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John BLISS Mushroom Binnacle Ca 1857

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Antique John BLISS Mushroom Yacht Binnacle

This Rare Relic Has Been Sold.
Thank you!

Antique JOHN BLISS Mushroom Binnacle Compass

Front view of Bliss Mushroom style binnacle image
This is only the second John Bliss Mushroom style yacht binnacle we have had in seven years. It is in pristine condition and with a solid American pedigree.
 
Height on base 12 1/2" H x 14" W x 12" D         Oval viewing port 7" x 5"          Weight 16 pounds

            

Presented

 
is a Mid 19 th Century twin burner binnacle compass which is housed in a heavy duty and elegant mushroom style case. The bezel of the compass is stamped with the serial number 348 and the compass card is imprinted, John Bliss & Co., New York. Because of the very low serial number,, we date this binnacle to shortly after October, 1857 when the company's name was changed to this form. The cap on the top is engraved in Copperplate Script on two lines, John Bliss & Co., New York.
 
THE BINNACLE: The binnacle is a classic, but rarely seen, mushroom design which was popular in the Royal Navy and in the more important yachts of the Mid 1800's. This one, because of its size, was made for a sailboat or tender to a much larger yacht. The  wall thickness of the lower section is 1/8 inch thick, something you don't see anymore and is evidence of its high quality construction.

Showing all of the parts in this binnacle image

 
THE COMPASS: Is housed in a heavy brass bowl and is liquid filled.  It features a very old style card with a stylish Fleur dis Lis marking North and with directions marked in points of the compass where one point equals 1/4 degrees. Cards with degrees weren't introduced until the Turn of the 20th Century which is 50 years into the future.
 
The compass is viewed though the 5 x 7" elliptical glass port with a rolled metal rim . Twin lamp burner towers with caps are on each side of the "helmet", but the burners have gone missing.
 
COMPASS SIZE: Diameter of bowl 5 1/4"                                              Diameter of card 4"       
 
This is a very rare and important mushroom style binnacle that dates back to Ca 1857. It was made by a pedigreed American instrument maker.
 
Compass card reads in points only image
 
 

THE COMPASS NOTATIONS: 

North is identified with a fancy Fleur des Lis, and has John Bliss & Co., New York imprinted around the center point.
The outer ring of the compass card is graduated compass points. The larger subdivisions are in Cardinal Points, N.S,E,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.

 
CONDITION: This beautifully made antique binnacle is of all brass construction shows small dents on its top, and twin towers and minor marks as evidence of its use at sea. Otherwise, its condition is exceptional throughout. All surfaces have been recently polished and lacquered a nice golden patina. The compass works properly.              

34 front view of binnacle image
             Left oblique front view of case
width = 400 height = 479 >
             Left oblique back view of case

HISTORY JOHN BLISS & Co.: John Bliss, Sr. was born in Norwich, CT in 1795, and died in Brooklyn, NY on October 15, 1857. He apprenticed to his uncle, Benjamin Lord in Rutland, VT as a silversmith and clock maker, and later moved to New York City as a jeweler around 1830.

In 1834 he went into partnership with Fredrick Creighton, an English watchmaker at 42 Fulton St. for the making of chronometers under the name, Bliss & Creighton. They were one of the few in this country who made chronometers from scratch and also patented a new escapement which reduced chronometer error. However, the partnership did not last, and they went their separate ways in 1853.

John Bliss then joined with his son John, Jr., establishing the firm John Bliss & Son in 1855. When John Bliss, Sr. died in 1857, and the name of the company was changed to John Bliss & Co., which endured for 100 years.

The Bliss firm was a noted purveyor and repair shop for nautical instruments of all kinds. On August 4, 1871, Bliss purchased the famous E. & G.W. Blunt & Co. whose operations as a seller of nautical instruments dates from 1821 in New York.  Blunt was also noted for publishing a Nautical Almanac staring in 1850. The company also continued their own made chronometer business. They were at various locations in lower Manhattan and ended up at 84 Pearl St. from 1929 to 1956, when that building was sold and they were forced to go out of business. 

The famous Schooner yacht Intrepid, owned by Lloyd Phoenix, Vice Commodore of the New York Yacht Club in 1903, was fitted with a John Bliss compass. 

FLAT RATE INSURED SHIPPING to 48 contiguous States $55.00

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 within the continental United States if an error is due to our fault.

International buyers welcome, but inquire first. We have satisfied customers in Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Canada, Chile, Republic of 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, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Martinique, Mexico, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Nova Scotia, Panama, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Scotland, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, St. Maarten, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, USVI and the Eastern Caribbean.

STANDARD 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. Our prices are quoted net to us so that the use of credit cards or PayPal incur extra charges. Terms on overseas sales are different. 

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