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Pearl Harbor Life Ring from U.S.S. Arizona, All

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Pearl Harbor Life Ring from U.S.S. Arizona, All
Item Details
Description
Arizona


Pearl Harbor Life Ring from U.S.S. Arizona, All Original and Unrestored

One of the most iconic military and maritime relics to come to the private market in years, this is a U.S. Navy regulation life ring from BB-39, the USS Arizona. Aside from the RMS Titanic and Noah's Ark, this is arguably among the the most famous ships in world history. Her sinking was the single largest loss of life for the U.S. Navy up to that point in time, and the most servicemen deaths in one day since the American Civil War. Shortly before 08:00 local time on 7 December 1941, Japanese naval aircraft from six aircraft carriers struck the Pacific Fleet as it lay in port at Pearl Harbor, and wrought devastation on the warships and installations defending Hawaii. On board the Arizona, the ship's air raid alarm went off at 07:55, and the ship went to general quarters immediately. Shortly after 08:00, 10 Nakajima B5N "Kate” torpedo bombers, five each from the carriers Kaga and Hiryu attacked Arizona. All of the aircraft were carrying 16", armor-piercing shells modified into 1,757lb. bombs. Flying at an estimated altitude of 9,800 ft., Kaga's aircraft bombed Arizona from amidships to stern. Soon after, Hiryu's bombers hit the bow area. The aircraft scored four hits and three near misses on and around Arizona. The near miss off the port bow is thought to have caused observers to believe that the ship had been torpedoed, although no torpedo damage has been found. The sternmost bomb ricocheted off the face of Turret IV and penetrated the deck to detonate in the captain's pantry, causing a small fire. The next forward most hit was near the port edge of the ship, abreast the mainmast, probably detonating in the area of the anti-torpedo bulkhead. The next bomb struck near the port rear 5-inch AA gun. The last bomb hit at 08:06 in the vicinity of Turret II, likely penetrating the armored deck near the ammunition magazines located in the forward section of the ship. While not enough of the ship is intact to judge the exact location, its effects are indisputable: about seven seconds after the hit, the forward magazines detonated in a cataclysmic explosion, mostly venting through the sides of the ship and destroying much of the interior structure of the forward part of the ship. This caused the forward turrets and conning tower to collapse downward some 25–30 feet, and the foremast and funnel to collapse forward, effectively tearing the ship in half.

The explosion touched off fierce fires that burned for two days. The bombs and subsequent explosion killed 1,177 of the 1,512 crewmen on board at the time, approximately half of the lives lost during the attack overall. The remains of the ship are now a national shrine and part of the WWII Valor in the Pacific National Monument. No artifacts or relics are allowed to be taken off the ship, and anything that exists on the private market came off of the ship prior to, on the day of the attack, or shortly thereafter. Even the smallest relics are highly sought after, and to be able to purchase such a stunning visual relic such as this one is a rare opportunity indeed.

The ring was originally found in the 1970's in a rubble pile at Pearl Harbor and then passed by descent to a family member who ultimately chose to sell the Life preserver at auction. Given the severity of the bombing, destruction and fires on the Arizona, the ring either survived having been used as a flotation device for a sailor that was rescued, or the ring was thrown out during a blast to some distance allowing it to make its way to shore. This ring is stenciled in the later regulation style with the ship's name “USS ARIZONA”, and it's naval designation of “BB-39” or Battleship-39. The USS Arizona was overhauled twice, once about 1930, and again in 1940. This was likely a buoy from the final overhaul and retrofit that the Arizona underwent in the Puget Sound Navy Yard, Bremerton, Washington, from October 1940 to January 1941.

On October 23, 2019, a full set of pictures were emailed to Scott Pawlowski for review by both him and Stan Melman, curators for the WWII Valor in the Pacific National Monument Pearl Harbor Museum in Hawaii. Upon review, both confirmed that the characteristics of our life preserver resemble those of post overhaul, and that based on the size of the ring at 29-30 inches, this would have had to have used on the battleship itself (making it more desirable) and not from one of the motor launch boats as those preservers were smaller. The ring remains in its original state, with the original nautical hemp rope hangers, and the original reinforcing bands. The review by both Scott Pawlowski and Stan Melman determined that all the physical characteristics are 100% correct, from the construction, the stitching, the rope lines, the reinforcing bands, the seams, the cork interior (which is visible via tear on the back of the preserver), the stenciling size and shape, and the canvas. Mr. Melman also conveyed that our preserver also does not appear to have any overpainting, which under close inspection we additionally confirm. The whitewashed finish shows appropriate patina and age as does the black painted lettering.

As additional provenance and information, the only other USS Arizona Life Preserver we have seen come to auction in recent history sold at Morphy's Auctions for over $100,000.00. We have included an image of the Morphy's listing in our listing for review.

There are only a few other rings in historical institutions from the Arizona, and the only life ring at the Valor Pearl Harbor museum was from one of Arizona's 50 foot motor launches that was at the boat boom and not damaged during the attack. There is no doubt that nearly all of these rings never had the chance to be used and went down with the ship or were burned.

The Life Preserver will be accompanied by a signed and notarized Letter from the owner, explaining the above described chain of custody.



CONDITION: Original and unrestored in very good condition. Original period paint with expected crazing and expected stains. All pieces present with strong lettering and good paint adhesion overall. Tear to the back exposing the cork.

This item comes with a Certificate from John Reznikoff, a premier authenticator for both major 3rd party authentication services, PSA and JSA (James Spence Authentications), as well as numerous auction houses.

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Pearl Harbor Life Ring from U.S.S. Arizona, All

Estimate $30,000 - $100,000
Dec 04, 2019
See Sold Price
Starting Price $11,000
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0008: Pearl Harbor Life Ring from U.S.S. Arizona, All

Sold for $27,500
13 Bids
Est. $30,000 - $100,000Starting Price $11,000
Autographs & More Deliverable By The Holidays
Dec 04, 2019 10:30 AM EST
Buyer's Premium 25%

Lot 0008 Details

Description
...
Arizona


Pearl Harbor Life Ring from U.S.S. Arizona, All Original and Unrestored

One of the most iconic military and maritime relics to come to the private market in years, this is a U.S. Navy regulation life ring from BB-39, the USS Arizona. Aside from the RMS Titanic and Noah's Ark, this is arguably among the the most famous ships in world history. Her sinking was the single largest loss of life for the U.S. Navy up to that point in time, and the most servicemen deaths in one day since the American Civil War. Shortly before 08:00 local time on 7 December 1941, Japanese naval aircraft from six aircraft carriers struck the Pacific Fleet as it lay in port at Pearl Harbor, and wrought devastation on the warships and installations defending Hawaii. On board the Arizona, the ship's air raid alarm went off at 07:55, and the ship went to general quarters immediately. Shortly after 08:00, 10 Nakajima B5N "Kate” torpedo bombers, five each from the carriers Kaga and Hiryu attacked Arizona. All of the aircraft were carrying 16", armor-piercing shells modified into 1,757lb. bombs. Flying at an estimated altitude of 9,800 ft., Kaga's aircraft bombed Arizona from amidships to stern. Soon after, Hiryu's bombers hit the bow area. The aircraft scored four hits and three near misses on and around Arizona. The near miss off the port bow is thought to have caused observers to believe that the ship had been torpedoed, although no torpedo damage has been found. The sternmost bomb ricocheted off the face of Turret IV and penetrated the deck to detonate in the captain's pantry, causing a small fire. The next forward most hit was near the port edge of the ship, abreast the mainmast, probably detonating in the area of the anti-torpedo bulkhead. The next bomb struck near the port rear 5-inch AA gun. The last bomb hit at 08:06 in the vicinity of Turret II, likely penetrating the armored deck near the ammunition magazines located in the forward section of the ship. While not enough of the ship is intact to judge the exact location, its effects are indisputable: about seven seconds after the hit, the forward magazines detonated in a cataclysmic explosion, mostly venting through the sides of the ship and destroying much of the interior structure of the forward part of the ship. This caused the forward turrets and conning tower to collapse downward some 25–30 feet, and the foremast and funnel to collapse forward, effectively tearing the ship in half.

The explosion touched off fierce fires that burned for two days. The bombs and subsequent explosion killed 1,177 of the 1,512 crewmen on board at the time, approximately half of the lives lost during the attack overall. The remains of the ship are now a national shrine and part of the WWII Valor in the Pacific National Monument. No artifacts or relics are allowed to be taken off the ship, and anything that exists on the private market came off of the ship prior to, on the day of the attack, or shortly thereafter. Even the smallest relics are highly sought after, and to be able to purchase such a stunning visual relic such as this one is a rare opportunity indeed.

The ring was originally found in the 1970's in a rubble pile at Pearl Harbor and then passed by descent to a family member who ultimately chose to sell the Life preserver at auction. Given the severity of the bombing, destruction and fires on the Arizona, the ring either survived having been used as a flotation device for a sailor that was rescued, or the ring was thrown out during a blast to some distance allowing it to make its way to shore. This ring is stenciled in the later regulation style with the ship's name “USS ARIZONA”, and it's naval designation of “BB-39” or Battleship-39. The USS Arizona was overhauled twice, once about 1930, and again in 1940. This was likely a buoy from the final overhaul and retrofit that the Arizona underwent in the Puget Sound Navy Yard, Bremerton, Washington, from October 1940 to January 1941.

On October 23, 2019, a full set of pictures were emailed to Scott Pawlowski for review by both him and Stan Melman, curators for the WWII Valor in the Pacific National Monument Pearl Harbor Museum in Hawaii. Upon review, both confirmed that the characteristics of our life preserver resemble those of post overhaul, and that based on the size of the ring at 29-30 inches, this would have had to have used on the battleship itself (making it more desirable) and not from one of the motor launch boats as those preservers were smaller. The ring remains in its original state, with the original nautical hemp rope hangers, and the original reinforcing bands. The review by both Scott Pawlowski and Stan Melman determined that all the physical characteristics are 100% correct, from the construction, the stitching, the rope lines, the reinforcing bands, the seams, the cork interior (which is visible via tear on the back of the preserver), the stenciling size and shape, and the canvas. Mr. Melman also conveyed that our preserver also does not appear to have any overpainting, which under close inspection we additionally confirm. The whitewashed finish shows appropriate patina and age as does the black painted lettering.

As additional provenance and information, the only other USS Arizona Life Preserver we have seen come to auction in recent history sold at Morphy's Auctions for over $100,000.00. We have included an image of the Morphy's listing in our listing for review.

There are only a few other rings in historical institutions from the Arizona, and the only life ring at the Valor Pearl Harbor museum was from one of Arizona's 50 foot motor launches that was at the boat boom and not damaged during the attack. There is no doubt that nearly all of these rings never had the chance to be used and went down with the ship or were burned.

The Life Preserver will be accompanied by a signed and notarized Letter from the owner, explaining the above described chain of custody.



CONDITION: Original and unrestored in very good condition. Original period paint with expected crazing and expected stains. All pieces present with strong lettering and good paint adhesion overall. Tear to the back exposing the cork.

This item comes with a Certificate from John Reznikoff, a premier authenticator for both major 3rd party authentication services, PSA and JSA (James Spence Authentications), as well as numerous auction houses.

WE PROVIDE IN-HOUSE SHIPPING WORLDWIDE!

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