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Friday, July 19, 2013

Dress up Your Lamp with an Affordable Nautical Lamp Finial

Skipjack's handcrafted monkey's fist lamp finial is a wonderful choice to top off your lamp.

Being in the nautical business, we spend a lot of time flipping through interior design magazines like Coastal Living, Architectural Digest, Better Homes & Gardens, etc. looking at rooms created by professional designers for inspiration and potentials for new products. I especially take notice of the chosen decor details. One thing that holds true for most successful interiors is a focus on scale and proportion, wall color and fabric selections, and overall floor arrangement. But so many of these designers have focused on primary design elements, but lack attention to decor details. Table lamps are a great example of this. Nautical lighting can add so much to the completion of a successful coastal home interior, and that goes for appropriate lampshades and lamp finials as well.

Custom nautical lamp made using a vintage brass anchor lantern. Light toggles
between interior ambiance light, upper room light or dual lighting selections.
Shown with our nautical chart lampshade and monkey's fist lamp finial.
Skipjack is known for its great selection of custom made nautical table lamps and re-purposed vintage light fixtures. Through the years we have supplied hundreds of homeowners with beautiful lamps and lighting for their coastal abode. Our nautical chart lampshades is a favorite and probably the best nautical lamp shade on the market today. And since you can customize it by selecting your favorite coastal navigational chart, it's a no brainer. But beyond selecting a maritime lamp or lampshade, a quality nautical designed lamp finial can add a lot of design for a very affordable price. Lamp finials can be fun, whimsical, classical or anything else you fancy. Whatever style you choose, they are an excellent way to add your own personal touch to a room. Pictured below is a selection of nautical designed lamp finials that we currently stock. Please follow the link here to Skipjack's lamp and lighting department on our web store.

Brass sailboat lamp finial. Great nautical home decor.

Polished brass fouled anchor lamp finial.

Brass antique dolphin lamp finial is a classic design for nautical interiors.

Brass carp fish lamp finial.

Finial made using a Murex seashell. We have a number of  shell finials
perfect for beach and coastal home decor.

Please visit the Skipjack Nautical Wares website for a great selection of maritime antiques, nautical furnishings and decor and just about everything nautical for your home, office and nautical lifestyle!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Maritime History: L.D. Lothrop's Patent Fog Horn

A surviving Lothrop's patent fog horn.
 Every once in a while we are able to find an item at Skipjack Nautical Wares & Marine Gallery that we can offer some factual information about it's history. Here, our research has taken us to the great maritime seaport of Gloucester, Massachusetts where this item was manufactured. Here is a brief history of the product and the company.

The fog horn was invented by Llewellyn Day Lothrop, born in Appleton, Maine in March of 1836. Mr. Lothrop opened a general ship chandler’s business in 1880 on Duncan Street in Gloucester, Massachusetts and soon became the leading chandlery for fishing gear. He invented different swivels & hooks for fishing, but was best known for the famous, Lothrop PATENT Fog Horn of which no Gloucesterman would sail without. This fog horn in this blog is an example of those manufactured by the L.D.Lothrop Co.,

Vintage picture of L. D. Lothrop's  horse-drawn wagon sandwich board advertisement.


Illustration of the working parts of a Lothrop fog horn, circa 1903.
Printed from Marine Engineering, Volume 8, April 1903: The fog horn illustrated here has a large sale in this country and abroad, as it embodies the two requirements of being well designed and well built. It is a forth, when a large quantity of air is pressed into the chamber and with little friction. The wear on the bearings and inside working parts is very small. The horn is protected by a galvanized sheet-iron covering and placed under the lever. Among the features of construction is the one-piece crank hanger, the turn-down handle having no nuts or pins to break loose, and the leather bellows, which is secure to the solid blocks of wood by being forced into the groove of the wood, held in place by a brass strip. All the bearings and metal parts are hard brass, made strong enough to withstand many years of service. Manufactured by L.D. Lothrop, 66 Duncan Street, Gloucester, Mass.

A picture of the L. D. Lothrop workshop showing a horn being attached to the bellows.
Photo was taken from  the blog "Schooner Adventure Mug Up".

Another example of a  Fog horn in an oak case, bears plaque from L.D. Lothrop, Gloucester,
Measures 16-1/2"h, 13-1/2"w, 20-1/2"d.  Notice the side-mounted horn. Photo from South Bay Auctions Inc. 

The pictures below are of the L.D. Lothrop boxed fog horn surviving in good working order that we currently have available. This particular model is  #19082, Pat. Aug. 20, 1901 as engraved on the makers brass tag. Crank handle on box side and retaining it's original red painted wood box and black stenciled letters on both sides. A wonderful example of a Gloucester, Massachusetts artifact. The box measures 20 1/2 in. X 9 1.2 in. X 16 1/2 in. Follow the link here to the fog horn listing on our webstore at Skipjack Nautical L. D. Lothrop box fog horn. This fog horn comes to us from the Arthur A. Rebman Maritime Collection.

Fog horn crank with wood handle and stenciled brand on the side.

View of the manufacturers brass label.

Opposite side of the box with stenciled "LOTHROP'S PATENT FOG HORN" and #1.

Top view with original leather handle. 

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

The Arthur A. Rebman Maritime Collection at Skipjack Nautical Wares

For sale in the showroom and online
 starting Friday, May 10th, Skipjack is pleased to present the 
Rebman Maritime Collection.

Some of the many nautical items available for sale from the Rebman Maritime Collection.

The Arthur A. Rebman Maritime Collection represents three decades of collecting authentic nautical related items during Mr. Rebman's years working in Hampton Roads shipyards. The collection comprises of a number of ship nameboards, a rare rope driven ship's wheel circa 1840, US Navy and US Coast Guard items, life rings and preservers, wood blocks of varying types and sizes, cleats and bollards, navigational ship lights, a group of Fresnel lantern lenses, wood and metal fids and marlinspikes, country flags, signal flags and pennants including a complete cased signal flag collection, oak lifeboat water keg, anchors, a WWII era boxed compass, Lionel taffrail log in original box, ship's bell, half hulls, vintage lobster trap and wood net floats, boxed fog horn (working order), collection of ship in bottles, vintage working pond boat, coffee mugs and other maritime related porcelain collectibles, old prints and photographs, brass plaques from ships, lots of ship parts and pieces and other nautical collectibles. This is a great opportunity to collect some authentic nautical items, most including the ship provenance!  

Authentic ship's name boards, life rings and vintage ship salvage is part of the Rebman Maritime Collection.

The Portsmouth showroom is now open EVERY DAY*
through the end of year!

Monday-Saturday - 10am - 5pm
Sunday - 1pm - 4pm
Additional times by chance or appointment

Skipjack Nautical Wares & Marine Gallery 

One High Street, Suite 3
(facing the riverfront)
Portsmouth, Virginia 23704
(757) 399-5012

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Nautical Collars & Leashes For Your Salty Dog

Nautical themed dog collars at Skipjack Nautical Wares
Dress up your salty dog with Skipjack's nautical pet products featuring a great selection of colorful nautical themed ribbon collars & leashes on durable nylon webbing for comfort and easy care. Collars feature Delrin Acetal side release buckles for ease of fastening and separating and solid nickel plated “D” rings for strength, are available in three widths and are all easily adjusted for length. Our matching leashes feature strong nickel-plated swivel snaps. Produced in Massachusetts, USA. Want one? Follow the link here to our NAUTICAL PET section on our web store. or stop by our Olde Towne Portsmouth, Virginia riverfront showroom.

Our dog Chance models a nautical code flag ribbon collar.

Select your favorite ribbon design and webbing color for the perfect nautical dog collar. Easy to clean, just soak in dish detergent and warm water, rinse clean and air dry for years of like-new look and to eliminate odor.

Make it just right with 11 webbing colors to choose from!

Great nautical ribbon designs to dress up your salty dog!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

NEW Nautical Designed Belts for Men and Women- and a Few Classics Too!

Get hooked on our solid brass fish hook belt buckle in two sizes. 
NEW for 2013!  Look sharp with our polished solid brass fish hook buckle (now available in two sizes) or pair it up with one of our premium leather snap belts. The brass fish hook belt buckle are available in 3 1/2" or 2 1/4" (total length) and 1 3/4" wide (inside dimension). Our brass fish hook buckles retail for $24.95 and our leather strap belts retail for $24.95.  Follow the link here to our brass fish hook belts buckles.

Fish hook belt buckle available in two sizes.
Our selection of leather strap belts ( 1 1/2" wide). Choose between our classic black or dark-brown or with a distressed crackled-black or tan finish. Belts available in sizes: Small: (31” -33”) Medium: (34” - 36”) Large: (37” - 39”) X. Large: (40” – 42”) 

Our nautical brass belt buckles are securely held in place by three snaps and can be easily unsnapped to accommodate other belt buckles. You can easily interchange your buckles for a different look when you want it. 

Leather snap-belt finishes at Skipjack.

The sea turtle swims gracefully through shimmering blue seas...strong, determined, effortlessly navigate, always finds it's way home. This NEW ribbon belt design celebrates the wonderful world of sea turtles and is a great addition to your coastal, beach wardrobe. Features full grain drum-dyed leather billet and buckle ends accentuated by the solid brass buckle. It's also MADE IN THE USA! Available at Skipjack nautical Wares for $26.95!  Follow the link here to our sea turtle belt.

Sea turtle ribbon belt with leather billet.

This beautiful cast brass starfish belt buckle is an elegant accessory for your coastal wardrobe. Fits any 1 1/2 inch snap belt.  Perfect for nights out on the town and a great accessory to your beach-coastal wardrobe.  This bronzed highlighted buckle retails for $45.00. You can also choose from our collection of leather snap-belts is black and brown finishes. Retail price $24.95.  Follow the link here to cast brass starfish belt buckle.

Cast brass starfish belt buckle with bronze accents.
A great addition to your beach-coastal wardrobe.

Don't get caught without  our best selling nautical code signal flags belt...the perfect accouterments for khakis, jeans, or corduroys and of course to wear with your favorite worn cargo shorts too! This cotton web ribbon belt for all seasons has full grain drum-dyed leather billet and buckle ends accentuated by the solid brass buckle. This belt is available with your choice of white, red or navy webbing as a background to the signal flag ribbon. MADE IN THE USA! Retails for $26.95.

Skipjack's best-selling nautical code signal flag belt available now in
three webbing colors.  Best nautical-themed belt on the market!

Skipjack's sailor Macramé braided web belt in natural line is available in four different colors, each created with full grain leather belt ends and solid brass buckles. A great nautical belt for men, women and children too! All belts are 1 ¼” wide. MADE IN THE USA!

Skipjack's sailor macrame' belt is available in four thread colors.

Take a look at our full nautical apparel collection by visiting Skipjack's webstore. Follow the link here to preview our complete nautical apparel department


Skipjack's relaxed fit classic pique polo shirts for men and women.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Skipjack Nautical Wares & Marine Gallery Celebrates 10 years in Hampton Roads and Beyond

Skupjack Nautical Wares & Marine Gallery riverfront showroom
is located in Olde towne Portsmouth, VA.

By Toi wilson
Portsmouth Virginia Department of Economic Development

Portsmouth is a seaport town where maritime history and traditions created a way of life.  Today, homeowners and boaters look to recreate the days of nautical living through home décor, art, and apparel. Customers throughout Hampton Roads, and as far away as New Zealand, have discovered authentic nautical antiques and furnishings, original marine art, and handcrafted nautical accessories at Skipjack Nautical Wares and Marine Gallery here in Olde Towne Portsmouth.

Skipjack's Chelsea Room features authentic nautical antiques and marine art.

Custom made grate table.
Skipjack Nautical Wares, celebrating 10 years in business this month, is located at One High Street in historic Downtown Portsmouth.  A decade ago, owners Alison and Joe Elder set sail on a journey to merge their passions for boating and uncovering history with their business management experience to create a specialty store that offers a range of nautical-themed merchandise.  The furniture and home décor is constructed using recycled or re-purposed materials, also known as Eco Furniture.

Nautical Chart Lampshade.

The Skipjack design studio utilizes many shipboard items that are removed from retired ships in foreign and domestic shipyards as well as natural materials, such as locally found driftwood, in addition to boards and vintage fishermen's materials to produce one-of-a-kind coastal living pieces. Artwork and handmade gifts are mostly the work of local craftsmen, such as the Salt Water Bath Co. soaps made in Hampton, Virginia and the Monkey’s Fist Rope Knot furniture knobs (an interior decorator’s favorite) produced here in Olde Towne.  The nautical lampshades are constructed in the Skipjack Design Center using only the highest quality materials, including authentic NOAA nautical charts featuring locations from the Chesapeake Bay region.

Over the past ten years, the Elders have grown their store from a local, specialty boutique into an international business.  They attribute their success to being resilient, flexible, and persistent.  Initially, Skipjack was located in an area that did not meet the needs of the business.  In 2005, the Elder’s changed course and moved to Portsmouth.  In 2008, a fire destroyed their store and their residence.  The business realigned and made headway to its current location on the Portsmouth waterfront.

Skipjack Nautical Wares High Street location,
 Olde Towne Portsmouth, VA.

A dedicated web presence (online store, blogs, social media, information sources) has supported the brick-and-mortar operation.  Joe advises that a constant web presence and marketing are essential components for running a retail business.  Allison’s advice for new entrepreneurs is to remember to have patience and be flexible to market trends.  It takes time to establish a customer base, and as markets change, businesses should be prepared to make adjustments to stay the course.

The next time you are in Portsmouth or surfing the web, be sure to visit Skipjack Nautical Wares and Marine Gallery where you can find a tribute to our seaport City’s origins and a collection of the best in coastal living.

Toi Wilson is a respresentative for the City of Portsmouth,Virginia Department of Economic Development. She writes monthly articles featuring Portsmouth's people, places and things as part of the departments Enewsletter.

Saturday, February 16, 2013


Skipjack Nautical Wares turns 10 this year! We have packed a lot into the last decade including three showroom locations, miscellaneous hurricanes, lightning strikes, earthquakes and floods, not to mention one famous fire.
To celebrate our first decade we are having a STORE-WIDE once-in-a-decade sale starting this Saturday and running through the end of February. If you are new to Skipjack, take note, sales here are very rare (we can't remember the last one)!

EVERYTHING* in the store is at least 20% off ! Check out our Anniversary Sale category online (top of the category column on the left) or stop by the showroom for additional items on special markdowns up to 50%! Items will be added to this sale over the next week, so stop by the showroom or webstore often!

Check out some of our impressive deals:

Stainless or brass marlinspikes 30% off !
Skipjack long-sleeve T's, hoodies and crew sweatshirts 30% off !
Mariner Rope Bracelets 35% off !
4-inch or 2-inch brass cleats 40% off !
Here are just a few of the special PORTSMOUTH SHOWROOM ONLY savings:

Lifeboat oars, reg. $125, SALE $75, a savings of 40%
Country flags, reg. $15, SALE $9.95, a savings of 33%
All nautical books 30% off !

*Okay, ALMOST everything. Jack the shop dog is not for sale at any price. Sale does not apply to purchases prior to February 16 or custom orders. Sale prices limited to in stock items only. Orders must be paid in full by February 28 to qualify. Online the 20% discount will show up at checkout. Online items for sale at greater than 20% off will show the discount in the product description (not again at check out).
New! Just in!
Aluminum Passag Light (new)

The Portsmouth showroom will be CLOSED
on Thursday, February 21, 2013.
The webstore will remain open 24/7 with most shipping as usual.
Remember, the Postsmouth showroom is operating on
winter hours from January through April:
Tuesday-Saturday - 10am - 5pm
Additional times by chance or appointment
Joe & Alison Elder

Skipjack Nautical Wares & Marine Gallery

One High Street, Suite 3
Portsmouth, Virginia 23704
(757) 399-5012

January-April HOURS:
Tuesday - Saturday - 10am - 5pm
Closed Feb. 21

Additional times by chance or appointment