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American Woman Ship's Carved Figurehead
Ruffled Dress and Coiled Hairstyle

A finely detailed carved wood figurehead, diminutive with classic features, the origin of this womanly ship icon is American. Telltale clues include that her regency-style, just-above-the-shoulder dress sleeves that “poof” and the modest neckline, especially when matched to the upswept, comb-held, coiled hairstyle and carved oval earrings. All these fashion elements are suggestive of American fashion, circa 1820s. The leading figurehead historian England and a distinguished maritime museum curator in America both concur.

Properly attired, she looks quite reserved. Set on a carved plinth with a geometric pattern and rolling scroll, it blends into a sash-ribbon tied around her torso. The detail of the hair tightly bound in an upswept coiled bun. Prim and poised, the woman figure is fairly vertical in position, indicating an installation on a smaller vessel, possibly the bow of a schooner or small brig from the first quarter of the 19th Century. It has the correct wood plugs to have been properly mounted. The simple white paint with the sea-foam green dress is most likely very close to her original color and just freshened up a bit over time.

It is recorded that the piece was salvaged from a sailing vessel that broke up in Stomness on Orkney in the 19th Century, and entered a British collection and passed through the family for three generations before being sold. It is a classic American ship’s figurehead of a quality, type and size seldom found.

A full report on this antique, carved figurehead by leading figurehead historian Richard Hunter of England is available.

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Draeger Dive Helmet, DM40 No. 3247
Three Bolt, Four Light

A mid-20th Century Diving Helmet from the Draeger Company of West Germany, they are still among the world leaders in diving apparatus, and other fields requiring respiration devices. This classic diving lid is very clean and polished, despite its obvious heavy use. It has the top-mounted carrying handle that Draeger added to their lids from the beginning in the late 19th Century.

The company emblem is pressed in the front breastplate, and the helmet fixtures include the telephone connection, air intake and air exhaust.

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Dutch Log Timer Tobacco Box

This copper and brass tobacco box features a perpetual calendar on the lid and is marked with a date of 1764. There are two portraits on the face, potentially of Julius Caesar and Pope Gregory to commemorate the Julian and reformed Gregorian calendars.

On the reverse there is another portrait, this time an explorer pointing to a spot on a globe. Given the marked date of 1497 this could be Amerigo Vespucci. Below the portrait is a speed table used to calculate speed in the water. A chip of wood was tossed over the side of a vessel from a set station that carried a mark down the side of the ship. The sailor would then count rhythmically until the chip reached a second mark on the side. Because the distance between the marks was a known constant this allowed them to calculate their speed. The system was originally designed by Pieter Holm who ran a navigation school in Amsterdam.

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English Flintlock Brass Barrel Railgun Blunderbuss
From Tower of London with King George III Cypher

A rare-type brass barrel set in hard English oak, this Blunderbuss Swivel Railgun carries Birmingham proof marks, and has the Tower of London symbol and the royal cypher of King George III on the lockplate. The 25 inch brass barrel flares at the muzzleto slightly more than 3 inches, and a heavy brass butt plate terminates the stock. The Tower Armory record for the period lists a reserve weapons inventory that counted "2,000 musquetoons", which counted smaller blunderbuss, dragoons, and railguns.

The weapon would have been issued to a naval vessel, and installed to hold a prominent guard position on the rail, either along the main deck or possibly even stationed overhead on a fighting platform. The firearm is secured on an original iron yoke, set into a display wood block. This is an exceptional firearm with an imposing presence and deadly function.

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European Hat Box for a Bicorne Hat
Tin with Brass Monogram

Though mostly associated with Napoleon, the Bicorne hat was used as a common military and naval headpiece throughout Europe and America, coming into wide use from about 1790 until 1910. This tin box includes its original brass label with the owner's name M. Keane. A fine case to keep one's dress military hat in good shape while not being worn.

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High Quality British Naval Sword with Scabbard

A British Naval sword of high quality, likely belonging to a high ranking officer. The handle is bone with silver plate and features a lion's head on the pommel. The guard or branch features a rope and anchor motif. The sword includes its leather and silver scabbard, including a band with an image of Brittania in a traditional pose, seated on her shield embossed with the Union Jack

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