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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.

HINTS: Words of less than four letters are not searched, put "phrases in quotes",
+foo (or AND foo) indicates that "foo" MUST be present in result,
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Reference Stock Item   Description
5041 WW11 Childs Kapok Flotation Device - Click for the bigger picture SoldWW11 Childs Kapok Flotation Device - This is most certainly a first for us! Whilst clearly stamped to the front ‘Child’ looking at its diminutive size one almost feels ‘baby’ would have been a more accurate description! Below is stamped in ink ‘MT’ and a Kings Crown ; we believe this refers to the Ministry of Transport which was formed in 1941 when it merged with the Ministry of Shipping with responsibility for sea transport. A further stamp appears to read A.M, and is dated of August 22nd 1945 (although could be’49) and finally ‘Sunderland’. Whilst only speculation could this have been a vest taken on charge by the Air Ministry for use flying civilian passengers on Sunderland flying boats?Alternatively it could simply have originated from the port town of Sunderland. The back kapok pad carries the logo of a lifebelt and in the centre is marked ‘Reverse’.

The condition of the vest is what we would described in designer terms as ‘shabby chic’, with water stains and storage marks but is in generally good display condition. It remains a bit of an enigma but it almost certainly has a story to tell if only it could talk. If any visitors to the site can enlighten us a little more with it’s background please get in touch and we can add to our description. This would make a perfect stage or film prop and an ideal accessory if TV’s ‘Call the Midwife' ever need to take their young charges to sea!

3110 HMS Revenge Copper Ashtray - Click for the bigger picture SoldHMS Revenge Copper Ashtray - This tray seems to relate to the Battleship HMS Revenge launched in 1915 and weighed 25,750 tons. and took part in both the Battle of Jutland and operation Overlord in WW11 and was scrapped in 1948. These little trays were offered for sale onboard via the NAAFI shop to serving crew members and were mainly bought as gift for friends and relations back home. This and the rest of the small collection we are listing today are all of the period and would make a great gift for anyone with an association with this fine ship. Measures 3.75" diameter (9.5cm)
3105 HMS Cornwall Copper Ashtray - Click for the bigger picture SoldHMS Cornwall Copper Ashtray - HMS Cornwall was a Royal Navy Cruiser launched in Davenport in 1926 of 9,800 tons. She served in WW11 until sunk by Japanese aircraft in the Indian Ocean on 5th April 1942 together with 192 members of her crew. These little trays were offered for sale onboard via the NAAFI shop to serving crew members and were mainly bought as gift for friends and relations back home. This and the rest of the small collection we are listing today are all of the period and would make a great gift for anyone with an association with this fine ship. Measures 3" diameter (7.5 cm)
2419 HMS Fisgard Presentation Paperweight presented to the Controller of the Navy - Click for the bigger picture SoldHMS Fisgard Presentation Paperweight presented to the Controller of the Navy - HMS Fisgard was a shore establishment (otherwise known to all as a 'stone frigate') of the Royal Navy active at different periods and locations between 1848 and 1983. She was used to train artificers and engineers for the Navy. The name originates from the Leda class frigate, subsequently used as a depot ship and harbour flagship for Woolwich since 1848, and was used to train engineers. The facility closed in 1872 and Fisgard herself was broken up in 1879 but the name lived on as a shore base, subsequently relocated from Portsmouth to Chatham in 1930. The Fisgard facility finally closed in December 1983.

Our presentation brass paperweight dates to this time and is nicely engraved 'Admiral Sir Lindsey Bryson KGB Controller of the navy and is dated 13th August 1983. Admiral Sir Lindsay Bryson rose from modest circumstances to serve in WW11 and subsequently become the first engineer appointed Controller of the Navy, responsible from 1981 to 1984 for the development and procurement of ships and weapons. During the Falklands war, he oversaw the introduction of several urgent operational requirements to bring what was essentially a peacetime service to the peak of fighting fitness. Bryson was appointed KCB in 1981 and retired from the Navy in 1984. He became a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society and was the only naval officer to be president of the Institution of Electrical Engineers and he held various post in industry including deputy chairman of GEC-Marconi from 1987 to 1990. Lady Thatcher, who had been so impressed by her encounters with him during the Falklands War, nominated him as Lord Lieutenant of East Sussex and Brighton and Hove. He died in 2005 aged 80.

Research online indicates via the Fisgard Association website the significance of the date on our paperweight 13th August 1983. It was decided to hold an open day to allow former artificer apprentices to visit the establishment one last time before it closed in December of that year. A date was set for the 13th August as the weather was likely to be good and there would still be sufficient serving apprentices left in Fisgard to man the event with the penultimate class, 823 Entry, passing out four days later. Fisgard opened its gates to visitors at 1330 attended by the Guest of honour, Admiral Sir Lindsay Bryson KCB, visitors were free to wander around the establishment. Supper was served in the evening in the Apprentices Dining Hall and Fisgard's bars remained open until 2300; we imagine it was quite a party! Our paperweight was clearly presented to Admiral Bryson on the day and as such remains a unique souvenir of both a great training establishment, with a history stretching back 135 years and a great Naval Officer of our time.

The Latin motto of HMS Fisgard is "Non manibus solum sed corde" which translates to "Not only with your hands but with your heart" and this seems entirely appropriate to Sir Bryson KGB with the casting showing another Knight's arm appearing from beneath the waves with a hammer firmly gripped and about to strike. Base measures 3" diameter (7.75cm) and it stands 3.25" high (8.5cm)

3309 Lord High Admiral of Great Britain Original Desk Seal with Royal Associations - Click for the bigger picture SoldLord 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)

1384 WW1 Convoy or Zig-Zag Clock - Click for the bigger picture SoldWW1 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!

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.

2286 HMS Devonshire and HMS Isis Original Watercolour Paintings - Click for the bigger picture SoldHMS Devonshire and HMS Isis Original Watercolour Paintings - The pair, mounted and framed and both signed M.Wolverson. We have been unable to trace any information on the artist but if any visitors to the site can add anything please get in touch and we will add to this listing. Whilst neither painting is dated we believe them to be period works. HMS Devonshire was the lead ship of her class of six armoured cruiser built for the Royal Navy and was launched in 1904. She served throughout WW1 but was paid off and sold for scrapping in 1923. Her four funnels and distinctive bow shape are shown off to good advantage in our painting.

HMS Isis was an Eclipse-class protected cruiser built for the Royal Navy and launched in 1896. She served until 1902, when she was put in the Reserve Fleet, but in August 1914 with the outbreak of war Isis was brought out of the reserve and deployed to the 11th Cruiser Squadron based at Queenstown, Ireland. She survived the War to be scrapped in 1920.

Both paintings show the ships at anchor with a lighter alongside each, with the shoreline depicted behind at unknown locations. The paintings are still bright but minor signs of age and as ever a few 'thunder flies have gained access to the card mounts. The pictures may benefit from being opened and cleaned but we will leave this decision to the new owners. The frames are identical in size at 12 1/2" x 9 1/2" (31.5 cm x 24 cm) whilst the paintings themselves measure 8 1/4" x 4 1/2" (20.5 cm x 11.5 cm). These represent quite scarce subjects depicting two Royal Naval ships at the turn of the 19th century.

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.

256 Ex Trawler 5 Spoke Brass Ships Wheel - Click for the bigger picture SoldEx Trawler 5 Spoke Brass Ships Wheel - This one is an absolute beauty! It was recovered from a redundant trawler when she was broken up in Devon, South West England in the late 20th century. Sadly the name of the vessel was not recorded so we know nothing of her history but she certainly had a very fine helm, typical of the type used on a working boat.

When it came in it was nearly black but with some careful polishing it now glows, with a great patina that has an almost orange tint and could actually be bronze rather than brass, but we will leave that for the experts to decide. It is also heavy weighing in at 6 kilos, so please check delivery costs with us before ordering. It would look stunning in an appropriate nautical collection or as a focal point in a marine themed room. And whilst like all our stock it is for sale as a collectable we see no reason why it could not go back to sea, were you to own the appropriate classic little ship! The design is typical of wheels used on working boots and made without separate spokes but instead features a steering wheel rim and a 'lazy handle' to enable the helmsman to turn the wheel quickly when manoeuvring and without fear of the wheel spinning and the spokes catching and causing injury.

This wheel measures a modest 15.75" diameter (40 cm) so it is a very useful size for display and it will not dominate its surroundings and so much nicer than the mass of modern replica wheels now flooding the market. This one has been there and earned a hard living over the years but it is not finished yet!

OC420 Royal Navy Lieutenants Working Dress Blouse NO 5B - Click for the bigger picture SoldRoyal Navy Lieutenants Working Dress Blouse NO 5B - A genuine late war/early post war period RN Officers Working Dress (BD) blouse in totally original condition from the small collection we have listed this week. This one carries Lieutenant rank shoulder boards which are laced in place and were made by the top London manufacturer of Joseph Starkey. Whilst the blouse is unnamed the original owner clearly had a 'busy' war and his pin back medal bar is attached showing 1939-45 War Medal, The Atlantic Star, The African Star with rosette (for North African service 1942–43 and awarded for service with the 18th Army Group Headquarters between 15 February 1942 and 12 February 1943 inclusive, for Navy and Merchant Navy personnel in shore service 23 October 1942 to 12 May 1943 inclusive). In addition campaign medals issued for Italy plus the Defence Medal and War Medal 1939-45 which my Dad told me everyone got 'for just turning up'!

In the opening years of the Second World War the Royal Navy refused to adopt battledress for officers aboard ship but despite this Battledress type uniforms were worn by naval officers from 1941, as a non-regulation uniform, sometime utilising dyed army battledress. Finally their Lordships at the Admiralty conceded and authorised officers to wear ‘Working Dress’; they could not bring themselves to call it 'Battledress' as was adopted by both the Army and the RAF. The Working Dress, designated '5A'was immediately popular and officers could either obtain it from the stores or have a set made up by their tailor. It was introduced for wear at sea in preference to the rather formal No. 5 uniform and the design is based on the Army and RAF battledress featuring a short waisted jacket.

This fine example is a development from this and is referred to as a' Number 5B Working Dress Blouse '. It was Introduced in 1944, and saw limited use in the war; it was similar to 5A, except that the buttons on the blouse are of standard design and are fly fronted as opposed to exposed buttons and the waist is closed by means of a short strap and buckle fastening. Our research indicates It was developed for use by the Air Branch aircrew, as they found the exposed buttons on the earlier blouse had a tendency to get caught on pieces of cockpit equipment and a potential risk in the event of a rapid departure from the cockpit! This blouse is neither named or badged so we have no idea to whom it was issued. It does not carry and issue label but the waist band is ink stamped L, a WD arrow and 679 below. Seeing the full medal ribbon it would appear to have been in use in the early post war period. Interestingly it has an inner zipped pocket fitted (zip is marked 'Swift') which also carries a WD and board arrow stamp. We can't establish if this was a standard fitting or a period customisation; if the latter it would have been perfect for aircrew to keep important items secure. No size is marked but it is on the small size but would be perfect on a Fleet Air Arm mannequin. The jacket is in exceptional condition throughout with the fabric in crisp and unstained and amazingly has completely avoided the attention of the dreaded moth. A scarce example that certainly meets the old collectors maxim of 'always buy the best example you can afford'.

5101 Royal Navy Officers Working Dress Blouse - Click for the bigger picture SoldRoyal Navy Officers Working Dress Blouse - Another genuine WW11 issue 1944 dated RN Officers Working Dress (BD) blouse in totally original condition which we are listing today. This one does not carry rank shoulder boards and is unnamed but judging by its excellent overall condition it may actually be unissued. In the opening years of the Second World War the Royal Navy refused to adopt battledress for officers aboard ship but despite this dyed army battledress was modified and worn on duty. Finally their Lordships at the Admiralty authorised officers to wear ‘Working Dress’ ; they could not bring themselves to call it 'Battledress' as was adopted by both the Army and the RAF. The Working Dress, also designated '5A' was immediately popular and officers could either obtain it from the stores or have a set made up by their tailor.

This scarce example was an issue item and carries a good clear Admiralty label indicating 'Admiralty Blue Serge Working Dress Blouse Officer's. This one is in a very scarce Size15 to fit an Officer of height 5' 11"- 6' 0", Breast 42"-43" and waist size 37"-38". It was manufactured by H. Lotery & Co Ltd and dated 1944. In addition the waist band is also stamped with an Admiralty anchor. Thee blouse features quality Royal Naval pattern brass buttons with kings crown and anchor motif made by Gieves of London. The inside of the unlined blouse still retain original paper labels confirming the size. Two breast pocket are fitted with button closure whilst the waist has a short strap fastening and triple brass buttons for correct fitting button. Despite its 74 years this BD remains in remarkable condition with just one minor moth nibble to the rear of the collar. Whilst for sale, like all our stock, as a collectable this one would certainly be strong enough to wear and with the added advantage of being an almost impossible to find large size wartime dated blouse.

5382 Royal Navy Lieutenant Commander Working Dress Blouse - Click for the bigger picture SoldRoyal Navy Lieutenant Commander Working Dress Blouse - A genuine WW11 issue 1944 dated RN Officers Working Dress (BD) blouse in totally original condition. The hard backed rank shoulder boards are sewn on and with the purple background indicate the original owner served with the engineering branch; sadly the garment is not named. Interestingly in the opening years of the Second World War the Royal Navy refused to adopt battledress for officers aboard ship but despite this dyed army battledress was modified and worn on duty. Finally their Lordships at the Admiralty authorised officers to wear ‘Working Dress’ ; they could not bring themselves to call it 'Battledress' as was adopted by both the Army and the RAF. The Working Dress, also designated '5A' was immediately popular and officers could either obtain it from the stores or have a set made up by their tailor.

This scarce example was an issue item and carries a good clear Admiralty label indicating the blouse is a size 9 to fit an Officer of height 5' 7"-5' 8", Breast 39"-40" and waist size 34"-35". It was manufactured by H. Lotery & Co Ltd and dated 1944. The blouse features quality Royal Naval pattern brass buttons with kings crown and anchor motif made by Gaunt of London. The inside of the unlined blouse still retain original paper labels confirming the size. Two breast pocket are fitted with button closure whilst the waist has a short strap and a single button. It is in generally very good display condition with just a few minor moth nibbles, but seeing it is 74 years old is has survived in remarkably well.

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!

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