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New Stock Listing

This page lists any stock that has been added in the last 60 days, together with any "Featured" items in stock.
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Reference Stock Item   Description Price
4083 British WW11 Molins MK 2 no 5 1' Very Pistol - Click for the bigger picture New Stock British WW11 Molins MK 2 no 5 1' Very Pistol -

These were standard issue to the RAF in WW11 and were supplied with both one-man and multi- place dinghies to enable downed RAF aircrew to attract the attention of passing aircraft or ships. They were also carried by fighter pilots tucked into their flying boots so to hand if required in an emergency. This example is numbered 087963 whilst the hammer is stamped M 601. Online research indicates this is a manufacturers mark indicating it was made by I.L. Berridge & Co, who were a commercial knitting machine manufacturer based in Leicester. Berridge apparently made over 200,000 examples of this model during the war and were issued to the RAF, Navy and the Army.

This example shows some pitting to the barrel and frame and the original blued finish is largely worn away but it remains a good solid display example of a model that is getting increasingly hard to find now.. It is broad arrow marked and the lug on the left side of the barrel enabled RAF aircrew to lock the pistol into a locator fitted to the aircraft fuselage so a flare could be discharged from within. The pistol cocks and ‘fires’ with a very positive action and the grips remain in good condition, as is the retracting lanyard loop. This flare gun comes complete with a deactivation certificate indicating it was deactivated back in 2003 and is therefore legal to own in the UK by anyone over the age of 18 without a firearms certificate. This class is fortunately outside of the over the top revised deactivation regulations introduced by out EU 'masters' this year. It is hoped after 'Brexit' our Government will see sense and abolish these draconian regulations that are a nightmare for both collectors and dealers alike. Interestingly the Deac certificate indicates it was made by Enfield so we stand to be corrected on this if our Berridge information is inaccurate. An identical example is illustrated in Mick Prodger excellent reference book 'Luftwaffe V RAF Flying Equipment of the Air War 1939-45' on pages 68 & 69 and it measures 8” (20 cm). Please note this item is only available to customers based in the UK, due to difficulties in shipping weapons overseas and as stated is restricted to collectors aged 18 or over.

Please also check out the (empty) WW11 flare cartridge tin we have also listed today that would be a perfect display accompaniment to this flare pistol.

£200.00
Stock Enquiry Form
3669 1941 Pattern Mae West Floating Light and Battery Housing - Click for the bigger picture New Stock 1941 Pattern Mae West Floating Light and Battery Housing -

The RAF 1941 Pattern Mae West was first introduced in July 1941 and whilst it evolved as the war continued it remained the standard 'waistcoat, lifesaving, stole inflated' pattern until well into the 1950's. One of the improvements made occurred in July 1943 when two cylindrical pockets were added on the lower right hand side designed to house a floating lamp and attached battery pack. The example we have on offer here is such a lamp, issued against stores reference 5A/2728. This is the correct item for display with a '41 vest as opposed to the more commonly seen 'Easco' lamp which is not.

The cylindrical metal battery container retains most of its original blue paint and carries a clear Kings Crown, A.M. and the stores reference number detailed above. What lifts this one above the norm is it still carries its original paper label which clearly states made by G.E.C and is described as 'Floating Light Life- Jacket'. Below is a photo of an airman wearing a Mae West and carrying the lamp followed by instructions for us. The base of the battery housing carries a metal seal and the instructions indicate 'In emergency ONLY break the seal by pushing base sharply upwards and turning to right'. The seal on this example remains intact. A final detail is the label is marked 'reprinted March 1943' so is an early production example when stocks were clearly being prepared for the introduction into service in July '43.

The floating lamp is made from wood and metal and the lamp cover and bulb remain in place. The base is marked' Made in England, L 611, G.E.C' and a patent number. The one issue with this set, which is apparent on most that we see, is the the wiring insulation is hardened, cracked and perished. It would be possible to replace this with appropriate modern wiring for display purposes but we prefer to leave it in its current original condition. These are now getting increasingly hard to find and other than the wiring issue is a really crisp and wartime dated example.

£75.00
Stock Enquiry Form
5412 RAF Dinghy Leak Stoppers - Click for the bigger picture New Stock RAF Dinghy Leak Stoppers - On offer are 6 individual stoppers that would have formed part of the aircrew dinghy pack. The smaller sets comprised three bungs and would normally be included in the K type pack issued to single seat fighter pilots. This set includes the additional larger sizes so is more likely to have been issued to Bomber Command aircrew, to be used in conjunction with the larger H or Q type multi crew dinghies. If the dinghy was holed the threaded section of the bungs would be screwed into the fabric of the boat to form a repair by simply 'stopping' the hole. To save space the stoppers are designed to be inserted one into another for storage purposes. The smallest plug no1 is wooden but the reminder are rubber and are numbered 2-6 with '6' being the largest diameter. A small but critical piece of kit for survival at sea and no doubt many aircrew who were forced to ditch at sea would owe their lives to this ingenious device. This set is in mint and unissued condition and still carries the French chalk applied when manufactured. We were fortunate to to procure a few sets of these but this is the last one and when it is gone it is gone. £38.00
Stock Enquiry Form
6545 RAF Dinghy Pack Very Pistol Red Star Distress Cartridge Tin - Click for the bigger picture New Stock RAF Dinghy Pack Very Pistol Red Star Distress Cartridge Tin -

Another essential rescue aid which we are listing today. This tin, which is now empty, would have contained three red star distress flares designed to be used in conjunction with the standard RAF issue Very pistol and would have been included in both the single seat and multi place dinghies of WW11. Whilst the original paint shows some wear and surface rust that is hardly surprising after 73 years but the writing on it is still readable. The top would originally have been taped on to avoid moisture entering and is marked 'Do not remove sealing tape & open until cartridges are required'. The front detail confirms the contents as '3 Cartridges Signal 1" Red Mk12. T.' And 'Lot No' below. The same is written on the reverse side whilst on the side is 'Box No.381. Mk1'. In smaller writing towards the base is written '12MB/45' indicating the tin was made by the British Metal Box Company in 1945. The tin measures 3 1/2" x 2.75" (9cm x 6 cm) and an identical example is illustrated on page 68 of Mick Prodger's excellent Luftwaffe V RAF Flight Equipment reference book.

£42.00
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Reference Stock Item   Description Price
2491 Junghan's Radio Room Clock WW11 - Click for the bigger picture New Stock Junghan's Radio Room Clock WW11 - Another interesting ships clock we are listing today. This pattern was in use from 1939-1945 and served with both Kriegsmarine and Civilian vessels of the period. We have also seen similar examples issued to and used by the Bundeswehr post WW11 but our understanding is these tended to be chrome plated whilst this example carries a brass case. We have found an identical example detailed in Ziggy Wesolowdki's excellent reference book on Military Timepieces and also in volume 3 of the book 'Kriegsmarine Uniforms and Traditions'.

Whilst we have not looked inside the case we are told the movement is a Junghan's W146. The silvered dial is not in the best condition but we can decipher the Junghan's star logo below the 12 o'clock position. In addition we can just make out the remains of the green and red diagonal radio silence bars that would have originally have run in the vertical and horizontal positions signifying 3 minute zones when the radio operator would have observed radio silence in case any May Day calls were being broadcasted. The numerals have also become worn and have been touched in by a previous owner. We can find no evidence of a Kriegsmaine property mark being added and whilst this may have been rubbed out we believe this clock was issued to a Civilian vessel in which case this would have been omitted.

When purchased the seller made no mention of any provenance with this clock. However on close inspection we discovered scratched on the back some old and quite crude letter reading 'Franken'. Whilst our research has located a U boat commander, Wilhelm Franken of U- 565 we believe it more likely this clock served on an auxiliary ship of the Kriegsmarine known as a Troßschiffverb. Since Germany in WW11 did not have any overseas bases, naval operations in the North Atlantic required supply ships and tankers called "Troßschiffe". In addition to using former civilian tankers five supply ships, the Dithmarschen class, were built to service warships with fuel, ammunition, general supplies and spare parts. The 'Franken' was one of these and was commissioned in March 1943 and operated in the Baltic Sea, where it supplied the Prinz Eugen and other smaller ships of the German Navy in the last months of the war. She was blown apart and sunk near Hela in April 1945 by the Russian Airforce.

If our clock served on the 'Franken' it had clearly been removed, perhaps for repair, before she was lost. Certainly the age and model of this timepiece all lines up exactly although we have found the same specification also being used in the radio room of U boats, as confirmed by that on the U- 995 which still exists. Whatever the provenance it is a fine and increasingly scarce example of the type that could perhaps be improved if a donor dial could be located or the existing one tidied up a little. It is ticking away happily in our office but as we have no idea when the movement was last checked a service would probably not go amiss. As with all our stock more detailed pictures are available on request. Measured on the back plate the diameter is 7.9" (20.0 cm) and is 3.4" deep (8.5 cm). The brass case has three strong brass lugs for bulkhead mounting.

£450.00
Stock Enquiry Form
OC43 Ships Clock ex S.S. William Pearman - Click for the bigger picture New Stock Ships Clock ex S.S. William Pearman - Another fine marine clock which we are listing today, made by the quality marine instrument maker James Morton Ltd of Sunderland. This company was established by James Morton who was born in 1856 and with the local shipbuilding business close by benefitted from their trade, supplying instruments, binnacles, telescopes and of course quality timepieces. This example is very heavily built and is designed for bulkhead mounting. What makes it particularly interesting it has a riveted plaque to the heavy brass bezel which reads 'S.S. William Pearman 1941-1961'.

We have been able to trace the vessel against nos 168275 and she was a single screw coaster collier of 1,552 tons, built at Burntisland Shipbuilding Company, founded in Scotland in 1918. The keel laid in 1941, she was launched in 1942 and owned by the British Electrical Authority, which subsequently became the CEGB in 1954. The LPC had its own fleet of coastal colliers to deliver coal to its power stations. Several were flatiron ships, built with low-profile superstructures and fold-down funnel and masts to pass under bridges upriver from Tower Bridge on the River Thames to reach Battersea. The William Pearman was one such vessel. The ships built for the LPC were each named after a person, several of whom were very prominent in the history of electrical engineering. The vessel was finally scrapped and broken up in Sunderland in 1961.

Our clock has an attractive rectangular bezel made from solid cast brass that gives it an essentially deco look and the glass is nicely bevelled. The silvered dial carries Roman numerals and is signed to the maker James Morton in two places. It carries the normal fast/slow adjuster and beside an elaborate 'F' and 'S' either side; the clock does not carry have a second hand. As mentioned it was clearly bulkhead mounted when fitted on board and whilst it can be displayed without a mount it would be possible to mount within an appropriate aperture or even a cut out in a stud partition wall. The bezel measures 8.5" x 6.75" and the clock is 3.5" deep (21 cm x 17.5 cm x 9 cm).It weights a substantial 3.1 kilos and was clearly an expensive timepiece in its day. It is ticking away happily on our office wall but we have no idea when it was last serviced and it may be worth the new owner having the mechanism checked. Further detailed pictures available on request. Most ships clocks we get in all have a story to tell this has been mainly lost down the years. We have no such issues knowing where and when this one was made and where it served!

£275.00
Stock Enquiry Form
3309 Lord High Admiral of Great Britain Original Desk Seal with Royal Associations - Click for the bigger picture New Stock Lord High Admiral of Great Britain Original Desk Seal with Royal Associations - If only this one could talk! We have just purchased this seal from a private collector here in the West Country, South West England. Whilst looking like a fairly well used and mundane desk seal we have deciphered the Latin inscription of the seal which reads :- ‘SIGIL:OFFI:MAG:ADMIR:MAG:BR & C’ and enclosed within is the fouled anchor device of the British Royal Navy. In translation the wording reads:- ‘The Seal of the Lord High Admiral of Great Britain’. Further detective work indicates this office of state dates back to 1405 and the Lord High Admiral of England, Great Britain and then the United Kingdom is the titular head of the Royal Navy. Most holders have been courtiers or members of the Royal Family and include the Duke of York, Charles11, King James 11 and Queen Anne. The incumbents were mainly not professional Naval officers and the office of Lord High Admiral remains one of the nine English Great Officers of State. The position has remained extant until finally abolished in 1964 when the functions of the Admiralty were transferred to the Secretary of State for Defence and the ancient title of Lord High Admiral was transferred to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth 11. The Queen held the title for 47 years up until 2011 when she conferred the office upon her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, as part of the celebrations for his 90th birthday and he remains the current holder. The Queen chose this title to honour her husband with as he served in the Royal Navy during the Second World War, and gave up a promising naval career to support her as consort.

The seal handle is made from an ebonised hardwood and judging from the wear it has had significant usage during its working life, that just adds to its charm. The metal seal remains in perfect condition and is not worn and would work today as well as it has done during a long service life. We would estimate it dates from the first half of the 20th century. Sadly its significant history has been lost down the years but it is probably safe to speculate this modest item has served to seal documents of state over many years and could well have spent its working life at Buckingham Place; we can almost smell the distinctive aroma of hot red sealing wax here in the Oldnautibits HQ today! Certainly a one off item and we are unlikely to ever find another. With a clear connection to the British Royal Family grab it whilst you can! Measures 3.75” (9.5 cm)

£95.00
Stock Enquiry Form
1384 WW1 Convoy or Zig-Zag Clock - Click for the bigger picture New Stock WW1 Convoy or Zig-Zag Clock - Zig-Zag clocks from WW1 are almost impossible to find and even WW2 examples are both scarce and expensive. The last one of these we had in was back in 2004 so it has been a long wait to secure another! We had previously thought the maker was the US based company Seth Thomas but with online research we have located an identical example which was identified by the Royal Navy Submarine Museum at Gosport as being manufactured around 1915 by The Standard Time Watch Company of New York, who traded between 1885-1926.

This rare early example dates from the first part of the 20th century. In WW1 England was suffering huge losses amongst it's merchant fleet due to German submarine actions. It was therefore decided convoys should not sail a straight course and so avoid providing a easy target for German torpedoes. A means had to be found for large convoys to all alter course at exactly the same moment so as to avoid collisions and these clocks were the tools to do it. Secret sealed orders were issued to all the Captains prior to sailing and these gave the exact time when the helmsman should alter course on a predesignated bearing, in unison with the rest of the fleet, often out of vision and without the need to break radio silence or to use Morse signals. The electrical connector on the hand (now absent) would touched the contact on the brass ring attached to the dial and so complete a circuit which sounded a bell at pre-set times. Every time the bell rang the helmsman would change course.

These clock were of basic utility design and made without a bezel or glass exactly as our example. The dial is original, is unnamed and has not been refinished in any way. The metal case has been repainted and has three brass mounting lugs for bulkhead attachment. Three moveable brass contacts remain on the external brass bezel and at the base of the clock are two screw fitted terminals where the bell or buzzer would have been connected. The minute hand carries the remains of the electrical connector whilst the hour and second hands are of standard design. The clockwork mechanism is key wound and is working happily here in the office although we have no record when it was last serviced and it may be wise for a new owner to have this done seeing the age of this timepiece.

As with all our stock feel free to contact us for more detailed pictures and additional information. Whilst we have seen prettier clocks few come with such a story to tell and an extremely rare survivor from a distant war fought on and below the North Atlantic over 100 years ago!

£235.00
Stock Enquiry Form
3207 Sestrel Marine Barometer - Click for the bigger picture New Stock Sestrel Marine Barometer - A good original example manufactured by Henry Browne and Son Ltd, of Barking, London. Henry Browne was born in Lewis, Sussex in 1842 and died in Barking in 1935. His company became a well-respected English instrument maker, manufacturing and selling fine quality compasses, ship's clocks, inclinometers, sextants, and barometers for over 140 years and the Trade Mark brand 'Sestrel' was used on all their equipment. The company experienced boom conditions the 1970s but collapsed in the 1980s due to the popularity of cheaper plastic compasses over traditional brass ones.

Our aneroid barometer has a good clear dial which as well as the brand name is marked 'Compensated' meaning it is compensated for temperature variations. Below it is marked 'm. m. Hg' together with 'English Made Marine Barometer'. Barometric pressure is sometimes reported in inches (in/Hg) or millimetres of mercury (mmHg). In this case the scale is calibrated on the outer scale from 950 to 1050 Millibars and on the inner is marked from 71-79 millimetres of mercury. The tell-tale marker is in place and rotates to mark the pressure when recordings are taken.

The case is made from solid brass and shows signs of minor age related wear but it remains in excellent overall condition. Measured on the back rim is 8" or 20 cm whilst the glass diameter is 6" or 15 cm ; it depth is 3 1/2 or 9 cm. The back plate is drilled for bulkhead mounting for use on board ship but is entirely appropriate serving ashore and is a perfect size being neither too small or too big. We currently have it on test here on the office wall and it is recording well the current changes in barometric pressure.

£125.00
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