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1.24 FAMOUS YACHT PAINTING. John Hughes, British-American, (1806-1878) (attrib.) oil on artist's board of the most famous racing yacht of them all, the Yacht AMERICA. This dramatic rendering depicts the schooner AMERICA under full sail slicing through waves with spray in a stiff breeze on a port tack. She flies the American ensign from the spanker and at least seven crewmen are visible on deck. The painter has captured the instant in time with realistic detail down to the mast hoops, reefing lines and decorated billet. The scene is an open ocean yacht race with 3 other yachts on similar tacks and a 3-masted bark in the far distance. Painted at the peak of Hughes' career, this painting very possibly it is THE Royal Yacht Squadron's Regatta in which AMERICA won the America's Cup in 1851. It measures 17 1/2 by 11 1/2 inches and is housed in a magnificent period antique gilt gesso frame measuring 27 1/4 by 21 inches. Outstanding condition in all respects. Price Request Special Packaging

To those familiar with yachting history the AMERICA needs no introduction. AMERICA's genesis was sparked by an invitation from the Royal Yacht Squadron in England for an American vessel to participate in the Great Exhibition. Under Prince Albert's guidance, the exhibition was to be the first World's Fair up to that time. New York Yacht Club Commodore John C. Stevens took up the call and set about to build the "fastest yacht afloat." Stevens gathered a syndicate including Edwin Schuyler, J. Beekman Findlay and Hamilton Wilkes. They commissioned yacht designer George Steers, then working at the yard of William Brown on the East River in New York. What they created was a yacht with clipper bow, sharp forebody and a broad beam of 23 feet well aft. With a registered length of 93 1/2 feet and an 81 foot main mast, the yacht displaced 170 tons. Launched on May 3, 1851, to the most critical American eye she had particular grace. However when the tradition-steeped British builders first saw her they were horrified!

AMERICA arrived in British waters in July, however no races had been planned and no serious British challenges offered. Almost as an afterthought AMERICA's skipper, Richard Brown, suggested that his yacht be entered in the Royal Yacht Squadron's regatta race around the Isle of Wight for an "ordinary cup" worth one hundred guineas. The day of the race, Queen Victoria herself, aboard her yacht VICTORIA AND ALBERT was on hand to view the spectacle. 18 yachts were entered into the race. On board AMERICA, were 21 men including a local pilot.

At the start of the race AMERICA was last to get underway, but as the yachts reached The Needles for the run home a signalman on the Royal Yacht reported sighting the AMERICA. "Oh, indeed! And which is second?" was the Queen's query. As the signalman again swept the horizon with his spyglass, with a quivering voice he announced, "I regret to inform Her Majesty there is no second." As it turns out of course, there was a second, the gallant little yacht AURORA. But she was so far behind that the actual time of her crossing the finish remains unclear. The London Illustrated News reported a lapse of 21 minutes. Some 20 years after the race the New York Yacht Club accepted 8 minutes as the official figure.

It was a Yankee victory and a notable one which was to profoundly shake British yachting circles for decades to come. The "Aulde Cup" as it came to be known and later, popularly, the "America's Cup," found a home in the New York Yacht Club for the next 132 years!


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3.41  MARINER’s QUADRANT.   Very rare, museum-quality navigating instrument from the age of sail.  This 18th century quadrant, otherwise known as an “octant” is signed on the flat brass index arm in engraved script, “GILBERT & GILKERSON  ~ Tower Hill London.”  This early astronomical angle measuring device has limbs of mahogany with inset ivory scales and brass furniture.  The index arm is 16 inches long overall and terminates in an engraved vernier scale on ivory which sweeps over the large ivory scale divided from -1 degree to 99 degrees divided by 20 arc minutes.  The vernier, divided from 0 – 20 allows a reading down to one arc minute.  The single thumbscrew stop on the index arm (without the later form tangential fine adjustment) belies this instrument’s 18th century origins.  The fact that the large scale effectively describes an arc of 90 degrees is the reason such instruments were known as “quadrants.”  This example has a double peephole foresight and a single antiquated “back sight.  All three mirror boxes are present as is the full set of 3 interchangeable sun filters.  A blank ivory nameplate is inset into the cross brace and the rarely-found ivory pencil is still in place.  The brass index arm stop is present on the right limb.  On the reverse, this instrument retains all three brass “feet,” trapezoidal ivory note pad for recording readings with the pencil, and a complicated set of adjustments for the two horizon mirrors.  In short this rare surviving relic is totally complete and in an outstanding state of original preservation.  Complete in its old original keystone pinewood box.  Interestingly, several notations from actual readings are scribed on the interior in pencil and in chalk.  The instrument itself measures 13 inches wide on the arc.  The box measures 18 inches long by 15 inches wide and is 4 inches thick.  The box is surprisingly sound and in great condition.  Price Request 

The partnership of William Gilbert and James Gilkerson was begun in 1793 as mathematical instrument makers and opticians at 8 Postern Row, Tower Hill, London.  They were succeeded by Gilkerson & Co, in 1809.  The partnership was known to have made and sold sextants, rules, globes and ring dials.  William Gilbert was heir to a long line of mathematical and scientific instrument makers beginning with his grandfather, John Gilbert (I) in 1719 and his father, John Gilbert (II) in 1751.

(Gloria Clifton, “Dictionary of British Scientific Instrument makers 1550 -1851,” 1995, Zwemmer, Philip Wilson Publishers, London).


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6.17

 

6.17 SHIP’s PADLOCK. Authentic heavy duty padlock taken from an early 1940’s merchant steam ship. This massive lock has a solid brass body and a very hefty shackle. The side of the lock is marked “HARDENED SHACKLE / RUSTLESS SPRINGS. Viro”. The opposite side bears the same inscription in French. It is complete with two original brass keys, one of which is marked “Viro, Serrature Lucchetti.” This large lock measures 4 inches tall by 3 inches wide and 1 inch thick. It weighs an incredible 1 ½ pounds! Original condition. Fully functional with a smooth, positive action. 49


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9.49  CIVIL WAR SURGEON’s KIT.  Authentic 3rd quarter of the 19th century American field surgeon’s kit containing all manner of state-for-the-art (for its time) surgical tools.  There are no less than 36 fearsome implements in this large set  including a leg amputation saw, finger amputation saw, skull saw, chain saw, Trepanning drill, 5 amputation knives, several picks and probes, 2 bone snips, and various other suturing needles and attachments.  Most of the implements are signed by the maker “TIEMANN & CO” and those with handles are made from vulcanized hard rubber following Goodyear’s 1855 patent.   The chain saw has ebony handles as does the large gouge, also signed “TIEMANN & CO.”  The entire set is housed in its original lovely brass-bound mahogany case with hinged lid, skeleton key lock, lift-out tray and removable panel in the lid.   The lid bears the oval makers label reading, “G. TIEMANN & CO. Manufacturers – of – Surgical Instruments 107 Park Row, N.Y.”  The inside of the case is lined in red felt with form-fitted impressions for each implement.  As such some implements are conspicuous in their absence.  The case measures 16 ½ inches long by 7 inches wide and is 4 inches thick.  The condition of this set is “well used,” no doubt in desperate battlefield conditions because there are blood stains and a number of the tools have minor to moderate corrosion from contact with blood.  The two snippers are the most obvious.  Nevertheless, this is a large, complex set from the pre-antiseptic era, which graphically recalls in human terms the phrase “bite the bullet!”  Price Request 

In the “Directory of American Military Goods Dealers & Makers 1785-1915,” Combined Edition, 1999 by Bruce Bazelon and William McGuinn, the entry reads:  “George Tiemann & Co., NYC.   Advertised as established in 1837.  Made surgical instruments in the Civil War period & listed from at least 1860-67.”


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13.76

13.76  U.S. NAVY DECK CLOCK.  Genuine World War II vintage ship’s clock made for the U.S. Navy by the Chelsea Clock Co.  The black composition dial is signed “MARK I DECK CLOCK, U.S. NAVY DECK CLOCK (N) 50262 CHELSEA”. This beautiful ship’s timepiece has bold Arabic numbers, white spade hands, a minute chapter, and seconds bit below the “12.”   It is the Navy’s classic “backwind” bulkhead deck clock with Bakelite case and convex crystal.  A knurled thumbscrew on the right secures the back to the mounting flange on a watertight O-ring. The clock body opens forward on a bronze hinge exposing the back which has 5 apertures.  They are: Fast/Slow, Winding, Set, and Stop. This latter feature is unique in that it actually allows the clock to be set to the exact second without stopping the movement -- necessary in coordinating fleet movements, shore bombardment and amphibious assaults.  A 5th aperture is a small button which covers the openings when not in use. The mechanism is Chelsea’s finest quality 11 jewel movement with solid brass components featuring a bi-metallic balance and lever escapement.  The backplate is marked, “CHELSEA CLOCK CO., BOSTON U.S.A.” and is serial numbered XXXXXX* dating it precisely to April 14, 1944.   As configured, the sturdy Bakelite case can also be removed from the hinged bulkhead mounting plate.  The clock is a precise timekeeper in fine, original cosmetic condition.  5 ½ inch dial and 8 ½ inches in diameter overall. Complete with original “Chelsea” marked winding key.   795


* For the privacy and security of the purchaser the serial number of this clock is being withheld.


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16.67


16.67  IVORY COMPACT.  Mid-1800’s or earlier lady’s traveling make-up case in the form of an oval make-up compact.  This beautifully constructed compact is made of ivory and silver with a very nice gilt brass hinge cast with a detailed scene depicting a winged griffin, pot of flowers and an attendant monkey!  The top, side and bottom of this compact are constructed of thin ivory beautifully embellished with recurring scalloped designs and oval scribes.   3 ½ by 2 ½ inches and 1/2 inch thick.  Interesting old repair on one edge.  A very nice early piece! 

ex.  Sotheby’s Parke Bernet


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