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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 Packaging

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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3.50     EARLIEST COMPASS by the INVENTOR.  A museum piece made just after the Civil War.  Here is an original large ship's master steering compass by the acknowledged inventor of the practical liquid-filled compass, Edward S. Ritchie.  The compass is stamped on the brass rim "E. S. RITCHIE BOSTON PATENTEE" and is further marked SEPT 9. 1862, APR 7. 1863, APR 10. 1866 and MAY 12. 1868." This innovative compass is constructed entirely of thick solid brass with a heavy counterweight in the bottom.  The unique compass card consists of two tubes jointed at the center to form an "X" encircled by a painted rim bearing points of the compass.  As such the configuration has affectionately come to be known as a "doughnut compass."  Markings on the compass card are all hand-painted and are calibrated to ¼ points of the compass with the cardinal and intercardinal points identified.  North is designated by a hand-painted fleur-de-lis and the center float is painted "RITCHIE BOSTON."  The compass, now devoid of its original alcohol measures 6 ½ inches across the card.  The substantial housing is 8 ¼ inches in diameter and contained within it solid brass gimbal ring 9 ½ inches in diameter, with pivot points extending to 11 inches.  Overall condition is excellent.  The compass still works!  This is without a doubt a world-class offering worthy of the finest museum.  It would be fun to see the elaborate binnacle which housed such a famous compass.  Note also the maker's name on this compass does not include his Sons, but simply "E. S. RITCHIE and RITCHIE BOSTON" implying it may well have been made earlier than the markings.  975

Edward Samuel Ritchie was born in 1814.  In 1839 he established a hardware business in Boston, Massachusetts with a partner forming the firm of Palmer & Ritchie.  From 1842-1849 he ran a nautical chandlery in New Bedford.  In1850 Ritchie began his scientific instrument making career with Nathan Chamberlain as a partner.  By 1862 the company was known as Edward S. Ritchie & Co. and in 1867 the firm name became E.S. Ritchie & Sons.

Ritchie is credited with inventing the first practical liquid-filled compass circa 1860.
He produced a compass for the famed Civil War iron clad USS MONITOR in 1861 and was awarded his first patent for the invention on  September 9, 1862, at the height of the war.  A number of improvements and subsequent patents followed.  The elder Ritchie died in 1895, but his sons carried on the business, which still survives today as E. S. Ritchie & Sons, Inc. Pembroke, Massachusetts.



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5.29   WWII NAVY PISTOL.   Authentic World War II vintage flare pistol as carried by U.S. Navy pilots.  This handsome example is made of heavy chrome-plated brass with Bakelite grips.   Both grips are marked "INTERNATIONAL FLARE - SIGNAL CO., Made in U.S.A." with patent number.  They bear the Navy air logo of a winged shield embossed "DRIGGS FABER SYSTEM" and stamped "H.M. Corp. Toone, Tenn."   The bore is 1 ½ inches in diameter and the barrel is 4 3/8 inches long.  The massive grip is 5 ¾ inches long to the tip of the eye for attaching a lanyard.  The barrel contains a spring-loaded shell extractor on the left side.  Excellent functional, virtually mint condition.  349



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8.54 SHIP's VOICE TUBE. Very, very scarce late 1800's flexible sound-powered voice tube. Every aspect indicates it is British. This very well-made device has a heavy solid brass "telephone" receiver and mouthpiece, both encircled by thick rubber rings. The brass handle is insulated with hand-stitched leather. It is attached by means of a wire coupling to a canvas-covered corrugated tube containing an inner spiral ribbing which provides complete flexibility with extreme durability. At the opposite end is a knurled brass coupling, secured by multiple wire turnings attached by wires, which connected it to the ship's internal hard-mounted voice tube network. Of great significance is the fact that this early device is sound powered, accomplished by thin diaphragms of mica in the handset, which picked up and amplified the vibrations of the user's voice. This clever system is similar in time and function to Alexander Graham Bell's invention of the telephone using such oscillations augmented with electricity. However, on shipboard, a simplistic system sans electricity was the preferred fail safe method of interior communication. This was true whether the ship lost power, or of course if it was pre-electric. In either case the system provided a very effective means of reliable interior communication. 73 ½ inches long overall. The handset measures 11 ½ inches long by 6 inches wide. This rare shipboard relic is the first of its type we have ever seen. It is in an outstanding state of original preservation showing good use, but remarkably no abuse or damage. Without question, this is a precious survivor from the age of steam/sail, the likes of which was little valued and summarily discarded at the time of the ship's demise. Price Request



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10.11   SOVIET SUBMARINES PHOTO.  Original mid-1900's or earlier photograph of a Soviet submarine tender at berth alongside a pier with 7 diesel submarines nested on its outboard side.  This original black and white photo shows in good detail shipping and dockside activity, including 3 ship's boats on deck and one in the water next to the starboard bow.  3 ¼ by 5 inches.  This photo exhibits a "serrated" edge popular in such post card size photos from the 1930's into the 1950's.  Excellent condition.  Rare subject matter.  10

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18.83  GREAT LAKES RUNNING LIGHT.   Finest quality small craft running lamp with "TRIPLEX" port and starboard lighthouse-like lenses patented in 1910.  The lamp itself was made by "Geo. B. Carpenter, Chicago," as indicated on the oval brass maker's tag.  It was patented April 1st 1913 as embossed on the rear bracket.  This sturdy little lamp has a brass chimney cap and stout iron ring for hanging when not supported by the bracket.  The all brass font and burner screw into the base with a bayonet twist.  Well aspirated for maximum light output including an internal reflector.  A removable "light curtain" is installed in a sliding track between the two lenses.  The red and green lenses are both in perfect condition.  10 ½ inches tall overall and 5 1/8 inches in diameter.  7 ¾ inches front to back.  Sound but well-used condition.Totally complete and original.  269





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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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