To view our current inventory of antique boxed compasses, click here!
This Fine Relic Has Been Sold to an Heir. Thank You!
HISTORIC AMERICAN BINNACLE BOAT COMPASS BY ROBERT MERRILL,
PRESENTED is an unusual small boat binnacle "Wet
Card" compass made by Robert Merrill, the noted American instrument maker sometime between 1840 and 1865. It
dates from before his sons joined the firm and the name was changed by the addition of, "& Sons". The number on the
case, 752 matches the number on the compass. Its small size makes it likely to have been used in a coastwise sailing vessel
or maybe even in a whaleboat or fisherman's dory, and must be one of the early examples of a wet card compass
in this country. It is an extraordinary find for some one who is seeking the rare and unusual. Very few examples
of Merrill's work exist before his sons joined the firm in 1865, and those that do are hidden away in private collections
and museums. We also are lucky enough to have a three legged yacht binnacle and boxed compass by the same maker. The
yacht binnacle is pictured below to show the quality of workmanship and is not included in this offer.
THE COMPASS AND BOX: Antique wet card fully
gimbaled compass is beautifully made and housed in a dove tail Mahogany box with lift top, and oval viewing
port. The engraved card has a fancy fleur-de-lis at the north point over an ornate circular design. It is signed
at the bottom of the "pointer" and around the center * ROBERT MERRILL * NEW YORK *. The card is divided into eight
Cardinal Points, each of 45 degrees, and then into 1/8 and 1/16th points. Each point subtends an arc of 11 1/4 degrees
comprising in total 360 degrees of the compass. It rests on a brass pivot with a cap. The compass is in outstanding
condition, 4 1/8" inches in diameter, with a 3 inch card. Interestingly, there is no lubber's line. Both compass
and binnacle are marked 752. On the right top side of the case is a circular metal cover that plugs an opening that may have
been for a lamp.
CONDITION: The box has a wood skirt for lateral stability
which is not included in the dimensions. The dove tail case shows very minor wear, with no cracks or chips. There
are some holes in its back, some of which are plugged, for mounting. The finish is a deep patina of age acquired
over many years. Overall it is in outstanding condition and rated as "collector quality".
Old style compass card,
BOX 7 3/8" W x 8" D x 7" H
Compass Bowl diameter 4 1/8"
PROVENANCE: Robert Merrill was born in the seafaring
town of Newburyport, Massachusetts in 1804. He first set up business as a "mathematical instrument maker" in New York in 1835
with a partner, William Davis at 36 Oak St. in New York City. In 1840 Merrill began business under his own name, first at
255 Front Street, NYC, continuing until 1865 when he took his sons into partnership, and the firm name changed to "Robert
Merrill & Sons. Their first location was 149 Maiden Lane in NYC. Merrill was noted for making binnacles and compasses,
and also imported and sold nautical instruments such as quadrants and sextants. His works are on display in museums, and there
are extensive listings of him and his sons in the Webster Instrument Makers Database.
This is a one-of-a-kind important boxed compass made
by a legendary instrument maker with certified credentials. Merrill's works are rarely found even in books on nautical antiques,
and only a few museums have them on display. Don't miss this opportunity.
OUR UNCONDITIONAL GUARANTEE: If
not completely satisfied with your purchase it may be returned, if without damage, within three days of receipt in its original
condition and packaging. Returns must be insured for their full value. All that is required is a prior email authorization
by us for the return. Unfortunately, no refund can be made for the cost of shipping, packaging and handling unless due to
welcome, but inquire first. We have satisfied customers in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bermuda, Canada, Chile, China,
Denmark, England, Finland, France, Germany, Holland, Iceland, Israel, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Mexico, New Zealand,
Norway, Nova Scotia, Puerto Rico, Saudi Arabia, Scotland, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, USVI and the Eastern
by Land And Sea Collection.com, All Rights Reserved
|Select a thumbnail from the left to zoom.|
|Image hosting and Zoom Gallery by