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Inventory no. 51889 - Former Display Label

19th century

The traverse board is made from a solid piece of wood, probably sycamore. Both sides were originally painted white. Above is a rectangle (width 197 mm), with a series of holes: this is the log speed record. Below is a disk, (diameter 225 mm) painted (red, blue, green, yellow) with the 32 points of the compass, and a series of holes: this records the direction sailed. There are eight rings of holes in all. The pegs and the retaining strings are missing. At the top is a painted letter N. It is in red, with blue modelling. Inscribed into the wood are the letters NE, E, W, NW, which has been done crudely, probably after the instrument had been in use.

On the back has been inscribed a diagram for playing the game of solitaire.

Very few traverse boards have survived, and those that do exist are Scandinavian or German. Only one other is known with the log speed table above the compass.


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