Friday, February 14, 2014

The Sailmaker ticketting the Hammocks on board the Pallas, 1774

The Sailmaker ticketting the Hammocks on board the Pallas, Gabriel Bray, 1774, National Maritime Museum.

Deftly working his hands over a hammock, a sailmaker sits back against the ship's capstan. Beside him is a fellow sailor, probably his mate, who folds the finished hammocks into proper rolls. The sailmaker's mate will soon drop his completed work through the hatch below for storage or use.

The sailmaker wears a round hat and fairly long hair. Though unruly, his hair is tied into a short sort of queue. Beneath a high collar, you can see just the hint of his black neckcloth. His simple blue jacket ends at the waist and is closed with cloth covered buttons at the mariner's cuffs. We get a good view of the side pocket of his trousers. Interestingly, the pocket does not appear to be part of a seam. His trousers end above the ankles, revealing plain stockings and the sailmaker's shoes which have a somewhat pointed toe, and are fitted with rectangular buckles.

His mate wears a knit or work cap of some kind, possibly striped. He too wears a short jacket, one which appears to be white and possibly decorated along the seams with tape. It appears that his jacket has slash cuffs on a bottom seam. For those interested in the cut of sailor's jackets or their construction, this images gives a very good view of the seams in the jacket. The mate also wears trousers with side pockets, but this pair seems to be too long, extending well down past his shoes to the grating on which he stands. It could be that this sailor has just purchased these trousers from a slop chest, and has not yet had the chance to fit them more properly. What do you think?


  1. Have you ever tried folding hammock in a period manner? I'd love to learn how to do that..

    1. I have not yet. It is certainly something I'm interested in!

  2. What is "ticketting"? Plaiting? Weaving? Knitting? Tatting?