History, Tradition and Modern Art

These combine all three themes!

6" O.D. x 5/8" I.D. Bamboo bodied needlecase with scrimshaw name in graphite, star knot stopper , bound ends and monkey's fist closure lanyard.

6" o.d. x 1.25" i.d.:Cotton codline grafted over varnished tube with star knot stoppers, draw-down lanyard and large turksheads.


War Hero
Book Reviewer
Might be the right thread to pick up on Bob Ballard's discovery of Phoenician bends and hitches in a ?350BC wreck - anyone know what those were? Those recovered from the Mary Rose were exactly what were still being taught four hundred years later.
frayedknotarts said:

6" o.d. x 1.25" i.d.:Cotton codline grafted over varnished tube with star knot stoppers, draw-down lanyard and large turksheads.
What wonderful workmanship. I do admire that sort of skill and I wish that I could do it. I could manage to sew up people but not anything that required real skill.
To be quite honest about it, only one sailor on a hundred could do that sort of work when it was current (days of sail and whales) and then mostly merchant seaman.

Royal Navy had some time free aboard, but their days were far more constrained as to things to be done and times to do them than today's Navy and so there was little time for them to do the more detailed items.

Merchant Seamen and Whalers had far more free time aboard. Some of the more interesting time-passers were embroidery, knife-work in bone and baleen, cut-work (scrimshaw) in bone and ivory and the like.

The most likely culprit for intricate and lasting work was usually the Captain of a vessel, as he had the most "dead time".

Whatever, thanks for the compliment and I do enjoy making this stuff... keeps me (relatively) sane and away from the socks!

Now.... Phonecian knots and Ballard? Someone care to elucidate on this?


War Hero
Book Reviewer
October 2004 Nat Geographic reports two 7th Century Phoenician wrecks near Cartagena, Spain: "Researchers found intact Phoenician knots.. [I assume the writer means BENDS AND HITCHES!]" The spokesman was Ivan Neguerela of the Spanish National Museum for Maritime Archaeology (I may have been wrong about Ballard being involved). So .. bowline on the bight anyone?

Any Post-Captain RN (second cousin to God) pacing the starboard side of his bone-white teak quarterdeck under its sun-bleached awning, dazzling, shimmering brightwork all about, would have had under his arm his telescope, coach-whipped where its original leather covering had worn away, and trimmed fore-and-aft with turk's heads. Even I can remember the ornamental ropework of the carrier Triumph's stream anchor which one cadet had spent two terms making up as an alternative to real work.
Indeed, Seaweed, there were real artists in "The Old Navy", in canvas (viz: the immaculately kept deck awnings on capital ships) and in rope (companionway rails, brow skirts, the aforementioned telescope) and if ANYONE has a decent picture of such things (especially if the ship it was on can be identified) I would LOVE to have it for my site!

Here's an ornate dittybag made by Jaime White of the Clyde area while serving as crew aboard the Bounty Replica during the making of the Gibson movie:

A knife pouch in cotton and an ornate knife lanyard by me:

I love the ropework. I made my first knotboard when I was 10 years old, with the aid of my father. I would like to continue with my ropework hobby as I have not touched on it for many years. Viewing the ropework here has inspired me to take it up again.

Does anyone know where I can buy codline in the UK?

Thank you in advance
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