Bosun’s Call – Pipe 19th Century
is an exotic Bosun’s “call” or “pipe” which is sometimes referred to as a Boatswain’s whistle by landlubbers. This one is
larger in size than the one used when I was a non-commissioned petty officer back in the early 1950’s. It is embellished by
having an artfully worked dragon on both sides with one of the front talion’s having hold of a fish. It is
unmarked, but likely of Sterling Silver as evidenced by its dark patination.
5 1/4″ L x 7/8″ W, The buoy or bowl 7/8″ Dia Weight 3/4 oz
See “Marine Arts & Antiques, Jack Tar, A Sailor’s Life, 1750-1910″ by J. Wells Henderson
and Rodney P. Carlisle, Published by Antiques Collectors Club, Ltd, England, 1999, page 48
AUCTIONS: In August, 2008, this up-scale auction house sold the Henderson pipe in Lot
550 for $5148.00 which included the buyer’s premium. It was described as “Chinese Export Silver Bosun’s
Whistle, Nineteenth Century: The ball chamber chased and engraved on each side, with dragon’s head applied and streams
of flame continuing down each side, the body marked sterling. Length 5 5/8”. Literature: Jack Tar, p. 48″
THIS ANTIQUE TO MY KOREAN WAR PIPE: The length of this relic which likely dates back to the late 1800’s is 5
1/4″ compared to 4 1/2″ for my Navy one. Its width at the widest point is 7/8″ compared to 5/8″. The bowl is 7/8″ compared
to 3/4″. This is a major difference in size and certainly in appearance as shown in the second picture from the top.
CALL OR PIPE:
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
a boatswain. It is also spelled “bosun’s call”. It is never called a “whistle” except by landlubbers (added).
The pipe consists of a narrow tube (the gun)
which directs air over a metal sphere (the buoy) with a hole in the top. The player opens and closes
the hand over the hole to change the pitch. The rest of the pipe consists of a keel, a flat piece
of metal beneath the gun that holds the call together, and the shackle, a keyring that connects
a long silver or brass chain that sits around the collar, when in ceremonial uniform.
Historically the boatswain’s call was used to pass
commands to the crew when the voice could not be heard over the sounds of the sea. Because of its high pitch, it could be
heard over the activities of the crew and bad weather. It is now used in traditional bugle calls such as Evening
Colours/Sunset, and in other ceremonies in most modern navies. It is sometimes accompanied
by other auditive features such as ruffles and flourishes, voice commands and announcements, or even a gun salute.
The most basic of calls. Crews of warships were not allowed to sing work songs or shanties, so the pipe coordinated the sailors.
The low note was for the pause and preparatory; the high for pulling on the line.
Side or Away Galley: Descends from the tradition of hoisting officers aboard ship in a chair.
It is a combination of haul, and then a command to lower. This call remains in use as an honor
given to officers when embarking or disembarking.
Boats: Used to order a ship’s boats to leave the ship’s side.
the Boatswain’s Mates: The boatswain’s gang to report.
Hands on Deck: Crews were split into two rotating watches that stood for four hours at a time. This call signals the entire
crew to assemble on deck.
to be Passed: Command for silence, an order to follow.
Down: Dismissal of all the crew not on watch.
or Supper: Calls the crew to a meal.
Used to call the crew to attention.
On: Used after the still, to dismiss the crew back to their duties.
Call: Piped before an announcement.
OF SATISFACTION: You must be fully satisfied with your purchase on arrival and that our description is entirely accurate
or your money back. The only conditions are that an email authorization be obtained within three days, and that the instrument
is returned in its original condition and packaging, and insured for its full value. Unfortunately, shipping charges are not
included in this offer and are non-refundable unless we are at fault.
SHIPPING & PACKING:
The cost of shipping, packing, handling, and insurance to your destination, is an additional charge. You may email us to get
these costs. We price our very special packing and shipping honestly, but we expect to be reimbursed for the nominal cost
of packaging materials and handling.
International buyers welcome, but inquire first.
We have satisfied customers in Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Canada, Chile, China, Czech
Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Denmark, Estonia, England, France, Germany, Greece, Holland, Hong Kong,
Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Latvia, Martinique, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Nova Scotia,
Panama, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Scotland, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand,
Turkey, United Arab Emirates, USVI and the Eastern Caribbean.
ACCEPTED FORMS OF PAYMENT are Bank wire transfer, cashier’s check, money order, or personal check
in which case the item will be held until cleared. No checks from overseas buyers, no credit cards or PayPal accepted on this
It represents a large savings over the Henderson pipe, but still requires someone of substance to appreciate it.