258. A Whaler’s Capstan

Portugal, 19th century
Size: 1m 20cm high
Oak and mahogany

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A whaler was wrecked by a storm off the north coast of Portugal as it waited to unload its catch at a whaling station. When the storm abated the wreck was stripped, and this capstan was stowed in the station’s loft once its brass fittings had been removed. The whaling station went out of business and the capstan found its way to Cornwall, where it remained until its home and contents were sold in 2015.