- Compasses -

We carry binnacles, box compasses, and lifeboat binnacles as well as the occasional pelorus and handheld piece.
Like most ship salvage these days, these instruments are getting harder to find; we bring in 1 or 2 binnacles per year.
Please call or email to inquire about availability and pricing.
Pieces that are available will read "available"; sold pieces remain pictured
to give an idea of the
uniqueness and range of designs and types.

Ship's Binnacle salvaged off a German vessel.  (sold)

 

Binnacles:
The binnacle houses the main magnetic compass on a ship which is mounted in gimbals to keep it level while the vessel
 rocks with the motion of the water. Sometimes there was an oil lamp or, later, an electrical light source, mounted
under the compass.  A brass hood sits atop the compass and has a viewing port thorugh which you can see the direction.
The green and red balls on either side slide to adjust the compass to compensate for the magnetic skew of the iron on the ship.
Pieces that are available will read "available"; sold pieces remain pictured
to give an idea of the
uniqueness and range of designs and types

Navis-Plath Binnacle (France) 56" tall - sold

Plath Geomar Binnacle (Madrid) 62" tall - sold

Ludolph (Bremerhaven - Hamburg) Binnacle
with clinometer 60" tall sold

German ship's binnacle - sold
.
Lionel Corporation, USA Binnacle with
The A Pietz Co. compass, serial #22058 - sold

unmarked salvaged binnacle 
appx 52"tall sold
 
Lionel Compensating Binnacle Type
MBF #13481 -
compass dated 1944 - sold
. .
Kelvin & Wilfrid O. White Co. Boston - New York
serial # 2052 Binnacle with original compass 50" tall - sold

.
Lionel Corporation, USA Type "K" Compass with
Compensating Coils; 1944. Serial #13921.
Original compass, electric light & shade
are functional. sold

Just in- Kelvin & Wilfrid O. White Co.
Nautical Instruments - Adjusters of Ship
Compasses - Boston - New York -
Binnacle #3404, Christie & Wilson
compass # 655, appx 42" tall - sold
  
The A. Lietz Co., of San Fransicso binnacle compass with hood,
serial #23415 (hood appx 18" tall) sold
 

Kelvin & Hughes ship's binnacle
appx 62" tall - available
 
Dobbie-McInnes ship's binnacle, made in Glasgow
appx 62" tall - available
  
gorgeous brass Sestrel Binnacle; appx 55" tall -
Sestrel Compass No 5703N - Type No90327MS - Henry Brown & Son
, Ltd.  Station Works - Barking - Essex-
available

brass ship's binnacle by Frank Morrison of Cleveland, Ohio. 
Compass by E. S. Ritchie & Sons Inc. of Boston, serial #90780
*sliding access panel on front is missing; faux panel pictured
(appx 52" tall, compass 10 1/2" OD) - available


salvaged bronze U.S. Navy Compensating binnacle by Lionel Corporation - dated 1941, model number 697, type Mark VII (appx 53" tall) - with Lietz brand compass - available

U.S. Navy Bureau of Ships brass binnacle, dated 1942, serial #6191;
Cassens & Plath compass, appx 52" tall - available

Negus-New York U.S. Navy Compensating Binnacle by
E.S. Ritchie & Sons, Inc. Brookline, Mass.  Serial #1606
appx 55" tall - available
 
Copper and brass salvaged binnacle by John Lilley & Gillie Ltd.
Nautical Instrument Makers, North Shields England - #1 of 2
*with original compass - entire instrument appx 33" tall x 25" wide - available

above: copper and brass salvaged binnacle by John Lilley & Gillie Ltd.
 Nautical Instrument Makers, North Shields England - #2 of 2
appx 33" tall x 25" wide - available

aluminum and brass ship's binnacle
by Saura Marine Instruments Co., Ltd
Tokyo, Japan - dated 1983
available
 
Box and handheld compasses:
Always have a back-up.  The reserve magnetic compasses kept on board were stored in a box - sometimes
they come to us in the boxes and sometimes without the boxes but they were just as important to have on board in case
something went wrong with the main compass in the binnacle.
Hand-held compasses are hard to come by; we buy the salvaged varieties any time we can find them...
Pieces that are available will read "available"; sold pieces remain pictured
to give an idea of the
uniqueness and range of designs and types.  Call or email for pricing.

Box Compass by E.S. Ritchie & Sons
made April 8, 1918.
Serial No: 49147. (10 1/2" diam. face)
 
Henry "Browne & Son Barking & London"
Ltd Sestrel Box Compass

Osaka Nunotani Seiki  Co., Ltd
Box Compass, 1983

Nunotani Seiki Box Compass
dated 1986, serial #3387

Plath box compass, not dated
appx 12" diameter face, 12 1/4" gimbal

Box compass by Veb Schiffselektronik (GDR)
dated 1981 (East German)
box appx 14" x 14", compass face appx 11"

Box compassby John Lilley and Gillie Ltd
North Shields. serial no #385355

box compass by Sestrel Henry Browne & Son
Barking & London, type #9052
gimbal diamter appx 13"

salvaged U.S. Navy compass 1943
by E.S.Ritchie & Sons Inc. in box
appx 8 1/4" face diameter, box appx 11 1/4"
 
tiny salvaged American made box compasses:
A. Lietz Company, San Francisco, CA
appx 3 1/4" face - sold

tiny salvaged American made compass
Star Pathfinder Boston serial #60408
(Milton, Mass)

tiny salvaged American made compass
Wilcox, Crittenden & Co (Middletonn, Conn)

box compass Nunotani box compass, dated 1996
salvaged off the MV Daio Copihue
appx 9 3/4  OD, 11 3/4" gimbal
 
box compass by Osaka Nunotani Seiki
Co., Ltd serial #4877 dated 2-1991
appx 9 3/4  OD, 11 3/4" gimbal

salvaged compass (no box) by C. Plath
appx 10 1/2" face OD, 12 1/4"
gimble OD

Nunotani Compass
box appx 13 3/4" square, compass face
9 3/4" OD, gimbal appx 11 1/4" OD
dated 1994-07

salvaged brass and aluminum compass;
original box
dated 1983 by Nunotani - appx 9 3/4" face diameter - appx 6 3/8" deep

box compass by Nunotani dated 1993
appx 9 3/4  OD, 11 3/4" gimbal

salvaged military style pocket / handheld
compass - appx 3" diameter

Aircraft compass by The Ontario Hughes
Owens Co. Ltd; Type PE7571/44
*no visible card, appx 9 1/2" tall,
face appx 5 1/4"


US Navy Sperry Compass



Universal Sun Compass by Abrams Instrument Co
Lansing, Michingan, War Department manual dated 1943
appx 9 3/4" x 9 3/4" x 3 3/4"
   


Danish compass made by Iver C. Weilbach & Co from Copenhagen (Kopenhaven), made 1962.
Serial No: C 31361. appx 9 3/8" OD, 5" tall. (no box)


Telltale / Overhead compass (no box)
appx 6 1/2" face diameter, 9 1/4" with gimbal
serial #2886 - available
 
  telltale overhead compass #C958
British Navy, Patt 0921
good condition, box 10" square,
face 6" diameter appx - available

Baker-Lyman compass (no box), dated 1974 -
appx 9 3/4  OD, 11 3/4" gimbal - available

"telltale" overhead compass #C394
British Navy, poor condition,
box 10" x 10", compass face appx 6" diameter
available

E.S. Ritchie & Sons Inc. compass in box - Boston, USA, serial # 94142
(no fluid), box appx 13 3/4" square,
10 1/2" diam face - available

box compass by C. Plath - Hamburg (not dated)
appx 10 1/8" face diam, 12" gimbal diam - available

salvaged compass (no box) by Cassens and Plath
appx 10" face OD, 12 1/4" gimble OD - available

box compass by Nunotani Seiki K.K. (not dated)
appx 9 3/4" face diameter, *no gimbal, non original box - available

US Army Surveying Compass M2,
Serial #12748 by Brunson Instrument Co.,
Kansas City MO. (no case)
appx 3" x 2 3/4" available

Mark VII Model E; Creagh-Osborne marching
compass by Sperry-Gyroscope Co., Brooklyn,
NY (brass) appx 3 1/2" overall length

tiny box compass by Wilcox Crittenden Co.,
Middletown, CT - box appx 4 3/4" square, compass
face appx 2 3/4" - available

marching compass in case by Bezard
appx 2 1/2" x 3" case, compass
face appx 1 3/4" diam

US Army Surveying Compass M2 with
case, Serial #102073 by Brunson Instrument
 Co., Kansas City MO. - appx 3" x 2 3/4"

Astro-Compass MKII (aka "Sun Compass) - used at the
north/south poles where magnetic compasses
are unreliable; box appx 10x5x6" tall - available

W.S. Darley & Co DIP needle compass
Chicago, USA - box appx 4 3/4" square
c. 1910

American manufactured DIP needle compass; front and back brass covers, 4" hanging ring, early 1800s.  available
 
Astro Compass MK II; interior stamp "Examined 1949" - made WWII era:
appx 10 1/2" x 5 1/2" x 6 1/2" available
 
Lifeboat binnacles / Lifeboat compasses:
A smaller version of the main binnacle, a compass was always stored in each lifeboat in the event you needed to use the lifeboat and,
of course, once aboard, navigation was very important to a chance of being rescued and /or communicating your location.
Some had the side housing for a oil burner to illuminate the compass, some did not. (in general, 9-11" tall)

Lifeboat binnacles were essential for survival and navigation onboard
a lifeboat. They are sometimes equipped with side-housing for a candle
or lamp to provide light at night, but not always.

lifeboat binnacle style without side burner
4 similar available

lifeboat binnacle style with side burner
2 similar available
 
Danforth binnacle - sold

 
lifeboat binnacle compass - Japanese manufacturer
pre-WWII era, phenolic case, rear view port,
side light housing - appx 13 1/2" tall including
handle - available


small yacht binnacle compass (17" diameter) - sold

navigational instrument by Negus, New York (no dial)
appx 5" deep, 8" diameter face
 
Peloruses:
A pelorus is a reference tool for maintaining a relative bearing of visible objects relative to a vessel at sea, often
called a "dumb compass" and were used with a compass until gyro-repeaters were available.

US Navy Mark III Pelorus; detail of box placard to right
*minor face damage - SALE! available

detail: (pictured left) US Navy Mark III Pelorus -
we don't come across these very often. 
USN piece by Kelvin & Wildfrid O. White Co. Boston,
serial #1947, illuminated face.  daetd 1941.
Box is appx 12" x 12".

Pelorus - sold
 
Repeater compasses:

Non-magnetic gyrocompasses are widely used for navigation on ships.  They find true north (versus magnetic north) as determined by
Earth's rotation and are unaffected by metallic materials which can skew the magnetic field - most hulls of ships are steel.

  
salvaged aluminum repeater compass taken off a
Russian passenger ship (appx 49" t x 18" w)
available

detail Russian aluminum repeater compass (pictured left)

British Navy repeater compass: "Admiralty Pattern" stand #4782, hood #637, compass #8884 MT56 (appx 59" tall with hood, 51" tall w/out hood)
compass serial # R-78-RML-313 - available

details of British Navy repeater compass (pictured left)

Manufactured by Arma Corporation, Brooklyn, NY: salvaged brass and aluminum USN U.S. Navy ARMA Mark VI repeater compass
stand serial number 311248, compass Mark VI model 3 serial number 604212.. Also salvaged from the U.S.S. Radford, dismantled in Tacoma, Washington by Zidell (appx 57" tall)
available


newer model repeater compass by C. Plath Made in West Germany
fiberglass base - serial #27421717 (appx 57" tall, compass 17" OD)
www.PiecesOfShip.com - 409.539.5469 - PiecesOfShip@yahoo.com - 2202 Mechanic, Galveston, TX 77550 - Closed Tues & Wed