Simply an outstanding old ship rigging block for a collection. I’ve found only one illustration of a block like this and it was in a print from an 1859 book. Having two sheaves, it is a double block with the sheaves arranged vertically, so that one sheave is above the other. I've never seen another like it, nor has anyone I've show it to. To make the design even more interesting the two sheaves are aligned at right angles to each other so that the two lines run at different directions. The block is shaped like an elongate pear when seen from each direction. Overall it is 12 inches long, with the “fat ends” being about 4 inches wide, with the “narrow ends’ being about 1 ½” wide. Each of the two sheaves is about 3 inches diameter, and is made of wood—probably lignum vitae. They would run cordage about 1” diameter. The axle pins are wood (lignum vitae) and are ¾” diameter. The sheaves turn smoothly. The wooden body of the block has very closely spaced annular layers, and appear to be of old growth fir or hemlock. The entire block is darkly stained with great patina. I’m not sure of he exact function of the block. It is obviously a traveling block, with the ability to lift loads vertically as well as side to side. It perhaps could have seen service bracing yards. It is altogether a block of some age (one to two hundred years), and obviously of a very rare type. It is an excellent item for any collection of ship’s rigging. Fine.