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These top-quality, functional blocks are of a style that old riggers called turtle blocks, because of their rounded cheeks and full shells. The lot includes both single and double sheave blocks with bronze sheaves. They are all Merriman, or of Merriman quality.
One of the more unusual items I’ve offered in the last few years is this little brass speaking trumpet.
It’s the real thing – an antique speaking horn – but it’s only 7.75 inches (20 c) tall, with a four-inch (10.5 cm) mouth.
This is not a modern reproduction but a genuinely old maritime tool from the era of sailing ships.
It is almost a miniature of a full-sized trumpet, yet is fully functional and would have been used by the coxswain of a ship’s boat or liberty launch, a rowing team, or a ships officer relaying orders to top-men aloft from the deck.
Accompanying this brass trumpet is a little mahogany shelf with a brass mounting plate that the last owner had custom-made in order to display the piece.
Most are 15 to 18 inches long, though they can be found in all sizes.
The block is 10 inches long and three inches deep. Handy for quick use in hauling, and as a fairlead.
Each has heavy glass measuring 12.5 by 4. 25 inches with rounded, smooth bezels. The frame measures 16.5 by 7.75 inches with a 1.75 inch deep spigot.
They are of Australian manufacture, about 20 inches long, and are unused in their original box.
Some are painted. Others are plain and weathered. Regular small boat oars range from six to 10 feet long.
These small floats have been recovered from the Aleutian Islands and the Alaskan coast.