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Important Lord Kelvin - Wilfrid O. White Ships Brass Mushroom Binnacle Compass

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This Fine Relic Has Been Sold. To be installed in 1925 motoryacht. Thank you!
 
IMPORTANT PEDIGREED AMERICAN MUSHROOM
AKA HELMET STYLE
BINNACLE COMPASS!
 
Few Kelvin-Wilfrid O. White mushroom binnacles have ever been seen? And very few have found their way on the market. This one must have been made for a prestigious sailing yacht.


Presented is one of the finest and handsomest brass mushroom style binnacles ever made with unbelievable quality craftsmanship. It shows very little wear for its minimum 80-88 years of age. The heavy gauge brass when polished takes on a high luster. The compass card is engraved Kelvin & Wifrid O. White Co., Boston & New York, USA under. It is serial number 4044. The bezel is marked KELVIN WHITE then BOSTON, and the serial number. William Thomson, Lord Kelvin (1824-1907), the father of the modern compass, with whom Wilfrid O. White had a long association, was one of the most important inventors of the 19th Century.

This very handsome vintage binnacle with its rare early style mushroom or helmet shape has a large brass hood and belly with twin chimney's one on either side. The lamps which are in perfect condition have their original SIMPLEX burners that unscrew from the bottom. There are no quadrantal correctors, those are the iron balls used for adjusting deviation so this wonderful relic came from a sailing vessel of the most extravagant build.

CONDITION: Overall condition is exceptional, but expect to find some small dents, dings and other evidence of use at sea.

       Front angled view. Note small dings
       Back angle view. Note small dings

APPROXIMATE DIMENSIONS: 

Overall height 17"                               Maximum width 15 1/4"
Compass bowl 8 1/4" diameter           Compass card 6 1/2" diameter
Viewing port 6 1/4" x 4 1/4" ellipse      Serial No. 4044                           
Estimated weight 40 pounds               Lamps 8 1/2“ H x 3/4“ diameter

 


THE COMPASS CARD: North is identified with a Fleur des Lis, with the makers name and address under. The compass card is only graduated in compass points which means that it was designed before 1910 when the use of degree increments were first introduced. The larger subdivisions are in Cardinal Points, N.S,E, and W, and quarter points, NE,SE,SW,NW, then 1/2 points, 1/8 points and finally 1/16 points. There are 32 points on the compass card, each being 11 1/4 degrees. In an air conditioned environment, some small air bubbles may developed, but outside in a temperate climate, they will disappear.


 

PROVENANCE: Wilfred O. White had a rich nautical family history. he descended from a shipbuilding family that dated back to 1600 England. Born in Melbourne Australia, White came to the United States in 1898 and married Ruth Eldridge, the daughter of George Eldridge, who charted the first tide and current tables in U.S.

Later Wifrid became Kelvin's exclusive licensee in this country. White had studied with the Scottish Lord Kelvin for a year or more in Glasgow in the very early 1900's. Kelvin had made trips to this country as early as 1842, so he likely met Wifrid during one of them. Kelvin's work on magnetic compasses goes back to 1870, and the result was quickly adopted by the world's navies. After Kelvin's death in 1907, White was chosen to be Kevin's exclusive agent in the United States by Kelvin's successors and partners, Kelvin, Bottomley & Baird. The Kelvin & Wilfrid O. White and Co. commenced operations in 1918. White was buying Kelvin's instruments from Scotland, and it is reported, he had to pay LIST price, IN ADVANCE. This was expensive and a thorn in Wilfred's side, and it ultimately induced him to develop his own design improvements which were marketed under the KWOW brand. This example of White's work was recently purchased at auction in New England.

The Wilfrid White company sold out to the Eastern Company which consolidated it operations with Danforth's Marine Hardware, first in Naugatuck, CT and then moved the Danforth- White Division to Portland, ME in 1961. Compasses continue to be produced under the Danforth White label.

GUARANTEE OF SATISFACTION: You must be fully satisfied with your purchase on arrival and that our description is entirely accurate or your money back. The only conditions are that an email authorization be obtained within three days, and that the instrument is returned in its original condition and packaging, and insured for its full value. Unfortunately, shipping charges are not included in this offer and are non-refundable unless we are at fault.
International buyers welcome, but inquire first.  We have satisfied customers in Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Canada, Chile, China, Czech Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Greece, Holland, Hong Kong, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Latvia, Martinique, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Nova Scotia, Panama, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Scotland, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, USVI and the Eastern Caribbean.

SHIPPING & PACKING: The cost of shipping, packing, handling, and insurance to your destination, is an additional charge. You may email us beforehand to get these costs. We price our shipping honestly, but we expect to be reimbursed for the nominal cost of packaging materials and handling.
 
PACKAGING: We recommend that this item be shipped  in at least two cartons in order to minimize the risk of damage. We take great care in packaging our items for shipment which includes bubble wrap, and placing in a box surrounded by impact absorbent material. However, we are not responsible, once it is turned over to the carrier. Full Value insurance is required. In the event of damage due to shipping we will assist you in all respects even to filing a claim in your behalf.

This represents a very scarce example of an American highly stylized brass binnacle ship's compass which was made around 1918 by a pedigreed American instrument maker of world renown. It is a valued addition to any serious collection, and is priced accordingly.

ACCEPTED FORMS OF PAYMENT are Bank wire transfer, cashier's check, money order, or personal check in which case the item will be held until cleared. No credit cards or PayPal accepted on this item.

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