Original 19th Century Naval Binnacle Kerosene Lantern

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. With the introduction of the "Iron Clad" ships in the 1800s it was found to be increasingly difficult to keep the magnetic compass from being compromised and giving inaccurate readings. This led to the introduction of the Binnacle, a structure usually placed in front of the helmsman of brass and wood construction that through application of magnets compensated for the vessels iron body structure. One way was the use of two massive solid iron cannon ball style compensating magnets on either side of the binnacle, a development made by an Englishman Lord Kelvin in the 1880s, these became known as "KELVIN'S BALLS in the Royal Navy but in the U.S. were known as "Navigator's Balls.

Illumination inside the binnacle became a problem so non ferrous metal lanterns were introduced for use at night, which is exactly the item which we offer here. All brass construction this appears to be a small glazed hand lantern which either slotted into or mounted alongside the Binnacle to cast its light on the compass. It has a permanently erect wood and brass carry handle for easy extraction to refuel. There is an unknown maker's mark together with a European "Coronet" insignia.

We are pretty sure this is not British and most probably comes from the Baltic region.

In very nice condition, measuring 4" x 4" x 9" tall with still 3.5 more inches of carry handle on the top. Appears fully working, a very attractive and possibly useful bit of Naval hardware from the mid 1800s, nicely polished.

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