Vintage teak wood ship's navigation log by Lionel Corp for the US Navy, 1943



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About this vintage design furniture

Exceptional ship's navigation log, made during the Second World War, in teak wood and brass following the model created by Lionel Corp in 1943 for the US Navy. Inside it presents a magnetic compass or compass original from the late 19th century, by Ainsley Cardiff & Barry. Keep both compensating balls or Thompson spheres. On the back it has an opening to store the logbook inside. Logbooks are an essential tool in nautical equipment. They are usually at the helm of the ship and allow the sailor to maintain the correct course. This spectacular example has a square base, from which the tubular teak wood box is born, with brass fittings, and ends in the dome also made of brass, with a glass peephole. A true nautical relic, perfect for any lover of naval themes. About operation The compass is formed by a cylindrical brass container, at the bottom of which a metal stem is fixed, on which the octave wind rose is placed and is completed with a goniometric circle suitably delimited, so that the zero coincides with the magnetic polarity. To reduce friction to a minimum, the mortar is filled with a low-freezing point liquid, which also has the function of quickly damping possible oscillations, and is closed at the top with a strong protective glass. The mortar is placed in the binnacle, which must be made of a non-magnetic material to avoid interference, generally wood. The binnacle has two main purposes: holding the mortar and housing magnets and iron mass to compensate for deviations of the needle. The mortar is mounted on a gimbal system, thanks to which it allows the needle to remain horizontal during swings and pitches. This system is sometimes attached to the binnacle using springs or shock absorbers to prevent the vibrations produced from being transmitted to the needle. The upper part of the binnacle is called cubichete and its function is to protect the mortar. This has a glass window to allow reading as well as accommodation to install lanterns called lantías. The Greeks and Romans were still unaware of the possibility of exploiting magnetic fields to orient themselves, while it seems that this possibility was already available to the Chinese: around 2600 BC. Emperor Hoang-Ti managed to defeat Prince Tchi-Yeou in battle thanks to a "magical" chariot, the See-Nan (a chariot that indicates the south). The emperor, thanks to this device, identified the enemy's escape route, although he had hidden it with a layer of smoke: a wooden silhouette in the shape of a human was fixed on the chariot that rotated on itself and, with its arm, extended always pointed south. The Chinese also used their discoveries related to magnetic fields as a form of entertainment and spectacle. Dimensions: 140 x 82 x 47 cm. / Compass diameter: 26 cm. Reference : 303345

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82 cm
140 cm
47 cm
Mid Century
Secondary colour
Main material
Other material

delivery and return

  • Shipped from : Spain
  • Delivery time :
    • 1 week for small items
    • 2 to 5 weeks for bulky products
  • Return possible: up to 14 days after delivery

About the designer

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