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Pair of Scrimshaw Rigging Blocks

Presented here, a pair of salvaged double sheaved scrimshaw ivory rigging blocks with copper rivets . . . still joined together as they were used on an early sailing vessel from which they were salvaged.

Each would have been used to adjust a sail to respond to a change in wind strength or direction or to change the ships direction or speed in a constant wind.  A line would have been attached to each loop with the other end being attached to a cleat on deck, another spar, or mast.  The wrapping around the 4 lines between the blocks were to reduce the wear on a single line going over a spar.

The rigging of a large vessel was extremely complex and constantly checked for wear requiring its replacement . . . a huge "must" on a vessel of size enough to handle the violent seas likely in any stormy situation.21 inches long

*(This example of "marlinspike seamanship" is a great rarity outside of its possibly being found in the collection of a major maritime museum.)  The first I've seen in 55 plus years of nautical collecting! RAP


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