The History of Decorated and Coloured Sails

By H. Szymanski, published May 1927

Abstract

Coloured or ornamented sails have always been exceptional. Early examples from Egypt, Greece and Rome are described. During the mediaeval period from the Vikings onwards coloured sails and sails with arms or symbols on them were used more widely. A few representations of sails with crosses persisted into the 16th century but there only two literary references, from the 17th. In the late 18th and into the 19th century there are Egyptian and Dutch striped sails and ship names or identifying marks of shipping lines appeared on sails in the 19th century. Contemporary patterned Italian sails are mentioned.

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Filed under: Atlantic | Early Middle Ages | Late Middle Ages | Antiquity | English Channel | High Middle Ages | North Sea | Other (Early Modern) | Mediterranean | Other (Nineteenth C) | Other (Eighteenth C)
Subjects include: Miscellaneous

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