E.S. RITCHIE & SONS SKYLIGHT BINNACLE
Late 19th Century
This presentation skylight or cathedral binnacle makes a dramatic statement of importance. It is a perfect gift or would serve as a beautiful focal point in any decor Presented is a fine E.S. Ritchie & Sons, Boston, Skylight Binnacle in excellent condition considering its age and probable use at sea. The compass is by Ritchie as noted on the compass card where “Ritchiei Boston USA” is in very small letters. We believe it was in use during the late 19th and early 20th Century.
Two of the glass panels in the skylite top are scored for aligning the compass point, and one panel is frosted. The appearance is very striking compared to the binnacles which are most prevalent today.
THE DRY CARD COMPASS The fully gimbaled antique compass is of a Turn of the Century design. It measures 6 in diameter and is fitted with a 4 ½ card. Stamped on the bezel is Serial Number 19689 and Ritchie & Sons, Boston, along with stamped dates ranging from May 1868 to Nov 1876. One side of the gimbal holder on the casing is permanently open without the top bar holder, and one screw is missing on the bar holder for the compass in the gimbal. As it would not be recommended that this beautiful antique binnacle be used at sea, neither of these issues would be relevant.
The 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. The outer circle is graduated in degrees from 0 to 350 with the north pointer as an ornate Fleur des Lis with the maker’s name and Boston and U.S. It appears to be operating correctly.
Compass is in Good Condition
DIMENSIONS:Overall Height on Wood Base
14″ H x 9 1/2″ W
Wood Base 12″ diameter x 2″
Compass 6″ diameter
Card 4″1/2″ diameter
Estimated Weight 17 pounds
Detail of Compass Condition
May 12, 1868 | July 19, 1879 | Aug 17, 1875 | Nov 14, 1875