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Old Royal Navy Bosun's Pipe
A nice solid old Royal Navy Bosun's Pipe with the Military Broad Arrow prominent to either side of the bowl. A boatswain's call, pipe or bosun's whistle is a pipe or a non-diaphragm type whistle used on naval ships by a boatswain. It is pronounced, and sometimes spelled, "bosun's call". The pipe consists of a narrow tube (the gun) which directs air over a metal sphere (the buoy) with a hole in the top. The player opens and closes the hand over the hole to change the pitch. The rest of the pipe consists of a "keel", a flat piece of metal beneath the gun that holds the call together, and the "shackle", a keyring that connects a long silver or brass chain that sits around the collar, when in ceremonial uniform.Historically the boatswain's call was used to pass commands to the crew when the voice could not be heard over the sounds of the sea. Because of its high pitch, it could be heard over the activities of the crew and bad weather. It is now used in traditional bugle calls such as Evening Colors/Sunset, and in other ceremonies in most modern navies. It is sometimes accompanied by other auditive features such as ruffles and flourishes, voice commands and announcements, or even a gun salute. It is also the official badge of the Quartermaster, Chief Boatswain's Mate, and Boatswain's Mate and also in the Sea Cadets. The whistle is used to "Pipe aboard" Flag-rank officers or an important guests boarding a Navy ship. This is part of a ceremony called "tending the side" which includes a party of sailors known as "side boys". It has its origins in the need to hoist visiting senior officers aboard using a bosun's chair when the weather was too rough for the use of ladders. The bosun would use his call to direct the side boys in the hoisting of the chair.
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