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Antique Skylight Binnacle JOHN HAND Large Classic

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To view our current inventory of vintage skylight binnacles, click here!

 
This Fine Relic Has Been Sold. Thank you!
 
ANTIQUE LARGE 
SKYLIGHT BINNACLE
  by John E. Hand 


PRESENTED
is a large size skylight binnacle that was made by the famous John E. Hand & Sons company of Philadelphia. It likely dates back to the 1920's.  It is made of brass and has six glass panels, with a Hand 6 inch gimbaled compass, serial number 6293, housed inside. Binnacles like this were always found on the most expensive yachts and each of the major American maker's Ritchie, Danforth, Wilfrid O. White, PERKO, and John Hand had examples for sale. Unfortunately, because of their high cost the last maker of contemporary skylight binnacles, Danforth, ceased production in December, 2009.

This one is is about 3 inches taller than the PERKO make which we sold last year and the same height, but 1/2 inches wider than the Danforth we sold at year end 2010.

BOGART' S SANTANA: Binnacles such as these became very popular starting in the 1920's. Their popularity may have increased after one was seen aboard the motor vessel "Santana" in the movie "Key Largo" (1948) staring Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall. Bogie also had one in the cockpit of his famous yawl Santana. Here it is shown covered with a chrome hood. And for those interested, I insisted on having one on our ketch Bagheera which served us well during seven years of ocean cruising. PERKO discontinued making them about 1954, and Ritchie did the same. The only source of skylight binnacles until recently was from Danforth priced at $3400.00, but they discontinued compass production in 2009. They are now very hard to find in decent condition.


CONDITION: Some time ago this binnacle has been polished and the white residue was not removed. In some places it shows as pink. Since then, it has acquired a new patina which adds to its salty good looks. The glass appears to be a replacement and one panel has a chip along the edge. The compass is original and works properly. The fluid has been drained for shipping and unless it is going back to sea that is a good way to leave it. It is equipped with an electric connection for a compass' light. If desired, we can have the binnacle professionally polished and lacquered for a cost of $300.00 plus shipping. The plate on the front is blank.

DIMENSIONS:
 
Overall 14 1/2"H x 9" 1/2“ D                           WEIGHT 11 1/2 pounds with wood base
Diameter of compass card  4 3/4"                   Diameter of compass 6"  
 
               Dark lens for sighting Sun
                  Scratches on lens of pane
PROVENANCE & BRIEF HISTORY: The John E. Hand & Sons Company was founded in Philadelphia in 1873, quickly gaining a reputation as competent manufacturers of nautical instruments and compass adjusters. The company founder, John Enos Hand, is is reported to be “the first man in America to adjust a compass aboard an iron ship.”

The Hand Company built navigational equipment for all varieties of ships, and operated a chain of retail outlets with service facilities in key ports, including Baltimore and New Orleans. Until 1956, these outlets sold Hand instruments as well as other nautical accoutrement's and provided compass adjusting services. Additionally, John E. and his two sons, John L. and Bartram, were inventors, who patented design improvements for numerous instruments that were employed in the company’s work.

The company was primarily involved in commercial shipping until the late 1930s when the United States military began preparations for World War II. Though the Hand Company never completely abandoned its involvement with private industry, after World War II, military contracts continued to be their major business. Of note are the wrist compass, they developed for the Navy beginning in the 1950s, and the Mark VII Model 5 Navy Standard Binnacle.

Though it moved numerous times, the Hand Company headquarters and factory remained in the Delaware Valley, occupying several buildings in Philadelphia and southern New Jersey. Maintaining its central office in Philadelphia well into the 1900s, the factory was moved to Atco, New Jersey around the turn of the twentieth century and subsequently to Haddonfield, New Jersey. It moved one last time in the 1960's to Cherry Hill, New Jersey.

In 1997, California-based Sunset Cliffs Merchandising Corporation purchased the Hand Company and all its assets for a small amount, but did not make use of its brand name.

FLAT RATE SHIPPING
to 48 contiguous States $40.00




This rare Skylight or Cathedral binnacle is ready to go back to sea or it is suitable as a gift or as an addition to any collection of fine marine artifacts. 

OUR UNCONDITIONAL NO NONSENSE GUARANTEE: If not completely satisfied with your purchase it may be returned within five days of receipt in its original packaging if without damage. Return items must be insured for their full value. Only a prior email authorization from us for the return is required. Shipping charges are  included in this offer if an error is due to our fault.

International buyers welcome, but should 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, Estonia, England, France, Germany, Greece, Holland, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Latvia, Malaysia, Martinique, Mexico, Nigeria, 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.

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 big ticket items.

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