Antique 19TH Century E.S. Ritchie Nautical Gimbal Compass in Mahogany Binnacle Box

Antique 19TH Century E.S. Ritchie Nautical Gimbal Compass in Mahogany Binnacle Box

Rare Antique Maritime Nautical Ship Gimbal Compass | Circa 1860 – 1870 | Very handsome piece of 19th Century nautical history | With Original Mahogany Binnacle Box Case having a removable top with a clear glass window, a brass mounting bracket on the back, and a brass fitting on its side for lantern attachment | Made by E.S. Ritchie, Boston Mass. USA | The compass is constructed of brass and copper, and filled with a patented mix of alcohol and water to prevent oxidation of the magnets

Description
Additional information
  • Rare Antique Maritime Nautical Ship Gimbal Compass | Circa 1860 – 1870 | Very handsome piece of 19th Century nautical history | With Original Mahogany Binnacle Box Case having a removable top with a clear glass window, a brass mounting bracket on the back, and a brass fitting on its side for lantern attachment | Made by E.S. Ritchie, Boston Mass. USA | Compass has several stamped maker’s marks including “E.S. Ritchie, Boston; Patent Sept. 9, 1862; April 7, 1863; May 11, 1868; July 19, 1870; and 7543 (Serial Number)” | The compass is constructed of brass and copper, and filled with a patented mix of alcohol and water to prevent oxidation of the magnets | U.S. Patent no. 36422 | The Box Case Measures approx.12 1/4 x 12 1/4, with a total weight at 8 pounds, 8 oz | The Compass is in Good Original Working Condition –  The rose of winds shows expected mild to moderate age and fading; Very Nice aged patina on metal surfaces | This is an authentic all original nautical compass that will make a Stunning Addition to Any Nautical Ship Maritime Collection (NOT a reproduction) | Provenance: From the estate of a very well-known and well-respected lifetime Civil War collector in Upstate New York.

    Ritchie began making marine bearing compasses for the U.S. Navy before the American Civil War. At the time, British Admiralty dry-mount nautical compasses were considered by all navies and merchant shipping companies as the technological standard of the day. Ritchie thought they could be improved upon, and by 1860 had received a U.S. patent for the first successful and practicable liquid-filled marine compass suitable for general use, a development that has been described as the first major advance in compass technology in several hundred years. With the damping provided by the liquid, together with a gimbal mounting, the floating indicator or card of the Ritchie compass remained relatively stable even when a ship’s deck pitched and rolled during periods of severe weather. Ritchie liquid-filled nautical compasses soon became a U.S. Navy standard, and were also widely used by American merchant mariners. The business he began in 1850 became E. S. Ritchie & Son in 1866 and E. S. Ritchie & Sons in 1867, and moved from Boston to Brookline in 1886. Following Ritchie’s death in 1895, his sons transferred the scientific instruments to the L. E. Knott Apparatus Co., while retaining the nautical instrument line, which was renamed E.S. Ritchie & Sons.

  • Weight

    9lb.

    Height

    13"

    Width

    13"

    Depth

    8"

    Weight

    9lb.

    Height

    13"

    Width

    13"

    Depth

    8"

    Kind

    Collectibles, Ephemera, Equipment, Maps, Marine, Memorabilia, Militaria

    Artist / Maker

    E.S. Ritchie

    Date

    19th Century

    Origin

    American

    Other

    Brass, Case, Glass Covering, Makers Mark, Wood

    Subject

    American Civil War, Equipment, Fixtures, Historical, Marine, Military