~ Circa 1850 Binnacle With Dolphin Stand ~
This mushroom headed binnacle is a very early type, dating to before the era of iron hulled ships. Note that this binnacle was not fitted with "Kelvin's Balls" (known as "Navigator's Balls" in the US), which are the magnetic spheres fitted either side of later models from the 1880's. These spheres came into being to counteract the magnetic effect of an iron hull on the compass.
Very few three legged dolphin binnacles have survived, they are normally only found in museums, and a well funded museum at that.
It is fitted with a later compass and has two towering illumination burners either side.
The body is supported by three Renaissance style cast bronze legs in the form of classical Royal Navy dolphins with raised tails.
The front plaque reads "Lilley and Reynolds Ltd. Nautical Instrument Manufacturers,London,E.C.3" being a later retailers addition.
~ Dimensions ~
The piece is 43 inches (109.25cm) high with a total width of 19 inches (48.25cm).
It weighs approximately 35 Kg in total.
~ Condition ~
Everything is intact and the legs are in excellent condition. The dome has a few small dents but nothing major, it has no doubt been at sea. The underside appears to have been hand beaten. The compass points North. A fine example and one for the true maritime connoisseur.