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Ditty Box #10 - Classic Antique British Royal Navy or American US Navy 19th Century 1850s-1880s Ditty Box. Well constructed and tight! Perfect Gift for a Sailor!

Impossible to tell whether this antique 19th century ditty box was used by an American or British Royal Navy sailor as the customs for each navy were so similar. This is a well made handcrafted classicaly designed 19th Century Nautical/Naval Sailors Ditty Box. Construction is of pine wood, dovetail joints, trim around the top and bottom edges of the body with overlapping lid. Interior has a sliding shelf on wooden rails, two plank lid secured with two wooden strips also used to hold letters, photographs. Originally secured with a lock and key but now with a hasp for a padlock. This ditty box still has remnants of the original darkly aged red paint on the exterior and lighter red on the interior.

Sometimes also called Naval Sea Chests or Sea Trunks, these Ditty Boxes were used by enlisted sailors and crew to store their most treasured personal possessions while at sea, as well as other items needed on an everyday basis. Examples of these would be letters from family members, favorite photographs, other treasures found at various ports-of-call. Everyday needed items would be Forks, Spoons, Knives before the centralized mess, tobacco, smoking pipes, cups, razors, soap and tolietries, sewing kits.

It is for the above reasons why we here at The Pirate's Lair honor, respect, and treasure these ditty boxes as part of our collection as we understand their nature and relation to the sailors that used them, and that they held the most valuable things a sailor possessed while at sea traveling the world over and knowingly going into harms way! We also think that many of our clients may feel the same way and as such are making some available for purchase.

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us navy or royal navy enlisted sailors ditty box



us navy or royal navy enlisted sailors ditty box



us navy or royal navy enlisted sailors ditty box us navy or royal navy enlisted sailors ditty box

us navy or royal navy enlisted sailors ditty box us navy or royal navy enlisted sailors ditty box

 
Ditty Box #10 - British or US Navy 1860s-1880s
Classic 19th Century Nautical/Naval Ditty Box with handcrafted detailed construction in pine wood, dovetail joints, trim around the top and bottom edges of the body with overlapping lid. Interior has a sliding shelf on wooden rails, two plank lid secured with two wooden strips also used to hold letters, photographs. Originally secured with a lock and key but now with a hasp for a padlock.
 
Antique 19th Century Sailors Ditty Box, Sea Chest or Sea Trunk
Click Photo For Information!
 
17"x12.75"x9.5"
 
$395.
SOLD
 
Call To Order 540 659 6209


BELOW YOU WILL FIND PERIOD PHOTOGRAPHS SHOWING US NAVY AMERICAN SAILORS WITH DITTY BOXES, SEA CHESTS, OR SEA TRUNKS!



ca 1870s USS Mohican sailor John King sitting on his ditty box with Old Salts spinning tales and yarns

Period photograph aboard the USS Mohican ca 1880s, sailor John King sitting far right on his ditty box with other Old Salts spinning tales and yarns! Also note the sailor to the far left also sitting on a ditty box, the rope becket can be seen hanging down from the wooden handle. Sometimes these ditty boxes are also known as Sea Chests or Sea Trunks.

photograph of sailors aboard ship playing dice games while sitting on their ditty boxes ca 1890s Spanish American War to early 1900s Great White Fleet

Above is a period photograph of US Navy American sailors aboard ship playing dice and card games passing the time away while sitting on their ditty boxes: ca 1890s Spanish American War to pre-WWI early 1900s Great White Fleet era. Sometimes these ditty boxes were also known as Sea Chests or Sea Trunks.

photograph of unknown old salt sailors standing aboard the USS Ohio ca 1870s note the ditty box (sea trunk/sea chest) on the deck in front of the sailor to the left.

photograph of old salt sailors standing aboard ship on the bow of the USS Ohio ca 1870s note the ditty box (sea trunk/sea chest) on the deck in front of the sailor to the left. There is also an enlisted spitoon sittin on the deck in the lower left of the photo.



HISTORICAL NOTE: Ditty Boxes have been carried by sailors the world over from when ships first sailed. These small wooden boxes were where a sailor kept personal articles such as sewing kits, small carving knives, razors and toiletries, items picked up in foreign ports, and later photographs.

Due to shipboard space constraints all ditty boxes were relatively small so that they could be easily stored typically where a sailor slept. Some ditty boxes were handmade with fantastic nautical carvings while others later in history were standard issue equipment for uniformity and given to each enlisted sailor for his own use where it was expected he would keep required personal items and needed toiletries.

The simple construction of a ditty box was typically of pine wood with dovetailed joints, hinged lid with lock and key, while in the case of the early German Navy the lid consisted of a sliding piece of wood which fitted into grooves. Some ditty boxes had handles made for rope beckets while many didnt have handles at all. Some had specific plates where the sailors name was to be engraved, while others did not - especially early handmade ditty boxes.

We will be illustrating on this web page specific ditty boxes found in our collection as well as period photographs showing sailors with their ditty boxes!

The Pirate's Lair has been collecting Ditty Boxes for several years as each one is unique and personal to the sailor who owned it and as such are important pieces of naval history used during time of war. However we are pleased to offer some of the ditty boxes we have found for the pleasure and use of people who appreciate and enjoy the unusual, hard-to-find nautical and naval antiques.



Below are links to other Antique Nautical and Naval Artifacts which you may be interested in.

 
OPTIONAL - Trunk Wood Engraving Examples and Prices
Custom Designed, Handcrafted, and Hand Lettered in Caligraphy on your Antique Chest
 
Personalized Burnt Wood Engravings
Click Here To Review Sample Engravings
 
Personalize Your 100+ Year Old Antique Trunk in Perpetuity!
 
Antique Trunks as a Shadow Box and Storage Chest!
Customer Photographic Examples of our Antique Trunks Being used as a Military or Naval Retirement Shadow Box and Storage Chest!!
 
Military or Naval Retirement Ceremony Shadow Box
Click Here for Sample Shadow Box Photographs From Customers
 
Why just get a shadow box or a newly made trunk with no history! One of our 100+ Year Old Nautical Antique Trunks can be used for both a Shadow Box and Storage Chest for your Uniforms, Photograph Albums, and Memorabilia!


The Pirate's Lair
Division of DataCity, Inc.
78 Canterbury Drive
Stafford, Virginia 22554
Phone: 540-659-6209

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