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Ships Lantern Manufacturer - 'seahorse' Maker's Mark.

bridleway123

New Member
Good morning,
I am trying to discover the background to the manufacture of an antique ships lantern (many similar items are shown on the web) owned by a relative in the US. The lamp bears a maker's mark of 'Seahorse GB #9065' with a separate label 'Not Under Command'.
In my online research, I have come across many Seahorse lanterns for sale but have yet to find a unit of this form/shape and have not found any info regarding the Seahorse maker. It seems that Birmingham had a major brass and copper industry producing lanterns of this type for the railway and the shipping industries, and two companies - Eli Griffiths & Sons, and Players & Mitchell - are referred to in various references.
Can anybody help please in solving the mystery of who manufactured these lamps, that bear the 'Seahorse' marking? many thanks.
 

pjmburns

master brummie
As I found a "seahorse" lantern on sale at Bonhams - an auctioneers - perhaps they might be able to tell you a bit more. I would assume the "Not Under Command" probably means they were not actually on a ship but don't know for certain.
Janice
 

bridleway123

New Member
Thanks Janice for your message. I had already contacted Bonhams but they were not able to help - their specialist in this area has left, and they were not able to add to the headline info that was shown for that auction item. Since posting the forum question, I've been referred to a specialist marine antiques company who know about Seahorse as a brand, and I'm waiting for more info from them. I'll post anything that I learn.
 

DPL

knowlegable brummie
I have a pair of (bashed/battered) seahorse lamps. The manufacturer is/was Bocock & Co, Mott Street Birmingham. The #9065 must be the pattern/style number for that particular lamp you are researching. Can't be of any further assistance.
 

mikejee

Super Moderator
Staff member
I thought I had posted this previously , but must have done something wrong.
I think the firm you are looking for might be Bocock & Wilkinson.,ships lamp manufacturers, 17-18 Mott St.The 1910 Kellys directory lists their Telegraph Address as "Seahorse".It was quite common for the telegraph address to be the same as the trademark of the firm. There is a thread concerning the firm originated by his great great grandson at https://birminghamhistory.co.uk/forum/index.php?threads/wilkinson-lamp-manufacturer.42890/#post-507737. They later became Bocock & Son, and in the 1932 Kellys are listed as George Bocock & Co Ltd, ships lamp manufacturers, 17-18 Mott St, , still with T.A.address "Seahorse".

In 1890 Bocock & Wilkinson. electroplate manufacturers are at 123 Gt. Hampton St. The listing was the same till 1900, when they become ships lamp manufacturers. they move to Mott St between the 1908 and 1910 editions of Kellys , and it is in 1910 that the Seahorse TA address first appears. The firm are still in Mott St in 1973 when the last Kellys is produced.

I think there might possibly be some connection with the firm of James Pratt Marrian. They were naval brassfounders at Slaney St, once labelled as suppliers to the board of the admiralty . No 123 Gt Hampton St immediately before becoming home to Bobock & Wilkinson, was occupied by a F.T.Marrian electroplate manufacturer, who then disappeared from view.
 

bridleway123

New Member
Dear Colleagues - thank you all for your enormous help. Once having the name of Bocock & Co, it has opened up a lot more information, including a link to a Polish shipping company whose website holds copies of numerous original ships lantern catalogues, including those of Bocock & Co - fascinating stuff! The link is
www.bembridge.pl/cms.php?lid=en&gid=45107
I hope this link allows you through without registering on their website.
Once again a huge thanks for your help. I will now email my relative in the US - who I expect will want to join the Forum too!
What a fascinating world we live in!
Best regards.
 

gabriolaglen

Brummie babby
I thought I had posted this previously , but must have done something wrong.
I think the firm you are looking for might be Bocock & Wilkinson.,ships lamp manufacturers, 17-18 Mott St.The 1910 Kellys directory lists their Telegraph Address as "Seahorse".It was quite common for the telegraph address to be the same as the trademark of the firm. There is a thread concerning the firm originated by his great great grandson at https://birminghamhistory.co.uk/forum/index.php?threads/wilkinson-lamp-manufacturer.42890/#post-507737. They later became Bocock & Son, and in the 1932 Kellys are listed as George Bocock & Co Ltd, ships lamp manufacturers, 17-18 Mott St, , still with T.A.address "Seahorse".

In 1890 Bocock & Wilkinson. electroplate manufacturers are at 123 Gt. Hampton St. The listing was the same till 1900, when they become ships lamp manufacturers. they move to Mott St between the 1908 and 1910 editions of Kellys , and it is in 1910 that the Seahorse TA address first appears. The firm are still in Mott St in 1973 when the last Kellys is produced.

I think there might possibly be some connection with the firm of James Pratt Marrian. They were naval brassfounders at Slaney St, once labelled as suppliers to the board of the admiralty . No 123 Gt Hampton St immediately before becoming home to Bobock & Wilkinson, was occupied by a F.T.Marrian electroplate manufacturer, who then disappeared from view.
Can you help me ID this mast light?
 

Attachments

Spargone

master brummie
The lamp bears a maker's mark of 'Seahorse GB #9065' with a separate label 'Not Under Command'.
'Not Under Command' or 'NUC' is a fixed signal from a ship at sea that does not have anyone in control of it. It is a warning to other vessels that the NUC vessel will not take any avoiding action or respond to signals from other vessels.

The subject lantern would be displayed at the masthead instead of the usual white light for a vessel 'under command'.

"..two all-round [visible in all directions] red lights. For vessels of more 50 metres or more, visibility 3 miles. For vessels under 50 metres, visibility 2 miles. In vessels of 20 metres or more, lights to be 2 metres apart and lowest to be not less than 24 metres above hull. In vessels under 20 metres, lights to be 1 metre apart the lower to be not less than 2 metres above gunwhale." - [Royal Navy BR 453]

Navigation lights for a ship under command have restricted viewing angles so that it is possible to work out the orientation of the vessel by the position and colour of the visible lights. The familiar red and green side lights, (used in the same way on aircraft flying over land-locked Birmingham!), are essentially only visible from the front and to the side that they are fitted to.
 

gabriolaglen

Brummie babby
'Not Under Command' or 'NUC' is a fixed signal from a ship at sea that does not have anyone in control of it. It is a warning to other vessels that the NUC vessel will not take any avoiding action or respond to signals from other vessels.

The subject lantern would be displayed at the masthead instead of the usual white light for a vessel 'under command'.

"..two all-round [visible in all directions] red lights. For vessels of more 50 metres or more, visibility 3 miles. For vessels under 50 metres, visibility 2 miles. In vessels of 20 metres or more, lights to be 2 metres apart and lowest to be not less than 24 metres above hull. In vessels under 20 metres, lights to be 1 metre apart the lower to be not less than 2 metres above gunwhale." - [Royal Navy BR 453]

Navigation lights for a ship under command have restricted viewing angles so that it is possible to work out the orientation of the vessel by the position and colour of the visible lights. The familiar red and green side lights, (used in the same way on aircraft flying over land-locked Birmingham!), are essentially only visible from the front and to the side that they are fitted to.
Hello. Are you able to see the picture i posted above? Im curious of a date of manufacture? Possible ship it came off of? TIA
 

Tinab

New Member
Can you help me ID this mast light?
Hi. I just put g. Bocock into search area as I was watching something about titanic and said to my husband I was working for g.bocock and co for many years in mott street I think some of there lamps were on the titanic. I didn’t expect to see the seashore company logo mentioned. Very old fashioned company director George bocock, I did him a milky coffee at 11am each day. They wore white over coats to go into the factory to check all the ships lighting being made. Lots of memory’s. prob by now as I’m 59yrd old they cannot be still alive. The son might. Martin bocock.
 
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