opens and remains in place supported by three sturdy brass stop hinges. There is a leather covered expandable letter pouch in the lid. The first writing surface is covered in green felt. Opening it reveals a lovely silk embroidered writing slope with two panels. The upper panel retains its original lock and key. The lower panel opens with a sliding latch to a large storage compartment. At the top of the slope are 3 cubby holes, a compartment with a false bottom and a removable pen/pencil tray with ivory knob. What is so remarkable about this box is that it contains 4 secret features each of which must be accessed sequentially before the next is revealed! Removing the false bottomed tray allows access to a wooden panel which when pressed releases a false back concealing six drawers with ivory pulls! Then, by pressing a false screw head in the hinge, another spring-loaded panel is released exposing 2 more drawers! Removing those drawers allows access to the final secret compartment which is cleverly concealed in the lower front of the box as a large 5-sided tray extending the width of the box which is held in place by 2 sliding hooks. In all there are 4 large compartments and 8 drawers. This magnificent writing desk/box bears the maker's decorative trade label in two places. It reads (in part), "Hanford No. 94 Strand, Manufacturer, of Copying Machines and Writing Desks and all kinds of Ladie's and Gentlemen's Portable Cases for every Purpose Completed & adapted for travelling in any part of the World. London." This extremely stout box weighs an amazing 20 pounds! Closed, it measures 18 inches long, 10 1/2 inches wide and 7 inches high. When open it measures approximately 27 inches on the diagonal. With only a few minor flaws, it is in outstanding original condition belying its 150+ years. SOLD

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