Made to the standard form of the period as demonstrated by surviving Civil War crutches, this example is obviously the work of a ship’s carpenter. Life at sea was rough and accidents such as entanglement in rigging during a wind shift or the slip of a foot on the wet rail of a boat crushing a leg between the boat and ship while boarding were common. The inability to fight infection resulted in amputations being the prescribed course of treatment. As well, sea battles took a toll of limb wounds, as with Long John Silver. This crutch, 52” in length with fine tapered, chamfered corner oak shaft mounts an arm rest of finely formed whale bone, secured with a mortise and tenon joint. Its quality demonstrates the hand work of a master craftsman rather than that of commercial production. It is in excellent preservation and worthy of a place of prominence in a nautical collection or setting.