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S/3179 Antique Treen 19th Century Lignum Vitae Sailor's Fid

A well patinated late 19th century lignum vitae sailor's fid in heart wood, having a head with incised line decoration. 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, mahogany 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. The whole has an excellent rich colour and patination.

15 in. (38.5 cm.) Wide
1 in. (4 cm.) Diameter English Circa 1880