Early Perko anchor lamps in brass are among the most popular lights we sell, but they’re not easy to find. We love selling these ball-topped styles to people who really appreciate them.

The font has the Perko brand on the bottom, dating it to the 1920s. The light stands nine inches tall and is in good working order. The ball chimney has a row of heat vents cut in the shape of little hearts. We’ve included a closeup of the hearts so you can see them.

This style of anchor light was produced by several companies here in the United States from the late 19th century until around 1930. These lights were popular aboard small boats and yachts. This one is complete with its original font and burner, and is in fine shape.

Interested? Email us at chinasea@chinaseatrading.com.

China Sea Trading Company, Maritime Antiques, Salvage, Curiosities


Here’s an attractive pair of electric sidelights, or running lights, meant for a trawler or coastal freighter. They’re in fine shape, and in an unusually hard-to-find size. The brass will shine up nicely.

These running lights are of Japanese manufacture and are probably 50 or 60 years old. They measure 8.5 inches (22 cm) tall and 8.5 inches wide. The smooth green and red lenses allow for easy viewing without excess glare. A small wattage bulb is all you need.

Use them as practical working lights for a schooner or other working vessel. They would also work well as a display in or outside of a home, or in a bar. Just install your wire to the existing sockets, reached through the top hatches, which are secured by three manual, brass-captured screws.

China Sea Trading Company, Maritime Antiques, Salvage, Curiosities


Here is a handsome, all-brass, oil-fired Trawler lamp, in a hard-to-find smaller size. It hangs from its own stand, and is ideal for the captain’s cabin, or anywhere you may want a warm glow.

The shade’s diameter is eight inches. The entire unit, top to bottom, stands 20 inches. We don’t know its age, but it is of British manufacture. (It is NOT a knockoff.) Given the condition of the lamp and wick, I doubt that it has seen much use.

The substantial base of the lamp’s stand is only five inches in diameter; its weight assures stability without taking up a lot of space. The shade’s diameter is eight inches. The entire unit stands 20 inches, top to bottom.

Everything is in fine shape, including the very generous wick. Be sure to use a really good oil with this lamp. Call us if you have any questions.


This heavy cast bronze light with a half-round lens weighs a hefty 23 pounds. It once graced a naval vessel or bridge, probably 70-plus years ago.

It measures 10 inches (25 cm) tall and 9.5 inches across. The hinged top allows for changing the light bulb and cleaning the glass lens.

The old electrical wiring and socket were in rough shape so I removed them. A ceramic socket available at any good hardware store can be supplied if you so desire.

This is a great light for a dock, or in front of a house. The light will shine on approaching boats or cars without glaring in your eyes (with you observing from behind the light, of course). The heavy bronze case is practically indestructible. The lens has the slightly violet tinge that comes with years of sun and sea.

This old light can be a landmark in your area.



This beautiful, early boat light is 11 inches tall (29 cm) including the ring, with matching green and red Fresnel lenses. You’d find this style of light aboard many types of small craft. This one was likely used on a nice little yacht and kept bright and polished. It is Amercan-made and could date from 1880 to 1920.

It features a ball-type brass chimney with little heart-shaped vent holes. The ring on top is used to secure the light in rough seas.

The lights comes complete with its oil font and a fresh burner and wick. The dividing vane separating the lenses may be removed so you can display the light without it, if desired.

I don’t often shine these old lights, but this one was too good to leave dull.

China Sea Trading Company, Maritime Antiques, Salvage, Curiosities


After WWI, in an effort to keep up with the new development of electric and battery-powered amenities on yachts and small craft, marine lighting companies began offering navigation lights with electric units. Manufacturers made oil-fired lamps with a combination electric-and-oil font with burner. Later, the all-electric unit was adopted for the old-style light.

Here’s an example – an all-electric anchor light wired for 12 volts. It has the traditional appearance of an oil-fired light, similar to those of 100 years ago. The major difference is the bayonet-type light socket inside the light instead of the burner, and the acrylic lens.

These lights were made by Perko for many years but were discontinued about 30 years ago.

This example has been to sea. I thoroughly reconditioned it after salvaging it here in Maine. It would be the perfect anchor light for a classic small craft. Or easily altered for home use.

A word of caution: Don’t attempt to use an oil burner in this type of light. The acrylic lens was not meant for direct flame.

China Sea Trading Company, Maritime Antiques, Salvage, Curiosities


This style of anchor light, with its full cage, was largely obsolete by the early years of the 20th century. They were designed for schooners and sailing vessels, and had the guard wires over the chimney to prevent sooting and the threat of burning sails and rigging.

In 1903, Frederick Persky, a Russian immigrant, started his own company in Brooklyn, NY. He was making lights and sheet metal items for marine use. He succeeded to the point that, in 1913, he became president of the National Marine Lamp Company. He then went out on his own once again, just in time for America’s entry into The Great War, in 1917.

Marine lamps were needed for service, but were in short supply. Companies like Persky’s (now Perkins Marine Lamp Co.) bought old stock and patterns, and for a very brief period, sold these old styles.

Here is one of them. Though in the pattern of the mid-to-late 19th century, this was actually made about 1917. It even has the Perkins brass label soldered to the bottom of the font.

The light is 14 inches (36 cm) tall and is fully functional. I have only given it a light cleaning.

China Sea Trading Company, Maritime Antiques, Salvage, Curiosities


For years the Wilcox-Crittenden Company made these ship’s anchor lights, known for their dependability in hard weather, thus the ‘hurricane’ moniker.

It no longer has its font or burner, but could be electrified or displayed as part of a collection. If you are desperate for a font or burner, I’ll see what I can do. It does have a fine crack in the lens but is almost imperceptible.

I don’t normally sell lights with such a flaw, but this is such a beautiful old example, I couldn’t resist it. It stands tall at 10 inches (26 cm) or 15 inches (38 cm) with the top bale raised. The material is brass with a burnished finish.

An attractive 90-year-old light at an attractive price.

China Sea Trading Company, Maritime Antiques, Salvage, Curiosities


The Triplex lens that you see on this interesting old light was developed and patented in 1910. A modification of the Fresnel lens, now universally used in navigation lights, the Triplex was only in production for a few years, mostly in smaller boat lights. Ours is a larger version and not typically seen.

This brass anchor light with its 360-degree lens stands about 12 inches (29 cm) tall. The old lens has developed the light lavender hue that antique glass sometimes gets from years of service.

This old-timer shows its age but has its original font and works well. I have added a new burner.
It may be too old to go to sea—it’s probably about 100 years old—but it is a great example of an unusual style. It wears its age and old repairs well.

China Sea Trading Company, Maritime Antiques, Salvage, Curiosities


We believe old shiplights, from the modest to the glorious, have stories to tell, of the ships they sailed, the sailors who depended on them, and the people who made them.

This beautiful, brass anchor light is an exquisite artifact from the Age of the American Clipper Ship. Anywhere from 125 to 150 years old, it stands 16 inches tall, with a base of about 7.25 inches; at the guard-wire, it’s about 10 inches across.

When I found this light, it was in complete disrepair, the lens in pieces. I cleaned and polished the brass, and replaced the glass with the correct, salvaged, Fresnel lens.

The oil font appears to be a 120-year-old replacement from the days when the light was serving a ship. It is marked “S. Blickman, Catharine St., NY.” (The company moved to New Jersey in 1923) It had developed a few small leaks wwich I fixed. I also replaced the damaged burner with an unused old burner and put in a fresh wick.

The light still shows its age with a few little marks, chips and other imperfections. But it works as well as when it was first used to mark its ship’s anchorage. Look closely at our photos. You won’t see many like this one.