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Classic Antique Authentic 18th or 19th Century 1750s-1800s Personal Sea Chest Most Likely Used by an Officer or Perhaps Even an Enlisted Sailor aboard a Privateer, British Royal Navy, or American Navy Warship. Well constructed and tight even after 200+ years! Perfect Gift for a Sailor! Original hand forged handles and iron escutcheons indicated this was a high end sea chest most likely owned by an Officer or Senior Enlisted sailor or seaman. Nice size for use in the cramped spaces aboard ship, 22" x 12" x 11", with a beautiful patina on this 200+ year old antique seamans sea chest!

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us navy or royal navy 18th century enlisted sailors or seamans sea chest

Impossible to tell whether this antique 18th or early 19th century personal sea chest was used by an American or British Royal Navy sailor or seaman as the customs for each navy were so similar at that time. Classic Mid-Late 18th or Early 19th Century Handcrafted Sailors Sea Ches. Appears that it is handcrafted using Oak woods with detailed 6-plank construction using dovetail joints. Exterior lid has hand beveled edges to repell water and the interior lid has hand trimmed edges to provide for an overlapping of the 4 sides. The interior has a your standard small compartment with lid on one side. Originally secured with a lock and key but the top male half is long gone. The handles are blacksmith made of wrought iron and secured to the sea chest with simple nails curved on the inside walls. Additionally, two of the original decorative iron escutcheons are still attached to the left and right sides of the lock, there also appears to have been 6 additional ones located on the top of the lid but they are long gone.


Sometimes called a ditty box, these personal sea chests were typically owned by Officers and were a bit larger than a traditional ditty box which 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.

us navy or royal navy 18th century enlisted sailors or seamans sea chest



us navy or royal navy 18th century enlisted sailors or seamans sea chest us navy or royal navy 18th century enlisted sailors or seamans sea chest

us navy or royal navy 18th century enlisted sailors or seamans sea chest



us navy or royal navy 18th century enlisted sailors or seamans sea chest

us navy or royal navy 18th century enlisted sailors or seamans sea chest







us navy or royal navy 18th century enlisted sailors or seamans sea chest

us navy or royal navy 18th century enlisted sailors or seamans sea chest







us navy or royal navy 18th century enlisted sailors or seamans sea chest

us navy or royal navy 18th century enlisted sailors or seamans sea chest us navy or royal navy 18th century enlisted sailors or seamans sea chest

 
Seamans or Sailors Sea Chest - British or American - 18th/19th CenturyClassic Mid-Late 18th or Early 19th Century Handcrafted Sailors Sea Ches. Normally made of pine this sea chest is completely handcrafted of Oak woods with detailed 6-plank construction using dovetail joints. Exterior lid has hand beveled edges to repell water and the interior lid has hand trimmed edges to provide for an overlapping of the 4 sides. The interior has a your standard small compartment with lid on one side. Originally secured with a lock and key but the top male half is long gone. The handles are blacksmith hand forged and made of wrought iron secured to the sea chest with simple nails curved on the inside walls. Additionally, two of the original decorative iron escutcheons are still attached to the left and right sides of the lock, there also appears to have been 6 additional ones located on the top of the lid but they are long gone.
 
Antique 18th or early 19th Century Sailors Sea Chest or Sea Trunk
Click Photo For Information!
 
22" x 12" x 11" Beautiful patina on this 200+ year old antique seamans sea chest!
 
It was noted to me that this sea chest is most likely a 1770s-1790s American made item due to the crudely made blacksmith hand forged wrought iron escutcheons. (I dont think they're crude - I think they are fantastic!)
 
Private Collection of The Pirates Lair

Displayed for Historical Purposes Only


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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