Lignum vitae dead eye. 19th C. Approx. 6 in. diameter with original iron strap. Ex. collection: Stanton whaling family of New Bedford.
William B. Stanton was a master and James E. Stanton was a master and part owner of several whaling vessels that sailed out of New Bedford and Westport, Massachusetts, including the Martha (1872-74) the Tropic Bird (1851-53) and the Osprey (1857-62).
Dead eyes were used in the standing rigging of a sailing ship. They were placed in the shrouds (lines holding up the mast) in order to create tension.