Presented is a fine E.S. Ritchie, Boston, binnacle is
in good to excellent condition considering its age and use at sea. This wonderful piece is of a very early design.
The brass hood has a very large hinged viewing oval port in front that is flanked by twin burners with a circular port
on top. In back, there are two sliding doors which open with difficulty as a third viewing point. The hood and casement
show the normal wear of service at sea with some minor dents and abrasions which are mainly on the back side’s sliding
door viewing port, but nothing of significance. The unit has just been polished and lacquered for your enjoyment. The appearance is very striking compared to the binnacles which are most prevalent today. Both burners
are present, but are not believed to be original, and the cylindrical base may also be of more recent vintage.
THE COMPASS: The fully gimbaled antique compass is of one of Ritchie’s
earliest designs. It measures 8 3/4″ in diameter and is fitted with a 6 1/4″ card being the largest of this style that
we have seen. The card has a curved ring which is hung by “X” central point. This type mounting is in the form of
two crossed bananas is unique to this design and very rare. Stamped on the outer ring is Serial Number 6449 and
three patent dates, Apr 7, 1863, Sept 9, 1863 and July 19, 1870. There is a bubble and some minor sediment
in the light blue colored solution. Some chipping of the paint on curved surface of the card exists, but that is the only
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.
Casement 16 3/4″ H x 19
1/4″ W x 14″ D
8 3/4“ diameter
Estimated Weight 25 pounds