Outstanding Early American Binnacle Compass

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Presented is a very large early American binnacle
compass that has a rectangular brass hood over a teak wood base. Its very large size, and lack of compensating spheres, indicates
that it came from a wood hulled ocean going sailing vessel such as a size schooner or brig. There are no markings on
the case, but its styling and method of manufacture are distinctively American. The two side ports originally held twin kerosene
burners which have gone missing. A picture is included to show what they may have looked like and is not part of the offering.

THE DIRIGO COMPASS is an early example and in excellent
condition. It is beautifully made of heavy weight bronze. The E.M. Sherman Company started in Seattle, WA in 1907,
and is still in operation making compasses under the Dirigo brand. The great majority of the West Coast trading vessels
and fishing fleet is said to use their compasses. This one, which we estimate to date to 1910, has had its fluid drained which
accounts for its excellent state of preservation. The paper compass card is 6 inches in diameter, and turns on a jeweled center
pivot. A Fleur des Lis designates North and under it is imprinted “Dirigo” which means to guide or direct. On the opposite
side is imprinted E.M. Sherman, Seattle, WA, USA. The card is divided in degrees on its outer perimeter, and then into the
classic points, cardinal and sub cardinal points. 11 1/14  degree equals one point so that 32 points complete
the circle.

THE CASE: The original teak binnacle case
is simple, but elegantly made and has its original slanted and beveled glass front port with hood over that is typical of
the period. There is a opening port on each side which at one time carried removable kerosene burners that have gone
missing as is the case with many such binnacles. The brass is in excellent condition with only the most minor of blemishes.
There is a hook on back to secure it to a pedestal mount. A hinged front door opens to allow for storage of the captain’s

 Example of missing burners
Large viewing area

               Front opening Teak
wood base
3/4 back view showing hook


Case  9 1/4″ W x 9″ D x 14″ H                            
18 1/2 pounds

Compass card diameter 6″
diameter              8 1/2″

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Shipping & Packaging

The cost of shipping, packing, handling, and insurance to your destination, will be calculated point to point and is an additional charge. You may email us to get these costs. We price our shipping honestly, but we expect to be reimbursed for the nominal cost of packaging materials and handling.

Our Unconditional 'No Nonsense' Guarantee

If not completely satisfied with your purchase it may be returned, if without damage, within three days of receipt in its original packaging. Return items must be insured for their full value. Only a prior email authorization by us for the return is required. Shipping charges are refundable if due to our error within the continental United States.

International buyers welcome, but inquire first. We have satisfied customers worldwide.

Standard Forms of Payment

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.

Established in 2003

Celebrating 18 Years of Exellence in Nautical Antiques

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