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2.53 EXCEPTIONAL SHIP MODEL. Especially fine museum quality, scratch-built ship model. This hand-made model depicts the most famous American clippership of all time, the FLYING CLOUD. Built in Boston by America’s premier clippership designer, Donald McKay, the FLYING CLOUD was launched in 1851. It is a true to the original representation exhibiting near scale proportions. All of the standing and running rigging is shown in exquisite detail, far exceeding a typical sailor-made model. The dead eyes appear to be made of bone or similar material and the blocks (pulleys) are individually minutely sculpted of wood and brass wire. When in evidence, extremely fine chain was used for the heavy applications. Deck details include chocks, bollards, cleats, 4 capstans, 2 anchors, anchor windlass, 2 cat heads, fife rails, ladders, deck houses, buckets on the deck houses, 2 shuttered hatches, 6 cargo hatches amidships, bilge pump, scuttle, Charlie Noble, curved deck house, skylight, 3 life boats with oars, starboard side dinghy in davits, animal cage, lovely carved figurehead of an angel blowing a horn, steering gear box with ship’s wheel, ship’s bell in belfry, skylight, rudder with post and pintel construction and chain stoppers and beautiful carved wooden poopdeck railing among others. In the rigging, the masts are realistically portrayed with banding and mast tops rigged with detailed rat lines and spreaders. The yards are intricately rigged with precision detail and back hauls. The ship flies the silk house flag of Grinell & Minturn & Co. from the main mast and the American ensign of 35 stars from the stern boom. The stern is clearly marked:

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The ship itself measures 34 ½ inches from bowsprit to boom.  The hull is 28 ¼ inches long with a beam of 5 ¼ inches.  The main mast rises 24 ¾ inches above the keel.  The main yard is 10 3/8 inches in width.  This antique model, certainly over 80 years old, is in an exceptional state of original preservation.  All lines, fastenings, details and attachments are stable and in tact.  In short, it is a beautifully preserved museum quality cased model worthy of the finest public or private collection.  This price could not even be approached by a contemporary modeler for the same quality, easily over $10,000.  (Please check it out).  This is truly an exceptional offering!  6250 Special PackagingBack to Top

The original glazed and shaped hardwood case is in excellent original condition.  Speaking to its age, it does not contain any plywood components and is of quality construction with braced corners, mortise and tenon construction and a sculpted base.  The case dimensions are 41 ½ inches long by 14 ½ inches wide and 29 ¼ inches high.

This exceptional ship model comes with its original receipt from the prior owner dated 1982 – already described as an antique dating from 1890 to 1920.  The seller was the famed and highly respected West Coast nautical antiquarian Steve Crandell who made a name for himself as the “Captain’s Landing” in Union Square San Francisco in the 1970’s.

FLYING CLOUD was the most famous of all the clippers built by legendary American shipbuilder Donald McKay, including SOVEREIGN OF THE SEAS and the GREAT REPUBLIC.  She was highly lauded for winning her `round the Horn race with the HORNET, made even more remarkable by the fact that she had a woman navigator, Eleanor Creesy, wife of the Captain, Josiah Creesy.  FLYING CLOUD was also known for making two record-setting voyages from New York to San Francisco and for sailing in the Australian and timber trades.

FLYING CLOUD was popularly described as an extreme clipper, along with many of Donald McKay's ships.  But as her dead rise was less than 40 inches she actually was not extreme.  McKay built many fast clipper ships, but only one, STAG HOUND, was actually an extreme clipper, even if others were advertised as such.  Nevertheless, it was popular to characterize clippers as "extreme" banking on the perception they were fast – which indeed they were at the time!

FLYING CLOUD was built in East Boston, Massachusetts, for Enoch Train, who paid $50,000 for her construction. While still under construction, she was purchased by Grinnell, Minturn & Co., of New York, for $90,000.  She was launched in late 1851.

A reporter for the "Boston Daily Atlas" wrote on April 25, 1851, "If great length [235 ft.], sharpness of ends, with proportionate breadth [41 ft.] and depth, conduce to speed, the FLYING CLOUD must be uncommonly swift, for in all these she is great.  Her length on the keel is 208 feet, on deck 225, and over all, from the knightheads to the taffrail, 235 - extreme breadth of beam 41 feet, depth of hold 21½, including 7 feet 8 inches height of between-decks, sea-rise at half floor 20 inches, rounding of sides 6 inches, and sheer about 3 feet."

In newspaper accounts of the day, the clipper ship ANDREW JACKSON claimed the record passage to San Francisco.  The JACKSON  holds the record for fastest passage pilot-to-pilot, arriving off San Francisco in 89 days and 4 hours.   But because JACKSON spent all night between the Farallon Islands and the Golden Gate awaiting a harbor pilot, some consider the time en route as fastest sailing around Cape Horn.  Nevertheless, FLYING CLOUD holds the record for a completed voyage from New York to San Francisco, 89 days 8 hours anchor-to-anchor.  She then held this record for over 100 years, from 1854 to 1989!

In the famous race between FLYING CLOUD and HORNET in 1853, HORNET was given a two-day head start on FLYING CLOUD.  She left New York for San Francisco on April 26, 1853 and FLYING CLOUD departed two days later.  After the15,000 mile voyage around Cape Horn, both ships arrived in San Francisco Harbor at nearly the same time.  HORNET arrived 45 minutes ahead of the FLYING CLOUD!

In 1862, FLYING CLOUD was sold to the Black Ball Line of Liverpool, sailing under British colors without change of name, and was soon traveling between Britain, Australia and New Zealand.  Her latter years were spent in the log trade between Newcastle-Upon- Tyne, England, and Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada.

On June 19, 1874, FLYING CLOUD went aground on the Beacon Island bar, Saint John, New Brunswick.  Her damage was extensive.  She was condemned and sold.  The following year she was burned and salvaged for her scrap metal value.  An ignominious ending for a world class ship.




flying cloud

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5.53 /13.47  U. S. NAVY DECK CLOCK No. 1.  Scarce original ship’s bridge timekeeper for a major U.S. Navy combatant employed in the conduct of World War I.  This handsome and very heavy ship’s clock was made for the U.S. Navy by the venerable Seth Thomas Clock Company as indicated at the bottom of the blackened brass dial reading “MADE BY SETH THOMAS IN U.S.A.”  The dial is boldly marked “U.S. NAVY DECK CLOCK No. 1” below the center arbor.  It is additional engraved with the Navy serial number (N) 6151 below the winding arbor.  The dial is marked by large silver Arabic numerals and a minute chapter ring swept by silver spade hands.  The subsidiary seconds bit above the center arbor is calibrated in single seconds marked by 10’s.  The Fast/Slow lever adjustment is below the “12.”  This very high grade clock built to exacting military specifications contains an all brass jeweled movement with compensated lever escapement for maximum timekeeping accuracy.  The backplate is inscribed with the date “1917.”  It is housed in its substantial solid bronze ship’s clock case of classic flared design with screw-on, air tight feature.  The back of the clock bears Seth Thomas’ serial number “11319.”  This finest quality clock has just been serviced by a professional clock maker assuring years of continued faithful service.  The dial is 5 ½ inches in dial meter and the case measures 7 1/8 inches across and 2 ¾ inches deep.  Excellent cosmetic condition and a reliable timekeeper over 100 years old!   Complete with period winding key. 895

This Deck Clock No. 1 is not to be confused with the later Mark I Deck Clock produced for the U.S. Navy by Seth Thomas and Chelsea during the Second World War -- a quarter of a century later.   A Mark I Deck Clock with Navy serial number 111617 dated 1941 is currently offered on eBay for $895.  That is the same price we are offering this original earlier version.



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12.57  BOS’N PIPE.  Authentic World War II era boatswains call as used by sailors in the U.S. Navy.  This genuine early 1900’s sterling silver boatswain’s pipe also known as a “bos’n call" consists of a large round bowl attached to a gradually tapering pipe which terminates in a flared mouthpiece.  The pipe is affixed to a reinforced shank or "keel" which is impressed "STERLING" at the bottom.  A suspension loop in the keel is provided for attachment of lanyard which would have been worn around the sailor's neck as part of his dress uniform. This bos'n call was crafted by a skilled silversmith with a telling mortise joint on the bottom of the shank and a finely tapering tube with a faint seam, indicative of its early manufacture.  It measures 5 1/2 inches in length and is in perfect condition, producing a loud, shrill tone.  195

(See item 11.56)


The Call has its beginnings in the days of the English Crusades, 1248 A.D., as a method of alerting troops to arms.  Documented in 1485 A.D., the call was used as an honored badge of rank, then being worn by the Lord High Admiral of England.  Undoubtedly it was worn because it was used as a method of passing orders, and therefore signified authority.  When the Lord High Admiral, Sir Edward Howard, was killed in action off Brest in 1513 while commanding French Galleys, a "Whistle of Honour" was presented to him posthumously by the Queen of France.  From about that time onward the call was no longer used as a badge of rank, reverting to its original use as a method of passing orders only.  About 1671 the name Call was well established, lasting to the present day.  In the U.S. Navy the call is often referred to as a Boatswain's Pipe.



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17.27/18.98  OCEAN LINER BUNK LAMPS.  Exceptional matched pair of 1st Class Cabin bunk lamps retrieved from an English passenger liner during the Golden Age of liner travel. These classic Art Deco lamps are pleasingly cast in “tear drop” form in solid bronze!  The extremely heavy bodies house the thick ribbed Fresnel glass lenses which focused the light for the reader.  The tops and bottoms of the lamp bodies are vented to prevent overheating. Each is professionally wired for standard 110v American service. The old fashioned style toggle switches are brand new, UL approved, ready for hook-up.  These lamps will accommodate a 60W or smaller incandescent or similar size LED bulb. 7 ¾ inches high by 5 3/8 inches wide and 4 ¼ inches deep, weighing an amazing 6 1/2 pounds each!  Pristine original condition with an old high luster polish. Ready to use. Circa 1930. 569/pr

Contemporary lighting fixtures are very expensive, as anyone who has recently visited a high end hardware or lamp store can attest.  Here we have a genuine antique set of finest quality ship’s lamps about 80 years old, offered for far less than equivalent modern repros of inferior quality, which these days are typically made in China!  A lightweight “tinny” porch lamp was recently advertised in “Home and Garden” magazine for $295.  The lamps offered here are the real deal!


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18. 99   GREAT LAKES RUNNING LAMP.   Very scarce and highly collectible combination port and starboard running lamp made by George Carpenter circa 1913.  This handsome little maritime veteran is all brass.  It has 2 embossed makers’ tags and is also stamped on the hanging bracket.  The oval tag in the front, with a “rope border” reads “TRIPLEX TRADE MARK Lense Pat’d Dec. 20 1910.  The rear tag of the same design reads “GEO. B CARPENTER & CO. – CHICAGO –.”  The embossed bracket reads, “PATENTED APRIL 1ST 1910.”  The unique feature of this lamp is indeed its patented glass lighthouse-like red and green Freznel lenses.  Another unique feature of this small but complicated lantern is the aspiration system on the rear which feeds ambient air into the burner behind the internal reflector.  The lamp is complete with its original font and burner with functional wick advance knob.  The font fits nicely into the bottom of the lamp with a 1/8 bayonet twist.  The bulbous chimney has two sets of vents at the top and is equipped with a pivoting contoured bail handle for carrying.  9 inches tall by 5 inches in diameter.  11 inches tall overall inclusive of the handle.  Overall condition is excellent.  The glass lenses are perfect.  A rare American inland waterways relic over 100 years old!  495

(See item 18.83)





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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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