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

There are a maximum of 20 items on each page - our most recent sale is listed first - this is now quite a large reference record. If you have a specific interest, use our keyword search to search the entire stock database.

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Reference Stock Item   Description
Royal Navy Ditty Box and WWII Medal Group - Click for the bigger picture SoldRoyal Navy Ditty Box and WWII Medal Group - We always try and buy good Royal Navy Ditty boxes when they turn up but in the main their provenance has been lost down the years. If we are lucky it may have a brass name plate fitted and occasionally they come with some of their original contents ; this example is one of those.

This Ditty Box is to standard form and size and made from pine which has been lightly waxed. Inside the pen tray remains in place but the letter bars in the lid were missing so we have replaced these and it would be hard to tell these were not the issue items. To the front panel evidence exists to show where an original name plaque was mounted, just below the key hole. It would seem this was replaced by a custom made silvered example mounted in a recessed slot in the front top of the lid ; this is named to A. L. Clarke. The key was missing when purchased, as are the lock clasp locating lugs on the inside lid. We suspect this was removed when the key was lost and the lugs cut to gain access, as often seems to have happened with these items. The brass lock is still fitted although in a locked position. We have added a period key which fits the lock but does not operate it but is fine for display purposes.

Inside the box is lightly stained and shows signs of use with minor repairs to the rear of the lid. What lifts this example well above the norm is that the box contains the original owners World War 11 medal grouping. These are mounted as worn with pin attachment to the medal bar and are made up of the 1939-45 Star, the Atlantic Star which was awarded to all Royal Navy and Merchant Navy Personnel for 6 months service afloat between 1939-45 in Atlantic, Russian or home waters. The Rosette indicates the recipient was subsequently awarded the France and Germany Star for service in these areas between 6 June 1944 and 8 May 1945. This is also accompanied by the 1939-45 War Medal. These are all as usual unnamed and as issued.

What brings the grouping to life is A. L. Clarke clearly also served in the Special Constabulary and was awarded the Special Constabulary Long Service Medal. This was awarded to all ranks who served at least 50 duties in wartime or 9 years service in peacetime. This medal is engraved to Arthur L. Clarke so ties in nicely with the ditty box plaque and confirms the two items belong together and we believe this is how they should remain. We don't have any other history on Clarke other than the grouping was purchased near Bristol in South West England and we speculate the family may have had West Country origins. It may well be possible with the little information that is known the trace the service history of Mr Clarke but we will leave this pleasure to a future owner although if any armchair detectives can add anything here we would be delighted to add additional details to our listing. We understand Ditty Boxes were technically withdrawn as an issue item in 1938 and replaced by a small brown suitcase so it could be Clarke joined up before WWII seeing had a prewar Ditty Box despite being technically withdrawn he continued to use it during his wartime service. Box measures 12" x 8"x 6" (30.5 cm x 20.5 cm x 15 cm) Like all items listed on our site a full range of detailed photographs are available on request.

Presentation Hip Flask HMS Nile 1945 - Click for the bigger picture SoldPresentation Hip Flask HMS Nile 1945 - A WWII period Royal Navy hip flask fitted with a secured cap to prevent accidental loss on land or at sea! HMS Nile was a 'Stone Frigate' shore base opened in April 1939 and paid off in June 1946 and located at Ras el Tin Point, Alexandria, Egypt and had a large number of personnel on the books, mainly those based in the Eastern Mediterranean. Research indicates Nile was amongst other things a location for Special Forces Ops and in addition we found RAF Aboukir is listed as 'HMS Nile II', based at the old Airport near Alexandria and was used by both the RAF and the Fleet Air Arm.

The flask is of the curved design to fit comfortably in a hip pocket and is made from brass with a silver plated finish. Engraved to the front is 'From F. M. O. Staff HMS Nile 1945'. Sadly no history came with the flask and we can only speculate on the meaning of 'F. M. O. ' but at a guess perhaps 'Fleet Maintenance Officer', 'Fleet Medical Officer' or even 'Fleet Mail Office'! If any visitors to the site can enlighten us on this we will update our listing. We presume it was given to a member of staff as a leaving present back in '45. Generally in good used condition, with a couple of little bumps to front and small wear to plate on base but otherwise we believe good for original purpose. The presentation engraving aside the flask carries no other makers or other marks. This would make a unique Christmas present for anyone who had relations serving with 'HMS Nile ' back in WWII and certainly not an item to be found elsewhere on the web! Measures 5" x3.5" (13 cm x 9.5 cm).

The Maritime Paintings of John Chancellor - Click for the bigger picture SoldThe Maritime Paintings of John Chancellor - Regarded by many as one of the finest marine artists of the 20th century, Chancellor was born in Portugal in 1925. He always had an interest in the sea having sailed many differing vessels and navigated waters from Trinidad to the Medway and was firstly a sailor who later in life became a superb artist. He eventually settled with his family in Brixham, Devon in 1963 and spent 2 years trawling, which led to early works, when commissioned to paint trawler portraits by their skippers. Steadily he began to take his painting more seriously, encouraged by the great enthusiasm and guidance of Austin Hawkins, who had a gallery in the town and Chancellor began producing works that exhibited his huge potential as a serious professional artist. His paintings go beyond aesthetically pleasing, well-executed marine scenes; they are often definitive, historically accurate representations of actual events, completed in painstaking detail. His research would take him to museums, the hydrographic office and public records to ensure that every last detail is accurate. Sadly John's life was cut short on 9th April 1984, aged just 59, having painted professionally for only 13 years, during which time his complete output numbered fewer than 150 works. Only three exhibitions (in 1973, 1976 and 1981) were ever staged and all three were a sell out - the first with everything sold in less than an hour! An indication of his standing in art circles was confirmed when an original artwork sold by Bonhams in 2008 for £38,400!

This finely illustrated book dates to 1984, but Chancellor sadly died shortly after proof checking, so he never lived to see his work published. The book contains 19 sumptuous paintings, portraying sailing ships and the sea in all its moods. They are accompanied by text, sketches and enlarged details which highlight Chancellor's workmanship. This hardback copy appears to be first edition dated 1984 and its original published price was £40 and is complete with dust jacket that a previous owner has covered for added protection. The image on the front depicts HMS Beagle in the Galapagos, whilst the back cover shows some amazing detail from the same painting. 80 pages in total are filled with informative text, full colour paintings, sketches and enlarged details which highlight Chancellor's workmanship. This is very much a coffee table sized book at 14.5" x 11.5" (37 cm x 29 cm) Whilst clearly second hand it remains in really excellent condition and on offer 36 years later at a significant discount on the published price!

A Pair of Admiralty Standard Sealed SampleThread Bundles dated 1897 - Click for the bigger picture SoldA Pair of Admiralty Standard Sealed SampleThread Bundles dated 1897 - These unique items are Admiralty Pattern sealed samples to confirm the thread specification to be used on Royal Naval contracts. The labels, showing some age wear, are still readable and carry a wax admiralty seal with fouled anchor to both sides, as well as an instruction "this label is not be removed nor the pattern damaged" and below CP 7365 and clearly dated 1897. A manufacturer's ticket is slipped through the thread of one bundle naming the manufacturer W J Knox Kilbirnie. The firm of W J Knox established their business in 1778 and are still operating from their factory in Ayrshire, making camouflage nets and marine signal equipment and are still supplying the Royal Navy 123 years after these sample were sealed.

Sealed samples were used in Government contracts to check the factory bulk production matched exactly the specification of the sealed sample so was critical in maintaining quality standards. These are absolutely unique pieces and are of historical interest and really deserve to be in a museum collection. Better still of course would be for W. J. Knox to purchase and to go on public display in a factory museum!

These have been in our personal collection since 2001 but it is now finally times to rehome the pair so grab them whilst you can! Each bundle measures 7" (17 cm)

Presentation Silver Astray HMSVictory - Click for the bigger picture SoldPresentation Silver Astray HMSVictory - A solid silver example with good clear hallmarks confirming made by the silversmiths Joseph Gloster Ltd who operated from the Lion Silver Works, Hockley Hill, Birmingham. As well as the makers marks it carries an anchor indicating a Birmingham maker and a date code letter Y for 1923. The centre of the ashtray is finely engraved : 'Lt R. Coombs R. N. In Great Appreciation 1922-24 From Lt Cdr (G) HMS Victory'. Victory of course needs no introduction being a 104-gun first-rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy launched in 1765. She is best known for her role as Lord Nelson's flagship at the Battle of Trafalgar on 21 October 1805. After Cape St Vincent she was relegated to the role of harbour ship and in 1922, she was moved to a dry dock at Portsmouth, to be preserved. Since October 2012 she has been the flagship of the First Sea Lord and has the distinction of being the world's oldest naval ship still in commission, currently with 241 years' service and counting!

We assume Lieutenant R. Coombs R. N. served on Victory from 1922-24 and was presented with this ashtray as a gift from his fellow Officers and his Commander on his re assignment. Sadly we have no other history with the item but it is worthy of further research. The ashtray shows signs of use but remains in fine original condition, the silver retains a good shine and the presentation engraving and hallmarks are crisp and readable. This would make an excellent stocking filler for the Naval collector in your life and a super bit of history with its direct associations with the most famous vessel in the Royal Navy! Measures 3.75" (9.5 cm)

Glass Fishing Floats - Click for the bigger picture SoldGlass Fishing Floats - a selection of early English made examples finished in green glass. Used to support fishing nets prior to the introduction of plastic floats. These are the last few we have remaining and are all original Victorain examples, but these do not carry any makers marks but all remain in excellent condition and offered at a modest price.
Sestrel Marine Barometer - Click for the bigger picture SoldSestrel 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.

Ships Clock ex S. S. William Pearman - Click for the bigger picture SoldShips 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 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 weighs 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.

Whilst most ships clocks we get in have a story to tell these have been mainly lost down the years. We have no such issues knowing where and when this one was made and where it served! The original ships bell from the SS William Pearman was recently sold at auction and it would be great if our clock could be reunited with it and this could be arranged if the new owner would like to get in touch!

Royal Navy Rum Pump - Click for the bigger picture SoldRoyal Navy Rum Pump - Made from copper and brass with a hardwood handle. These were in use with the British Royal Navy from the 19th century onwards to draw the daily rum ration from the keg for distribution to all hands. This tradition was finally abandoned with the last tot being issued to the fleet being issued on 31st July, 1970 - a tradition started in 1667. These pumps were specified against Royal Navy stores reference number 53598 although normally they carried neither identification marks or dates to give us any clues to age or origins. This example is however the exception and above the spout is clearly stamped into the bowl '53598'. We have sold numerous examples over the last 15 years but this is the only one we have ever had that exhibits the stores reference number. In discussing this with a top Royal Navy rum related collector he has confirmed he has only ever seen one similar and the 5 digit number is known as a ' vocab number' and appeared from early fifties until the navy changed over to NATO coding in the early 1960's.

This pump is in generally good issued condition but it has the odd knock and dent in the bowl, commensurate with service use with the Royal Navy. The syphon mechanism is still in place and appears complete but like all our stock is for sale as a collectable/display item only as we cannot guarantee it's original function! The underside of the handle shows wear on the hardwood consistent with significant use where the handle has rubbed against the bowl of the pump.

A museum quality item and a piece of Royal Naval history and with no more ever to be manufactured an increasingly scarce item. So grab this one while you have the opportunity! The last one of these we saw sold on UK E Bay went for £275.00 but we can offers our scarcer variant at a rather keener price. Feel free to request, with no commitment, more detailed photographs that are available here on request. Measures 41" (104 cm).

Brass Head Boat hook - Click for the bigger picture SoldBrass Head Boat hook - An attractive original example, we estimate dating to the mid 20th centuary, with a cast double hook tip. The metal has a most attractive patina and we can't decide if this is brass or bronze. This is held in place on the hardwood pole by a heavy bolt. Whilst for sale as a collectable, like all out stock, it is a very solid heavily made item and we see no reason why it should not be used for its original purpose, if you are fortunate enough to own an appropriate classic boat. The pole and hook measure 62" (158 cm) and the width of the hook is 4.25" (11 cm).
Large Early Ships Gimballed Oil Lamp - Click for the bigger picture SoldLarge Early Ships Gimballed Oil Lamp - We have personally collected ships gimbal cabin lamps for over 30 years and this is the first example of this pattern we have ever owned. The font is in cut crystal with three rows of scallop shells around the side with a flat foot base. The glass is in perfect original condition with no cracks or chips. The lamp comes with a solid brass gimble with a decorative wall plate attached. The lamp then sits in a brass ring which is attached to a barley corn twist 'D' shaped mount. It comes with a most unusual burner that has two wicks yet a single control wheel to adjust them with the chimney held in place by sprung catches. The control wheel is marked 'Patented Mar. 2. 1869 June 6 1871 so gives an indication this is a pretty early lamp. It is larger than most which we have seen measuring 12.5" high (32 cm) and projects out from the wall mount by 9" (24 cm).

This would have been a top of the range lamp in its day and around 150 years later it still exudes quality. Whilst we have not tested it we see no reason why it would not work as intended. Certainly a one off and when it is gone it is unlikely we will ever see another.

Island of Sark Nautical Pennant - Click for the bigger picture SoldIsland of Sark Nautical Pennant - This is an original item made from cotton overlaid with a red motif showing 2 separate rampant lions stitched to the top left corner. It has its original line and toggle attachment.

Whilst its origins were unknown when purchased we have been advised this represents the personal standard of Dame Sibyl Hathaway who was Seigneur of the Channel Island of Sark during the Second World War Occupation. She gave permission for the island to use it when the Island Games were started and it has been the island flag ever since.

It features a white background with the red Cross of St George, which is a common theme through the Channel Islands flags. The red canton in the upper left corner contains two yellow lions. This is similar to the arms of Normandy, which the Channel Islands were part of until 1204.

The pennant measures 30"x 8" (33 cm x 21- cm) and is in good flown condition.
Pacific Steam Navigation Company Pastry Cutters - Click for the bigger picture SoldPacific Steam Navigation Company Pastry Cutters - The Pacific Steam Navigation Company was established in 1838 carrying mail and passengers and operated in the Pacific coast of South America, and was the first to use steam ships for commercial traffic in the Pacific Ocean. The company was finally incorporated into Royal Mail Lines in 1938. These two rings, which are made from plated metal, are nicely embossed with the company crest featuring Pacific Steam Navigation around the edge and a crown in the centre. We are not 100% sure of their purpose. One ring is a fraction smaller than the other and it has been suggested they were pastry cutters as they have a rounded ring on the top and a bevelled sharper edge on the bottom although we stand to be corrected on this! The larger ring measures 4" diameter (11.5 cm) and the smaller is 3.75" (9.5 cm). Our price is for the pair but happy to sell individually at £15.00 each.
Original Canoe Paddle - Click for the bigger picture SoldOriginal Canoe Paddle - A small but beautifully formed canoe paddle made from varnished pine and finished with a light wax polish. Seeing its diminutive size of just 36" (92 cm) this would make ideal wall decoration in a nautically themed room, beach hut or similar. It has a repaired crack in the paddle blade so for sale for ornamental purposes only but is the perfect designer piece, at a modest price
Presentation Plaque - Click for the bigger picture SoldPresentation Plaque - named to USS Atlanta SSN712 Resurgens. Reverse reads: "Presented to Flag Officer Sea Training Radm J M Webster"
Royal Navy Ditty Box - Click for the bigger picture SoldRoyal Navy Ditty Box - A pine box which was issued to sailors so as to keep their personal possessions, including letters from home, safe and private. They were all made to a standard design and size. This example carries a brass plate to the front with the original owner's name H. Eldridge. Our research indicates a Herbert Eldridge was a boy first class sailor service no. J/37894 and he served aboard HMS Queen Mary in WWI. He sadly died in action on the first day of the Battle of Jutland on the 31st May, 1916 aged 16. He is remembered with honour on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial. Good original condition but lacking key. 12" (21 cm)
Admiralty Standard Thread Bundle dated 1897 - Click for the bigger picture SoldAdmiralty Standard Thread Bundle dated 1897 - This unique item is a sealed sample to confirm the thread specification to be used on Royal Naval contracts. The label, showing some age wear, is still readable and carries a wax admiralty seal with fouled anchor to both sides, as well as an instruction quotation "this label is not be removed nor the pattern damaged" and below CP 7365 and clearly dated 1897. A manufacturer's ticket is slipped through the thread W J Knox Kilbirnie N.B. The firm of W J Knox established their business in 1778 and are still operating from their factory in Ayrshire, making camouflage nets and marine signal equipment and are still supplying the Royal Navy 118 years after this sample was sealed. This has been in our personal collection for some years but is now offered for sale for the first time. 7" (17 cm)
Early glass fishing float embossed 'P.C.F' - Click for the bigger picture SoldEarly glass fishing float embossed 'P.C.F' - On offer is a very attractive and original glass fishing float in near perfect condition. Whilst we can't pretend these floats are our specialist subject online research indicates this example could be of either Norwegian or German origin. One source indicates the initials represent Peter Christian Falchenberg who was born in 1854 in Kragerø, Norway. In 1876 he established a chandlery in the Norwegian city of Grimstad but in 1898 it relocated to Oslo. The company's business involved supplying ropes and cables for marine use as well as special fishing products including glass floats.

Another website advises '+P.C.F+' marked floats are of German origin, and made by a company called Heye Glass. The rationale for this surmise is the "+P.C.F+" marked glass floats feature the same manufacturing detail, thickness and colour as the Heye produced clover marked floats;whist we prefer the first theory we leave it to our visitors to decide which is correct! Whatever its origins this float is manufactured in a dark green glass and appears to be blown from a single piece. The PCF logo is crisp and well defined, with + marks above and below. The float measures about, 4.5" diameter (11.5 cm)

HMS Sheffield Copper Ashtray - Click for the bigger picture SoldHMS Sheffield Copper Ashtray - This tray seems to relate to the first Royal Navy ship to be named, HMS Sheffield, a Cruiser of 9,100 tons launched in 1936. Here fittings were made from stainless steel rather than brass and as a result she was always known as 'The Shiny Sheff'! She survived WWII and was not broken up until 1967. Sadly the next ship to carry this name was lost to an Exocet in the Falkland's war in 1982. 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 (9.5 cm)

HMS Gunner Trench Art Ashtray - Click for the bigger picture SoldHMS Gunner Trench Art Ashtray - This is the second "Gunner" dish we have listed this week but with this one absolutely no doubt to which ship or base it relates to. It is ornately engraved "HMS Gunner" and also carries below the dated 1918. The only other Navy ship to carry this name was not launched until 1927 so this clearly relates to the WWI vessel that was based at Granton harbour in Scotland and was operational from 1915-1919 and used as the base for mine-sweeping, utilising mainly Scottish trawlers and their crews, called into active service and conscripted as part of the Royal Navy Reserve. The base itself also acquired the name of "HMS Gunner" in reference to the name of the largest converted trawler/minesweeper in its fleet. Granton harbour was also home to decoy ships (Q-ships) and anti-submarine vessels. Conscripted fishing vessels were regarded as part of the Royal Navy so our ashtray is probably associated with this vessel or possibly the Granton land base itself which was otherwise known as a "Stone Frigate".

The tray is made from beaten copper, in an arts and crafts style, and is clearly hand rather than commercially made. In addition to the ships name "HMS Gunner" and the date it also carries what appears to be initials to the centre reading "AWS", which could possibly help identify the hands that made it 4.5" (11.5 cm). With the festive season fast approaching this could be the ideal stocking filler for the Royal Navy or trench art collector in your life!

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