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Ditty Box #2 - Another non-Regulation/non-Issued Ditty Box (Sometimes Called a Sea Chest or Sea Trunk) Used by a US Navy or American Merchant Marine Sailor Aboard a Liberty Ship Plying the Treacherous U-Boat Infested Atlantic during WWII

Ditty Boxes were used by enlisted sailors and crew to store their most treasured personal possessions while at sea, as well as personal 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 since we understand that they and their contents were 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 merchant marine liberty ship ditty box


us navy merchant marine liberty ship ditty box

The above photos illustrate a handcrafted dove-tailed ditty box made of oak wood (possibly even made aboard the Liberty Ship itself), which was used by a sailor who was sailed aboard a Liberty Ship during WWII and most likely part of the American Merchant Marine, or even possibly one of the members of the onboard US Navy gun crew.

Quite possibly it was the sailor himself who crafted and used this ditty box and personalized it by the painting of the Liberty Ship leaving port. Again, this is what makes each and every ditty box a bit unique each in its own way.

us navy merchant marine liberty ship ditty box
us navy merchant marine liberty ship ditty box

Note the simple interior without any compartments. However the handpainted depiction of a Liberty Ship plying the seas entitled "Germany Bound" is an absolutely stunning and a rare piece of WWII history.

us navy merchant marine liberty ship ditty box

us navy merchant marine liberty ship ditty box



 
Ditty Box #2 - US Navy/Merchant Marine 1940s WWII Liberty Ship
Handmade of pinewood and dovetail construction with clasp. This is a typical non-issued non-regulation non-standard ditty box, also sometimes termed as a sea chest or sea trunk, used by American Merchant Marine enlisted sailors during WWII typically aboard the Liberty Ships. Note the personalized handpainted rendition of a WWII Liberty Ship on the lid and entitled "Germany Bound"
 
Vintage WWII American Sailors Ditty Box, Sea Chest or Sea Trunk
Click Photo For Information!
 
10.5"x7"x7"
 
$395.
SOLD
 
Call To Order 540 659 6209


BELOW YOU WILL FIND 19th AND EARLY 20th 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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