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Rarest of the Rare in Nautical Antiques! A Fully 100% Documented Provenance of an Early 19th Century 200 Year Old Sea Chest Used and Kept in the Family of Whalers and Sailors from 1815 to 1862. Originally Owned and Used Aboard a Whaler by Jotham R. Tripp of Westport, MA who Passed it on to His 4 Sons (Also Whalers) with Final Ownership by his Son Theodore J. Tripp Who Last Used it in 1862 On a Whaling Voyage 500 Miles North of Hudson Bay on the Bark "Orray Taft" Captained by the Famous Arctic Explorer George E. Tyson

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nautical early 19th century sailors sea chest used aboard American Whalers out of Massachusetts

Classic 19th Century Sea Chest Configuration L42" X W19" X H17" with 6-board pine wood construction, dove tail joints, beveled edges and lid side skirts, wooden cleats and beckets, and a single fixed tray with lid. What is certainly unique about this sea chest is that it holds a secret shelf which can only be revealed and accessed by lifting up the side of the tray! The shelf bottom even has 3 finger cut outs to better facilitate its retrieval. Remnants still exist of the original green lead paint.

Theodore Tripp wrote the following lineage and provenance of this sea chest on the back of a 1928-1929 Kelloggs Rice Krispies inkblot advertisement just prior to his death in 1930:
"This Chest was carried on a whaling voyage by my father Jotham R. Tripp in the year 1815 in a Barg commanded by Paul Griffin (could be Griffis, Griffen, or Griffes). Since it has been carried by three of my brothers. And last by me in 1862 in Bark Orray Taft with Capt George Tyson wintering 500 miles north of Hudson Bay. Theodore J. Tripp"

Theodore Tripp was also a regular seaman in the US Navy during the Civil War whose enlistment was between 1863-1865, and he served aboard the USS Cornubia which saw action in the Gulf of Mexico along the coasts of Louisiana and Texas.



nautical early 19th century sailors sea chest used aboard American Whalers out of Massachusetts



nautical early 19th century sailors sea chest used aboard American Whalers out of Massachusetts



nautical early 19th century sailors sea chest used aboard American Whalers out of Massachusetts



nautical early 19th century sailors sea chest used aboard American Whalers out of Massachusetts



nautical early 19th century sailors sea chest used aboard American Whalers out of Massachusetts



nautical early 19th century sailors sea chest used aboard American Whalers out of Massachusetts

The Handwritten Note by Theodore J. Tripp reads: "This Chest was carried on a whaling voyage by my father Jotham R. Tripp in the year 1815 in a Barg commanded by Paul Griffin (could be Griffis, Griffen, or Griffes). Since it has been carried by three of my brothers. And last by me in 1862 in Bark Orray Taft with Capt George Tyson wintering 500 miles north of Hudson Bay. Theodore J. Tripp"



original 1928 1929 Kelloggs Rice Krispies Inkblot Advertisement



theodore tripp naval enlistment record in the civil war

The above Civil War New Bedford MA enlistment record was courtesy of a member of the Civil War Talk forum (www.civilwartalk.com) website. It shows that Theodore Tripp was enlisted on Apil 1864 with the rank of Ordinary Seaman due to his prior experience aboard whaling vessels, and that he was 5' 4", had blue eyes and brown hair, and a 1 1/2" scar on the corner of his mouth! Seaman Tripp served aboard the USS Cornubia until the end of his enlistment in 1865 and saw naval action along the Louisiana and Texas coasts.



 
American Whalers Seamans or Sailors Sea Chest Early 19th Century Documented Use From 1815 to 1862Rarest of the Rare in Nautical Antiques! A Fully 100% Documented Provenance of an Early 19th Century Sea Chest Used and Kept in the Family of Whalers and Sailors from 1815 to 1862. The sea chest was Originally Owned and Used Aboard a Whaler by Jotham R. Tripp of Westport, MA who Passed it on to His 4 Sons (Also Whalers) with Final Ownership by his Son Theodore J. Tripp Who Last Used it in 1862 On a Whaling Voyage 500 Miles North of Hudson Bay on the Bark "Orray Taft" Captained by the Famous Arctic Explorer George E. Tyson
 
nautical early 19th century sailors sea chest used aboard American Whalers out of Massachusetts
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L42" X W19" X H17" - Classic 19th Century Sea Chest Configuration with 6-board pine wood construction, dove tail joints, beveled edges and lid side skirts, wooden cleats and beckets, and a single fixed tray with lid. What is certainly unique about this sea chest is that it holds a secret shelf which can only be revealed and accessed by lifting up the side of the tray! The shelf bottom even has 3 finger cut outs to better facilitate its retrieval. Remnants still exist of the original green lead paint.
 
Kept by and used within the family of the original owner Jotham Round Tripp for over 115 years the provenance of this sea chest 100% documented and established from 1815 to 1930 upon the death of the last family seaman and owner Theodore J. Tripp. Just prior to his death Theodore wrote the brief history of this sea chest on the back of a 1928 1929 Kelloggs Rice Krispies inkblot advertisement! Mr. Tripp obviously was aware of his pending demise and was identifying the important things he had collected in his lifetime - his fathers sea chest which he himself also used as a seaman and sailor aboard a whaling ship.
 
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
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Stafford, Virginia 22554
Phone: 540-659-6209

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