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Nautical Stock Archive - Page 1

These are some of the SOLD items that have been listed on our website

There are a maximum of 20 items on each page - they are not listed in any particular order. As time goes by we will continue to add to this archive, so, hopefully it will become quite a large reference record. If you have a specific interest, try using the Search box below - this will search the entire stock database for any keyword(s) you enter.

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Reference Stock Item   Description
PC216 Royal Navy ' Sestrel' Marine Compass Mounted on Arm brackets - Click for the bigger picture SoldRoyal Navy ' Sestrel' Marine Compass Mounted on Arm brackets - Discovered in the Naval port of Plymouth, Devon this is a very fine and solidly built marine compass. The edge of the compass, that sits in gimbals, is stamped 'Aft' and below the model number 4176N/6ST.

Interestingly a brass encased lamp holder is mounted above the compass and when illuminated it would have projected a pin prick of light down on the forward lubber line to assist the helmsman on night passage. The lamp is no longer wired although the lamp holder is present and the unit is clearly stamped AP5663 ; AP refers to an Admiralty Pattern hence our deduction this compass was designed for and used on craft of the Royal Navy.

The compass card is generally in very good condition with just some minor paint bubbles to the centre. The card carries the brand name 'Sestrel' indicating it was made by Henry Browne and Son Ltd, of Barking. Henry Browne was born in Lewis, Sussex in 1842 and died in Barking in 1935 and was a respected English manufacturer, making and selling fine quality compasses, ship's clocks, inclinometers, sextants, and chandlery items for over 140 years. The factory was based in Brightlingsea, Essex and moved to Barking in 1929. The Trade Mark brand 'Sestrel' was used on all their equipment. Their “Dead Beat“ compass design is well dampened and serves to reduce oscillations and was fitted to many Allied ships during WW II and we believe this may be the origin of this instrument although it is not dated.. The company went through a boom period in the 1970s but collapsed in the 1980s due to the popularity of cheaper plastic compasses over traditional brass examples as ours.

The card swings feely and appears to align to North, although like all our stock is for sale as a collectable item and we can not guarantee its current accuracy. When purchased it was mounted on a totally inappropriate piece of melamine board. This we have had this replaced with a solid piece of marine mahogany which has been salvaged from a small craft. This has been finished in 5 coats of yacht varnish and the brass has all been hand polished, so that it glows and sets off this top quality Naval compass to its best advantage. It has already drawn attention here in our office since it was returned from our restorers and it would sit very happily in a marine collection or environment. The compass face measures 6" diameter (15 cm) whilst the display stand is about 11.5" x 8" (29 cm x 20 cm). Rubber feet are attached to the base.

5053 White Star Line RMS Titanic & Olympic Regent Plate Dish - Click for the bigger picture SoldWhite Star Line RMS Titanic & Olympic Regent Plate Dish - Manufactured by top London maker Goldsmiths & Silversmiths Company of 112, Regent Street and fully stamped to base which confirms its origins. In addition to the quality makers name it is marked 'Regent Ware' and a further stamp reading 'Rd 451002', which stands for the design registration number which with further research indicates it dates from 1904/5. Inside the bowl is the characteristic swallow tail house flag of the White Star Line. Excitingly we found online an original 'Goldsmiths' advertisement that confirms as well as holding a Royal Warrant 'The Companies Regent Plate, as supplied to SS Olympic and Titanic and is the finest substitute in the World for solid silver.' We understand this actual 'Art Nouveau' design was specifically selected by the WSL for use aboard her Olympic Class liners of the period and examples exist featuring the same pattern recovered from the wreck of the Titanic. The design continued in service exclusively on the Olympic Class vessels but in later years it was extended to other ships in the fleet. When WSL and Cunard amalgamated in 1934 many items were re branded 'Cunard White Star' in 1936 and reissued for further service. This did not happen to our dish so seeing the design registration date it is quite possible this served on the Olympic or Britannic.

The dish measures 5 1/4" diameter (13 cm) and stands 1 1/2" from base to rim (4 cm). The plating is in remarkably good condition with the exception being the inside base which shows wear commensurate with long service. We do not know the intended use but believe this bowl may have been intended for sugar which would explain the scratching to the pate. Another surmise is the design could have been used as a finger bowl but we prefer the first theory. The WSL house flag is in fine condition as are all the manufactures details on the base. Sadly we have no provenance with it other than it turned up at a local antiques fair here in Somerset, South West England. It has almost clearly served afloat and undoubtedly has a story to tell. A fine example of a genuine White Star Line bowl that would have served in the restaurants and of the unique design used aboard the Olympic Class liners including the RMS Titanic and her sister ships RMS Olympic and Britannic.

OC440 Vintage Mahogany Folding Yacht Table - Click for the bigger picture SoldVintage Mahogany Folding Yacht Table - We have owned and used this little table ourselves for close on 20 years but a new design scheme forces us to reluctantly offer for rehomeing. Whilst its origins are unknown it probably originally served on a yacht or launch where space below decks was at a premium. Our picture shows the top in the extended position and this gives a surface area of 29" x22.75" (74 cm x 58 cm); when the top leaves are closed the top dimensions reduce to a modest 29" x 11.5" (74 cm x 29 cm).In the folded position the top also has lips on either side to prevent items stored on top falling off during passage. It stands 25" high (64 cm) in the opened position.

Finished in a lightly waxed mahogany, the nautical origins are maintained by solid brass butterfly hinges and below the table is a useful storage compartment that would have been entirely practical at sea, when space is always at a premium. The base of the legs have holes drilled where the table would originally have been bolted to the saloon floor. Sometimes on these table the legs also fold in to aid storage when not in use; this is not the case with this one and the legs are fixed in position, which makes it eminently suitable for continued use ashore. We have found it a fine and practical piece of nautical furniture to own and whilst for sale a collectable we see no reason, if you should require a table for use on your classic boat, why it should not again go back to sea.

Please also check out the pitch pine ships table we are also listing today.

2652 'The Handy' Man O'War Garden Chair made by H.Castle & Sons - Click for the bigger picture Sold'The Handy' Man O'War Garden Chair made by H.Castle & Sons - Manufactured from teak, this is a campaign style folding garden chair with an oval brass plaque riveted to the back confirming : "THE HANDY (REG) A PORTABLE FOLDING CHAIR MADE FROM TEAK WOOD FROM OLD NAVY SHIPS BROKEN UP H.CASTLE & SONS MILLBANK SW". Shipbreakers Castle & Sons, who were the largest shipbreakers in England in the Victorian period, are still in business today. They started their shipbreaking business at the Baltic Wharf, Millbank on the Thames in 1838. The firm specialized in the breaking up of wooden warships there; Turner's famous painting entitled “The Fighting Téméraire" shows that ship being towed to Castle's yard on her final journey. It was found by Castle's that reclaimed seasoned timbers from decommissioned wooden warship and especially the oak and teak made an source of material for garden furniture. In 1887 the company furnished the grounds of Buckingham Palace for the garden party held in honour of Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee. In addition Castle's supplied the timber that was reused for other purposes including within the store 'Liberties of London' in 1922 when material recovered from the old training ships 'Impregnable' and ' Hindostan' which were been broken up by them on the Thames was 'repurposed'!

Our chair has clearly been painted at least twice during its life and traces of blue and white can be seen giving it the classic shabby chic look so popular today. The chair folds flat for storage purposes and whilst like all out stock is offered for sale as a collectable it remains in remarkably sound condition despite its age and we estimate it probably dates from c. 1910-1920. With some Castle furniture the plaque also confirmed the Naval ship from which the timbers were recovered but in this instance this is sadly not the case but Castle's records indicate a list of the famous ships from which the Men O’War teak built seats were made was extensive and included famous names such as the 'Colossus', 'Galatea', 'Albion', 'Alexandra ', 'Ajax ' 'Apollo' and 'Arethus'. We can only guess at the origins of our ships timber chair but I remains a fine early example of what we would term 'recycling' but today's trendies refer to as 'up cycling'! The chair is of modest proportions measuring 29" to top of back rest (74 cm) and a 16" (41 cm) seat height. Grab this small but beautifully formed piece of Royal Navy history whilst you can!

375 Original Cunard/White Star Line steamer Chair - Click for the bigger picture SoldOriginal Cunard/White Star Line steamer Chair - Now these do not turn up very often! On offer is a genuine 'Cunard' embossed vintage steamer chair which we believed dates from the 1930's. The Cunard Line, one of the most famous names in shipping was established 1839 Samuel Cunard, a Halifax shipowner. For most of the next 30 years, Cunard held the Blue Riband for the fastest Atlantic voyage. By the late 1920s Cunard faced new competition from the Germans, Italians and French so in 1934 the British Government offered Cunard loans to finish Queen Mary and to build a second ship, Queen Elizabeth, on the condition that Cunard merged with the then ailing White Star line to form Cunard-White Star Ltd. The Cunard fleet has welcomed the most illustrious members of society on board, and has a guest book which includes everyone from Queen Elizabeth II to Liz Taylor and we can only speculate who may have enjoyed this chair on the sundeck of those Queens of the seas although sadly the provenance of this chair has been lost down the years.

Our steamer in very original condition having been taken back to its original natural wood finish although it has received some light restoration to restore it to display condition. As well as the all-important Cunard branding on the seat back it also carries a brass plaque which would originally have held a name card confirming the passengers entitlement to enjoy it- so no need for any towels to reserve this sun bed from fellow passengers! We believe it is made from oak and is still sound but after all these years it is for sale, like all our stock, as an historical collectable rather than to be used for its intended purpose. A similar but slightly earlier chair, one of the only ones recover from the Titanic disaster, was sold at auction recently for £85,000!! The last 'Cunard' branded chair we saw sold on UK e Bay back in 2012 made £200. Our Cunard/White Star Line example is rather more modestly priced so grab yourself a bargain whilst you can!

OC170 Pair of Original Ships 'Onion' Lamps - Click for the bigger picture SoldPair of Original Ships 'Onion' Lamps - A matched pair in totally original condition. Generally referred to as 'onion lamps' for the very obvious similarity with the shape of the vegetable, these were used for a variety of functions on board ship. Those with clear glass were used below decks for cabin lighting or above deck as anchor lamps whilst examples with coloured glass, as here, were used as navigation lamps strung from the rigging. The wire cage surrounding the globes provided a useful function of protecting the glass from damage by sails of flapping cordage.

Whist the history of this pair is now lost we believe they are probably of European and perhaps French or German origin. We surmise this as the original oil burners are still fitted; one is marked 'Reform-Rund Brenner' which was a German manufacturer base in Berlin whilst the other burner is stamped 'Unis, Paris, France'. Interestingly both the globes have been etched with code numbers 'R*49654' and 'R*49655' which may have identified them to the vessel they served on. The lamps are made from galvanised metal finished in gold paint and come complete with suspension loops. It is nice to find a set of original lamps that have the burners with them but it would be a simple job to wire them up for electricity and without the need to damage them by drilling, which sadly has happend on many of the lamps we see.

Interestingly one lamp is stamped into the metal 'T49654' whist the other is marked 'T49655' so no doubt they came out of the factory at the same time and have always remained together and as a result we prefer to sell as a near matched pair rather than selling individually. They are an impressive size standing c. 22" tall including the extended handle (56 cm) and the diameter measured around the cage is about 13" (33cm). Fine examples of the type on offer at a remarkably modest price!

2560 Shipbuilders Block Model - Click for the bigger picture SoldShipbuilders Block Model - A large an impressive ships hull that was purchased from the closing down sale at Mashfod's ship yard at Cremyll, Cornwall in 2003.

The yard at Cremyll has a long and industrious history being established way back in 1774 and in the period 1779 – 1812 was run by John Parkin and they built 28 vessels including several customs cutters, armed privateer boats and smuggling vessels. The Banks family then took control and from 1823 -1852 they built at least 49 vessels many of them schooners for the fruit trade to the Azores and the Mediterranean. In the period 1875 – 1905 they built the first steamboats, the Armadillo and the Shuttlecock for the Cremyll Ferry in the 1880s; by WW11 they received commissions from neighbouring RAF Mountbatten for smaller inshore craft. The Mashford family first leased the yard in 1930 and they soon developed a significant reputation for both quality and design of their wooden boats. During the Second World War some of their work included building small boats for RAF Mount Batten. Mashford Brothers was then acquired by Appledore Shipbuilders in 1999 but their grandiose business plans failed and went into liquidation in 2003 and the assets, including this model, were sold off at auction.

Sadly we have no idea what vessel she represents but was clearly a significant vessel. The hull carries the original grey paint that is showing significant age wear but this reflects the 'chabby chic' look currently favoured by interior designers. We have left it exactly as it came to us but the paint could easily be stripped and the hull waxed and polished but we will leave that decision to the new owners. The deck remains unpainted and carries hatch pencil marks, we assume drawn by the ships architect. We considered for a moment sectioning the model and mounted on appropriate hardwood back it would make not one but two block models but again we prefer to leave it in its original state. It is quite an impressive size measuring 59.5" stem to stern (151cm), a beam of 9" (23cm) and she stands 5" from the base of the hull to her deck (13cm). Despite her history being lost a large and impressive model with loads of display potential.

5353 Siebe Heinke Admiralty Pattern Divers Torch Pattern 0563/202927 - Click for the bigger picture SoldSiebe Heinke Admiralty Pattern Divers Torch Pattern 0563/202927 - Siebe Gorman & Co Ltd have manufactured hand-held battery powered submarine electric torches for divers and the British Ministry of Defence since the 1920's. On offer here is another rare and desirable divers torch we are listing today. Back in 1961, perhaps the two most famous names in diving terms C.E.Heinke and Siebe Gorman merged to form a single company. Research indicates that for just a limited period, torches were made under the combined 'SIEBE HEINKE' brand'. In 1968, the maker reverted to their original name with the inscription of SIEBE GORMAN and the AP (Admiralty Pattern) number was dropped in preference for the NATO reference number, as nicely illustrated on item 4910 we have also just listed on the site. This torch therefore is a scarce and desirable example from this brief period of production as it is clearly branded 'SIEBE HEINKE of London'. Below the switch box and located between the top two knurled grip rings it is further engraved A.P.No 0563/202927 and below the date of manufacture 1964. Unlike the later four prong divers torches this model did not carry a leather wrist strap but instead there is a lanyard hole on a curved metal plate on the end of the torch. Stamped into this plate are several Naval acceptance or inspector’s marks including a large 'X' and a 'D ',a broad arrow property mark and an' E' with a 'T' below.

Inside the torch has a circular rubber 'o' ring seal that is attached to the lamp reflector rim. The seal also isolates the electrical circuit until the slide switch pushes a metal contactor against the reflector casing to complete the circuit. The three ‘D-size’, 1.5 volt dry cell batteries are housed in an internal grey painted aluminium sleeve with a straight coil compression spring at the end to hold them firmly in place. This torch is not currently fitted with batteries so we can't warrant if it is still in working order, but the component parts are all complete and it may still function as intended. The rugged, simple construction of all Siebe Gorman Military issue torches enables them to operate within the depth parameters of most normal Royal Navy diving limits and is safe to operate down to 80 meters. The body is made from high quality brass (probably Admiralty or Naval qualities) and most were electroplated in either chrome or nickel. This example retains its original finish and has not been ruined by stripping as often seems to happen with divers torches.

It is in exceptional original condition with just very minor service marks commensurate with use. The torch measures 11" long (28 cm and the diameter of the lens end is 2.75" (7 cm) It weights a hefty 3.6lbs without batteries (1.7 kilos). This is the first example of a 'SIEBE HEINKE of London' variant torch we have ever had in and do not anticipate it will be with us for long. As with all our stock feel free to drop us a mail and request for more photographs so you can check out the detail and specification. This is one not to be missed!

6624 Siebe Gorman London Submarine Emergency Escape Goggles - Click for the bigger picture SoldSiebe Gorman London Submarine Emergency Escape Goggles - These formed an integral part of the Davis Submerged Escape Apparatus, an early type of oxygen rebreather invented in 1910 by Sir Robert Davis, head of Siebe Gorman and Co. Ltd. They were primarily intended as an emergency escape apparatus for submarine crews.

The DSEA rig comprised a rubber re breather bag, an air cylinder containing 56 litres, with the breathing bag connected to a mouthpiece by a flexible corrugated tube for breathing via the mouthpiece, with the nose being closed by a clip. Our goggles, that are in close to mint and we suspect unissued condition, were provided as a standard part of the system. The Davis Submerged Escape Apparatus is believed to be the first re breather to be made in quantity and was adopted by the Royal Navy in 1929 and was used in live situations to assist crew members to escape from several sunken submarines, including HMS Poseidon in 1931, HMS Thetis in 1939 and HMS Perseus in 1941. A smaller version of the DSEA, the Amphibious Tank Escape Apparatus (ATEA) was use by the crews of amphibious DD tanks such as those used during the Normandy landings, many of which foundered before getting to the beaches. Also in WWII the set was notably used by the Underwater Working Party at Gibraltar led by Lt. Lionel "Buster" Crabb, and worn by frogmen piloting 'Sleeping Beauty' Motorised Submersible Canoes.

This set are clearly embossed on the central nose bridge 'Siebe Gorman & Co Ltd Makers London. Where the back strap is attached is marked TR3095 and a B below. In addition inside the right eyepiece the rubber is embossed VOCAB 25366. The orange rubber is in excellent pliable condition with no perishing and the elastic and leather back strap is pristine. The glass lenses are again close to mint with no damage or fogging. This is the first set of these we have had in for 9 years and these are in significantly better condition and impossible to upgrade. Aviation collectors amongst you may well notice the similarity of these to early rubber RFC first pattern flying issue. Grab them whilst you can as when they have gone they are gone!

5244 Kaiserliche Und Königliche Kriegsmarine Aneroid Barometer - Click for the bigger picture SoldKaiserliche Und Königliche Kriegsmarine Aneroid Barometer - The Austro-Hungarian Navy was the naval force of Austria-Hungary and its official name in German was" Kaiserliche Und Königliche Kriegsmarine" translated to "Imperial and Royal War Navy" but normally abbreviated to “K.u. K. Kriegsmarine". The K.u. K. was created after the formation of the Dual Monarchy in 1867 and by 1915 a total of 33,735 naval personnel were serving in the Kriegsmarine. Ships of the K.u. K. Kriegsmarine were designated SMS, for Seiner Majestät Schiff or His Majesty's Ship. After the First World War, both Austria and Hungary were deprived of their coasts, and their Navies were abolished by the victorious Allied powers. Their former ports on the Adriatic Sea, such as Trieste, Pola, Fiume, and Ragusa, became parts of Italy and Yugoslavia.

Our aneroid barometer is a rare survivor from this little know Navy and whilst not dated we would estimate it was manufactured in the late 19th or early 20th century. The silvered dial is engraved 'Holosteric Barometer''. ‘Holosteric' is defined as:- 'wholly constructed of solids, without any liquid'. The dial is numbered 446 and below further engraved 'K.u. K Kriegsmarine'. The bottom of the dial features a Celsius Thermometer with a scale from 10C-50C. The reverse of the brass case is further engraved K.u. K. K.M. and below PHNB enclosed within a circle, a device repeated on the dial. This is the manufacturers mark, made up of the initials of the founders Pertuis, Hulot, Naudet and are regarded as one of the world's premier barometer makers, established in Paris in 1860and still in business today.

The instrument is in very good original condition and the only issue is at some stage it looks as though the silvered dial has been rather too enthusiastically cleaned resulting in some surface scratching to the silvering, but when wall hung this is hardly noticeable. The case profile is exaggeratedly dished and the barometer carries a brass hanging loop to the top, which locates on a brass hook mounted on a custom made mahogany mount which sets the instrument off perfectly when displayed. The barometric pressure and tell-tale hands function as intended as does the thermometer. A rare and desirable K.u. k. Kriegsmarine barometer by one of the very best makers which would make a fine yet functional addition to a specialist K.u. K Kriegsmarine or barometer collection.

2470 HMS Norfolk Trench Art Spill Holder - Click for the bigger picture SoldHMS Norfolk Trench Art Spill Holder - HMS Norfolk was a County-class heavy cruiser of the Royal Navy and she served with distinction throughout WW11. She was commissioned on 30 April 1930 and served until 1939 when she returned for a refit. At the outbreak of war Norfolk was deployed with the 18th Cruiser Squadron of the Home Fleet, and was involved in the chase for the German small battleships Gneisenau and Scharnhorst, along with the pocket battleship Admiral Scheer.

In the hunt for the Bismark in 1941 Norfolk was the second ship to sight the German battleship. She and her near sister ship Suffolk continued to trail her whilst the cruisers later joined the battleships Rodney and King George V as part of the force that finally sank Bismarck.

Later that year Norfolk was tasked on Arctic Convoys. in 1943 she was in action against the Scharnhorst and scored three hits on the German ship, and received several 11-in shell hits (all passing through the thin-skinned ship without exploding) in return. Scharnhorst was later caught and sunk by the battleship Duke of York and her escorting cruisers and destroyers.

Her luck held and she survived the war and 1949 was placed in Reserve and finally sold for scrapping in 1950. She proudly served for 22 years, in which time she won Battle Honours for ATLANTIC 1941, BISMARCK 1941, NORTH AFRICA 1942, ARCTIC 1943, NORTH CAPE 1943 and NORWAY 1943.

This piece of trench art is nicely worked and fashioned from a brass shell case and whilst the history has been lost it seems likely this was crafted by a crew member and the donor shell was fired from Norfolk. Our research indicates 'Norfolk' was armed with 8 × BL 8 inch Mk VIII guns in twin mounts, 8 × QF 4 inch Mk XVI guns in twin mounts & 16 × QF 2 pdr Mk VIII guns in octuple mounts. Of these the QF 2 pounder seems to align as the bore of our shell case is 40 mil diameter / 1.6”.

The item carries an applied HMS Norfolk badge to the front and it sits on a turned hardwood base. The top lip has been attractively fluted and it makes a decorative souvenir from a great ship. It measures 5" tall (13 cm)

1925 Original Library Key from 'RMS Pendennis Castle' - Click for the bigger picture SoldOriginal Library Key from 'RMS Pendennis Castle' - One of the most famous passenger vessels of the Union Castle Line, she was built by Harland and Wolff as a replacement for the ageing "Arundel Castle". The ship's keel was laid on 8 November 1955 but the following year Union-Castle merged with Clan Line Steamers Ltd. to form British & Commonwealth Shipping Company. The new management decided to enlarge Pendennis Castle whilst under construction and her length was increased by 18ft. "Pendennis Castle" was launched on n 24 December 1957.

"Pendennis Castle", named after the castle of the same name looking over Falmouth bay, served 1959-1976 on a regular route between Southampton to Las Palmas, Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, East London and Durban on what was called "the Cape Mail service". On 23 April 1976 "Pendennis Castle" sailed from Southampton on her final voyage to South Africa. On arrival back in her home port on 14 June 1976 she was withdrawn from service and sold to the Panama registered Ocean Queen Navigation Company and was renamed "Ocean Queen" with the intention to operate her as a cruise ship but this never happened. She was re named Sinbad, then Sinbad I, but she never returned to commercial service and was broken up in Taiwan in 1980.

On offer is an original key with a "Union -Castle" Line paper label attached marked "Pendennis Castle" with information confirming the bookcase to which is related in the ships Tourist Library. We have a total of 8 sets available and all with a Union Castle label attached, which show some ageing. The keys about 2 1/4" long (6cm) and show a little rust as you would expect.

These keys would provide a unique addition to an "RMS Pendennis Castle"or a "Union-Castle Line" collection or as a souvenir to passengers or crew who sailed on her. The key and label illustrated here is the one you will receive.

1920 Passenger Vessel Mechanical Counter - Click for the bigger picture SoldPassenger Vessel Mechanical Counter - When purchased we were told this box was used to count passengers on and off vessels to make sure the ship sailed with a full complement and with nobody left behind. Whilst purchased in Manchester we were told it originated from the seaport of Liverpool.

The box is made from mahogany and of jointed construction and has a circular aperture cut in the front with a brass dial located behind a glass panel. The top of the instrument features a press down brass knob reminiscent of counter bells used to attract sales staff in shops in the 1950's. When depressed firmly the counter moves forward by one and a bell rings on each occasion. The maximum passenger count is a theoretical 9999. The brass counting mechanism is stamped 'Williamson' and 'Ashton-U-Lyne'. We researched this company and see they also made ticket printers for 'tramways, omnibuses, railways and steamboats'. The box originally had a lock fitted, accessed via the lid, but the lock is now missing. The internal mechanism can be removed and on the reverse are two knobs for zeroing the counter dials for future use.

Whilst for sale as a marine collectable it is in full working order and we see no reason why it could not be used as originally intended although today modern electronic versions do the same job but without the style of ours. We would guesstimate this dates from the early 20th century. The case measures 6 3/4"x 3 3/4" (17cm x 9.50cm)

PC211 Marine Range Finder by Kelvin Hughes - Click for the bigger picture SoldMarine Range Finder by Kelvin Hughes - In steam driven days (using the original meaning of the expression) and long before radar, a manual method of calculating distance at sea was essential for safe passage. This intriguing little hand held optical instrument fitted the bill perfectly. It was operated on the same principle as early cameras where a split image rangefinder was built in and when a distant object lined up against both prisms the distance could be calculated from an attached scale and an accurate focus could be obtained.

In operation this instrument would be set by aligning the height of the ships mast against the left edge of the transverse height scale from 0 to 200 feet. This need not necessarily be mast head to waterline measurement as the note pad on the reverse side has provision for noting also the distance from the mast head to the “lower top” and “Upper speed to stern lt.” The distant vessel is then viewed through the telescope, where a split field view is seen. The image of the head of the mast in one half is brought alongside the image of the waterline in the other half by rotating the knurled knob on the right of the instrument and when aligned the distance in cables (a cable is one tenth of a nautical mile) can be read against the index on the distance scale.

The instrument is in excellent condition and whilst we can no longer guarantee its accuracy it all seems to function as intended. It carries a makers label to 'Kelvin Hughes A Division of Smiths Industries Ltd'. Kelvin & Hughes Ltd was formed in 1947 by the merger of the scientific instrument manufacturing firms of Henry Hughes & Son Ltd, London, England, and Kelvin Bottomley & Baird Ltd, Glasgow, Scotland. Kelvin & Hughes Ltd were essentially a part of Smith's Industries Ltd founded in 1944 as the successors of S. Smith & Son Ltd. Kelvin & Hughes Ltd was liquidated in 1966 but the name was continued as 'Kelvin Hughes, a division of Smiths Group plc'. We therefore deduce this instrument was manufactured around 1966 or later but the basic pattern was used much earlier by the Royal Navy. Whilst an obsolete instrument today it makes a fine talking point and would sit happily in a marine or scientific instrument collection and represents excellent value at a modest price. Instrument measures 5 1/4" x 3 1/4" (13cm x 8cm).

1040 Pacific Steam Navigation Company Pastry or Fruit Fork - Click for the bigger picture SoldPacific Steam Navigation Company Pastry or Fruit Fork - Founded by William Wheelwright in London in 1838 P.S.N.Co began operations in 1840 with two steam ships. In 1852 they were contracted by the British Government to carry mail to South America. In 1905 Pacific Steam sold its London – Sydney route to the Royal Mail Steam Packet Company, who bought the entire company in 1910. They operated throughout both world wars and beyond but in 1965 P.S.N.C and Royal Mail were bought by Furness Withy.

Our fork carries a kings Crown and the company initials P.S.N.Co. with a stylised leaf below. On the reverse is further ornate decoration showing a native headdress and Pacific Island motif. We also noted very small letting M & W indicating this item was made by the quality Sheffield based firm of Mappin & Webb. In very good original condition with just minor service wear commensurate with age and use. Measures 6.25”(16cm)

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OC289 6 Spoke Launch Wheel - Click for the bigger picture Sold6 Spoke Launch Wheel - On offer is modest 14.25” diameter (36 cm) small ships wheel manufactured from brass with teak spokes. We have here an original Simpson Laurence marine equipment catalogue dating from October 1965 and have found a near identical example listed that was priced at seven pounds and ten shillings which was a significant price 51 years ago!

Our wheel does not have any makers marks so we do not know its origins but would estimate it dates to a similar period or perhaps a little earlier. The metal work has been lightly polished and glows almost like bronze in the late October sunlight. The teak spokes show signs of wear commensurate with age and use; each is secured by a large brass head locking screw. Seeing the small size this would make a perfect display item in a nautically themed room or if you have a suitable classic launch we see no reason why it could not be used as originally intended. A modest yet decorative wheel on offer at a keener price than in 1965, having taken inflation into account!
OC400 Royal Navy Tin Case named to W.A.Smith Esq R.N. - Click for the bigger picture SoldRoyal Navy Tin Case named to W.A.Smith Esq R.N. - We are pleased to offer another interesting case this time made of tin and of Royal Navay origins. It is of the type issued by the Admiralty to store and transport items of clothing and equipment in. Sometimes the shape gives a clue to the original contents, as with say a bicorn hat. In this instance we can only guess at what was stored within as the contents are now missing. The metal case measures 24” x 12” x 5” (61cm x 31cm x 13cm) and in finished in original black paint. It is in generally good original condition with the odd mark to the finish commensurate with age and use.

To the front is a solid cast brass carrying handle that looks as though it too would have originally been painted black but much of the paint has been worn clean through use. The case has the facility to be secured by a padlock and it also appears to have had two additional sliding fasteners to the lid which are now missing. The case also features two smaller metal carry handles at either end. A particularly nice touch is a silvered plaque to the lid that is finely engraved to the original owner ‘W.A.Smith Esq R.N.’ Sadly the details of his service career have been lost down the years. The lid also carries two copper riveted strengthening bars.

Inside the interior metal has been painted in Royal Naval grey ; this again is flaking in places but is clearly the original finish as issued. The item does not carry a date but we would estimate it originates from the late 19th to early 20th century. A modest and utilitarian example of Royal Navy memorabilia but it remains an interesting and decorative example that will appeal to a wide spectrum of collectors.
2678 White Star Line Related Suitcase - Click for the bigger picture SoldWhite Star Line Related Suitcase - Perhaps the most famous (or infamous) name in shipping the White Star Line (WSL) conjures up images of travel at its most opulent and tragedy at its most dire. The full name of the company was Oceanic Steam Navigation Company or White Star Line of Boston Packets, but was more commonly simply known simply as ‘The White Star Line’. Founded here in the UK in 1845, WSL operated a fleet of clipper ships that sailed between Britain and Australia. The White Star Line was bought by Thomas Ismay in 1868. and his son Bruce took over as company director in 1899 after the death of his father. White Star was one of the first shipping lines to offer third Class accommodation, in addition to First and Second Class.

Rather than compete with the smaller and faster liners belonging to its main rival Cunard, White Star concentrated more on comfort and reliability, rather than just speed. This was demonstrated by the innovative Olympic-class liners, Olympic, Britannic and the ill-fated Titanic, all built by the Belfast shipyard of Harland & Wolff. In 1934, White Star merged with its chief rival, Cunard Line and was operated as Cunard-White Star Line until 1950. Subsequently the Cunard Line operated as a separate entity, but since 2005 has become part of part of Carnival Group.

Our modest suitcase is little more than a large hat box and certainly fits the description of ‘shabby chic’ and judging from the wear shown it is much travelled. Despite this it is however lifted by a number of original and rather special shipping labels. To the handle is attached a fine White Star Line Cabin Class example for the Liverpool Service and further indicating a ‘State Room’ has been reserved in ‘Cabin Class’ and the luggage is ‘Wanted on the Voyage’. The reverse side has sections for the passengers and steamers name, the room number and the port where the luggage is to be landed as well as the foreign address. If this was ever completed the details have now faded. This label was printed in the USA by Dennison. Beside it is a further WSL sticky label, again printed in the USA, which we believe to date from around 1910 and again confirming the case is wanted on the voyage. This one is named to ‘Williams’ and the room number appears to be 6B.Sadly the other details we can no longer decipher. This label is pasted over another but we have no clues to its origins.

On the case end is further adhesive ‘White Star line Wanted on Voyage’ label and again we believe dating to the early 20th century, and pasted over an earlier one below. This has been typed and is named to a ‘Derek Williams’. His cabin number on this occasion was 52 and the voyage was booked to Liverpool and his overseas address is shown as 8, John Street, London, W.C.2. Our research indicates its centrepiece was the Royal Terrace, but was subsequently demolished and John Street and Duke Street now form present day John Adam street. In addition to the initials embossed to the top of the case ‘A.M.’ we have a final label on the handle indicating the case and perhaps its contents was put into store at Bentalls Furniture Depository at Kingston-on Thames on 3rd October 1938. The name on the label is ‘Badcock’ so a further mystery! Bentalls Department Store and Depository opened in 1932 but the site has now been redeveloped and is the location of 'The Bentalls Centre'.

So you will see despite its shabby appearance this small case is of historical interest, dating back it seems to the early 20th century and clearly has a long and interesting story to tell. It appears appears to be made from a leatherette material which shows significant wear and some staining. The brass lock is still working but the key is missing. The interior is lined with green baize and shows age related wear. Elastic luggage retaining straps are still in place. It measures 17” x 14” x 11” (43 cm x 36 cm x 28 cm). The interest in this item is of course in its shipping labels. It may be possible with further research to establish which WSL ocean liners it sailed on but we will leave that to the next custodian. In the mean time it is nice to find a totally original example that has been put away and untouched for close on the last 80 years - as we say in the trade a genuine ‘sleeper’! As with all items on offer feel free to ask for further detailed pictures of the case and its labels.

4767 H.M.S. Hastings Presentation Model Pewter Figurehead - Click for the bigger picture SoldH.M.S. Hastings Presentation Model Pewter Figurehead - The original figurehead, on which this model is based, is now preserved at Merseyside Maritime Museum. HMS Hastings was built in 1818 as an East Indiaman but was bought by the Royal Navy the following year. A 3rd rater of 74 guns, sailors and marines from Hastings fought Chinese pirates at the Battle of Tonkin River in 1849.

In 1855 she was fitted with screw propulsion and joined the fleet in the Baltic. In 1857 the ship was deployed to Liverpool on coastal defence duties before being transferred to the Royal Naval Reserve to be used as a training ship. She was finally broken up in 1886. Her figurehead depicts Francis Rawden-Hastings, 1st Marquis of Hastings (1754-26) in army uniform and the original was acquired and displayed by C.W.Kellock in their Liverpool offices.

C.W. Kellock & Co. was one of the leading merchant ship brokers and owners in Liverpool in the mid-nineteenth century. The company was established in Liverpool in 1820. In 1864 C.W. Kellock greatly expanded his business and opened an office in London under the management of Charles’ brother W.B. Kellock. Charles W. Kellock retired from the company and died in 1897 but the business continued to operate under the partnership of his two sons. The Liverpool office was closed in 1972, but the London office is still active today.

Our model has survived remarkably well seeing its 96 years and is cast in pewter and mounted on an ebonized wood base, which shows minor wear commensurate with the items age. It was comissionedd to commemorate the centenary of C.W. Kellock & Co, in 1920. It is assumed these models were presented as a corporate gift to customers and associates of the business. The brass plates on the base reads on the front : 'MODEL OF FIGUREHEAD OF H.M.S. HASTINGS. THE LAST OF THE WOODEN WALLS OF OLD ENGLAND. THE ORIGINAL BEING IN THE LIVERPOOL SHIPPING SALEROOM OF C.W. KELLOCK & CO', The plaque on the revere side is etched :'1820 KELLOCKS CENTENARY 1920' sand 'WITH THE COMPLIMENTS OF C.W. KELLOCK & CO. LONDON & LIVERPOOL.' The model stands 7” high (18cm) and the ebonised base is 3 1/2” (9 cm) in diameter and is felt covered.

3347 Item 3347 Royal Mail Steam Packet Company Copper Water Jug - Click for the bigger picture SoldItem 3347 Royal Mail Steam Packet Company Copper Water Jug - A fine example clearly embossed to front R.M.S.P. The Royal Mail Steam Packet Company was a British shipping company founded in London in 1839 by a Scot, James MacQueen. The line's motto was ‘Per Mare Ubique’ meaning ‘Everywhere By Sea’. The company had mixed fortunes but by 1927 it became the largest shipping group in the world when it took over the White Star Line (WSL). It was subsequently liquidated and its assets absorbed by the newly formed Royal Mail Lines (RML) in 1932. The companies operations were continued after liquidated by the reformed as the Royal Mail Lines Ltd (RML) and took over the ships of RMSPC and other companies of the former group.

On this basis our jug appears to date from before 1932 with the base stamped with the makers details Henry Wilson and Co Ltd Liverpool. This company were makers of Wilson oil heat boilers and burners, as well as cooking and sterilizing equipment. This firm fitted out major Atlantic ocean-going liners built in the United Kingdom for steam ship companies such as White Star, Cunard, Blue Funnel and Furness Withy. In 1932 they had won the contract to supply the on-board equipment for the "Queen Mary." In February of 1932 the contract for the "Queen Mary" was suspended for a long while and the firm almost closed as a result of the delayed contract and many men lost their jobs.

We bought a pair of these jugs at auction and this is the remaining example, the other already being sold. Sadly the specific provenance of the item has been lost down the years but it would certainly have a story to tell. Condition is excellent but with signs off its life at sea with a small ding in handle but nothing to worry about from a display point of view. Measures 81/2” high (22 cm) and it is 5 3/4” diameter on the base (15 cm)

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