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Is there any symbolic meaning to the yellow spot design painted on many narrow boats (mine included)? 

Some also have a sliver of yellow on the curve on the right. Just wondering. (We did it cos it looks nice).

 

801058481_bowpaintwork.JPG.2c54a011209e273e998920b9b61ec071.JPG

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It's known as the Eye of Osiris, or sometimes as the Eye of Horus, and stems from an ancient Egyptian symbol which is supposed to watch over travellers and keep them safe.

 

At least, that's the theory - though I have sometimes wondered how working boat people and boatbuilders knew about Egyptian mythology.

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3 minutes ago, Athy said:

It's known as the Eye of Osiris, or sometimes as the Eye of Horus, and stems from an ancient Egyptian symbol which is supposed to watch over travellers and keep them safe.

 

At least, that's the theory - though I have sometimes wondered how working boat people and boatbuilders knew about Egyptian mythology.

 

Citation required, I think!

I reckon it's just a decoration, nothing more!

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The oculus tradition.  A ship needs eyes to see her way.  It is worldwide. 

 

N

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47 minutes ago, BEngo said:

The oculus tradition.  A ship needs eyes to see her way.  It is worldwide. 

 

N

Interesting 👍

 

Maltese Luzzu | Air Malta

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Thanks for the responses guys.

I like both schools of thought.

As a decoration I find it more pleasing on the eye (unintended pun) than the diamonds that some folk have :)

 

Stephen

Edited by Stephen Jeavons

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4 hours ago, Athy said:

At least, that's the theory - though I have sometimes wondered how working boat people and boatbuilders knew about Egyptian mythology.

The same way they knew about roses and castles I guess 😀

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Samuel Batlow and Blue Line boats had an "Arrow Heart" on the top bends (like the one illustrated below) but I know nothing about their origins. The working boatmen apparently had a (rather rude) name for them!!

 

111956820_Helvetiatrip2015019.jpg.bd9214813b8bac66205157dfba76ebb8.jpg

 

 

 

Edited by David Schweizer

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So what's the symbolic meaning of the shapes you see painted on the cabin bulkhead at the stern?

 

This one looks like a person with a sheet over their head pretending to be a ghost but I'm sure that's not what it means.😂

Screenshot_20190618-185200~2.png

Edited by blackrose

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Haven’t got my books with me but different canal carries had varying versions of “ Mickey Mouse ears” on their back doors.

Perhaps to recognise their craft? Stand correction on this comment.

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Just now, Ray T said:

Haven’t got my books with me but different canal carries had varying versions of “ Mickey Mouse ears” on their back doors.

Perhaps to recognise their craft? Stand correction on this comment.

Yes Mickey Mouse ears. Perhaps it just meant they were big Disney fans? 

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3 minutes ago, Ray T said:

Haven’t got my books with me but different canal carries had varying versions of “ Mickey Mouse ears” on their back doors.

Perhaps to recognise their craft? Stand correction on this comment.

The painter who repainted WotEver called them ‘Pigs Ears’. He asked me if I wanted them and I thought he was offering me some kind of porcine delicacy...

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32 minutes ago, WotEver said:

The painter who repainted WotEver called them ‘Pigs Ears’. He asked me if I wanted them and I thought he was offering me some kind of porcine delicacy...

Ordered some pigs ears with a beer somewhere out East once. Never again, not even painted ones! :sick:

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The “ Mouses Ears”, nothing to do with the Disney version, had its origin in cart painting that preceded canal boats. Tony Lewery explored the connection in his early book, Narrowboat Painting. In my opinion, a decent set has the apex, or crown, touching the top of the doors in the centre and generous, sweeping curves, no straight lines, around the shoulders, ending at the point where the rear bulkhead meets the gunwale. Ventilation grilles can pose interesting issues for continuing the line.....

Before the question is asked, the scalloping on the front bulkhead of working boats, usually in black on red oxide, is known to some painters as “ Elephants Toenails” on account of their similarity.

Anorak off here......cheers!

Dave

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12 hours ago, BEngo said:

The oculus tradition.  A ship needs eyes to see her way.  It is worldwide. 

 

N

Hmm!  Great theory but how come my boat keeps bumping into things??

IMG_2215.JPG

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Not got a picture of our mouse ears but here's our yellow circle

 

20160610_114802.jpg.285d13c5b2255756ef17d07074d58a97.jpg

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12 hours ago, dave moore said:

Anorak off here......cheers!

Put it back on - I rather like you wearing it! :)

 

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On 18/06/2019 at 19:36, Sea Dog said:

Ordered some pigs ears with a beer somewhere out East once. Never again, not even painted ones! :sick:

Pigs ears are sold for dogs, but perhaps not for @Sea Dogs.

My boat is a semi-trad. I think these look a bit naff with wooden panels on the insides of the rear doors and being outside in all weathers, the wood soon deteriorates. I did mouse/pig ears on the outsides of the doors, then repeated the pattern on the inside, so with the doors open, they continue from the rear bulkhead. The pattern is carried on to the control pedestal on one side and the inside of the rear bulkhead on the other. Not traditional, but I think it looks alright.

 

Jen

IMG_20190702_112530.jpg.2d556badafa475c1518c0c988f784af1.jpg

 

IMG_20190702_112547.jpg.37d76a07ca7815fc8f4f3dab913c73d9.jpg

 

 

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53 minutes ago, Jen-in-Wellies said:

I did mouse/pig ears on the outsides of the doors, then repeated the pattern on the inside, so with the doors open, they continue from the rear bulkhead. The pattern is carried on to the control pedestal on one side and the inside of the rear bulkhead on the other. Not traditional, but I think it looks alright.

So do I Jen, very much so. Nice work. :)

 

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