c1800 British Navy Bosun Baleen Whale Life Preserver


A late 18th/early 19th Century Bosun's starter or Life Preserver otherwise known as a cosh or persuader, that has a shaft of braided twisted Whale’s baleen in order to increase the effect of a blow.
The cosh consists of a pliable length of baleen with 2 lead weights at either end, with a tarred string knotted covers. The baleen shaft gives it flexibility which adds to the hitting force of the lead weight. The instrument was famously carried by Bosuns and was an aid to encourage the deck crew to work harder, hence the name starter, and useful when press-ganging crew. Condition is very good for its age
Size: 21.5 cm (8 ½ inches)
Weight: 230 g