Lignum Vitae Fid


+44 (0)207 7275263

+44 (0)7831 561042


  • £295.00
  • €319 Euro
  • $361 US Dollar

United Kingdom

DC Member since 2015
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Lignum Vitae Fid

A turned Lignum Vitae wooden fid. English circa 1890.
17.5 inches long.
'Lignum vitae' is Latin for 'wood of life', it is unequaled in use as ship propeller shaft bushings and bearings and because of its self lubricating properties it usually lasts almost 3 times as long as metal and is able to withstand working pressure up to 2,000 psi. It is widely used as bearings in small applications such as clocks; famously used by Master clockmaker John Harrison as bearings in his experimental clocks H1,2 & 3. It is also used for rollers, casters, mallets, small wheels and band saw blocks. It aas once used to make bowling balls and in the early 1500’s it was introduced into Europe for medical purposes; the resin is still used for treating gout and rheumatism.


19th Century

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Telephone: +44 (0)207 7275263

Mobile: +44 (0)7831 561042


111 Portobello Road,
W11 2DY
United Kingdom


Walpoles is an antiques business that has been established for more than 35 years with an extensive stock which can be divided into three broad themes: "The Army" encompassing colonial furniture and works of art, folk art of the British soldier as well as campaign furniture, pictures and objects of a military theme; "The Navy" covering fine and folk art associated with the British Royal and Merchant Navy fleets as well as fine art and objects that fall under a title of "The China Trade"; and finally there is an established core of furniture, pictures and works of art typical of "The English Country House".

Founded by Graham Walpole, the business first set up in Church Street, in London’s Marylebone, and by the end of the 1980s had moved to Westbourne Grove, from where they dealt until the turn of the last century. In 2004 Walpoles relocated to their home town of Greenwich and joined the British Antiques Dealers Association but now work from 111 Portobello Road. Please be aware that this shop is too small to show all of the stock on the website and that you should make an enquiry before your journey to ensure that the item in question is there for you to see. We are open every day, with the exception of Sundays, between the hours of 10 a.m. & 4 p.m., (Saturday 7.00 a.m. - 5 p.m.)

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