This beautiful sailor’s fid dates from the late 18th century to the early 19th century 1790 to 1815. A sailor’s fid is a conical hardwood carrot shaped tool of varying length between 8 to 19 inches, that is used when working with rope and canvas. A fids primary use is for holding open knots and holes in canvas and to open and separate the strands of rope when splicing. Small fids such as this were mainly used for the bolt ropes of sails.
Our fid is constructed from desirable Lignum Vitae wood which was the favored wood for such tools since the 17th century. Our rare example is complete with its decorative plated rope grip, an unusual feature we have not seen before. This is a wonderful piece of Martine treen, we can only imagine the journeys this fine piece has been on. The perfect conversation piece that will display excellently. See plate 285, D to H in Treen and other Wooden Bygones, by Edward Pinto for a similar fid.
Measuring: Length 8.75 inch (22 cm). Diameter 1.25 inch (3 cm).
Condition: Wonderful coloring and patina. Small hole to top of handle where perhaps once a leather carry strap was inserted. There is a small chipped section to center of shaft from usage and some small chips to the point again from usage.
A very tactile piece of treen that looks superb displayed alongside other nautical themed antiques...see last image for a nautical engraving and Sailor's ditty box...each for sale separately in our store.
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