Early Ship’s Deadeye, on mount

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Early Ship’s Deadeye, on mount

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Painted wood and gold leaf, 4.5″ d, American, 19th century.

Deadeyes were used on sailing ships to take lanyards to tighten a shroud. Some of the earlier forms, such as this one, were remarkably figurative and had spooky resemblances to ghosts. The gold leaf, however, is quite unusual, suggesting the maker had a more decorative purpose in mind.

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