CORNISH SMUGGLERS' BALLS
A historic pair of large carved orbs of granite
Provenance from Cornwall and the Jurassic Coast
1700s or earlier. 14" diameters Sold
£1225 the pair
36cm (14") diameters
A fabulous and rare pair of large hand-carved Smuggling Balls in quartz-rich granite. Originally used in 1600s and 1700s on the Cornish coast's coves to weigh down contraband just below the sea's surface awaiting pick up in darkness by clandestine shore boats. The remnant wrought iron stubs with lead fixings at the two poles of each ball held the long rusted-away rings to attach the tether ropes. With those gone this adventurous pair were "retired" and since the early 1800s rested peacefully as finials in the garden of a C17th Dorset rectory off the Jurassic Coast. From banditry to sanctity ..... what wildly varied tales they could tell of their lives under such differing owners ! Even more importantly, they are beautiful, atmospheric and characterful objects in their own right.
Stock No. 1850