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S/3175 Antique Treen 18th Century Lignum Vitae Sailor's Fid

An extremely fine lignum vitae sailor's fid in heart and sap wood, having ring turned decoration to the head. These fids were used for splicing ropes. They came in various sizes, and on whaling ships they were often made of whalebone. In other vessels oak and teak were used, but mostly lignum vitae as in this instance. The largest one recorded is 52 inches long and is in the Worthing Museum in Sussex.

This is one of the finest ones we have handled for a long time, owing to the timber used showing different colours of heart and sap wood, which only enhances the overall appearance. The whole has an excellent patination.

14 in. (37.5 cm.) Wide
2 in. (5 cm.) Diameter English Circa 1780