Hengst Christmas Box
A nautical theme with a compass rose as the central focus of the design was fitting for the recipient who organizes nautical antique shows.
The compass rose was carved to indicate the many directions that his career has taken him and the many directions still awaiting his travel.
The top is bordered with a rope wrapped around cleats. Rope has always been an important element and symbol used to depict water and Naval activities for centuries. Notice that the lay-of-the-rope changes direction each time it passes over a cleat. The rope is symbolic of the various lifelines that we have available to us throughout our lives. The directional change of the lay-of-the-rope is not only artistic license, but also indicative of the changing dynamics of our lifelines as we progress through the various stages of life.
Within the perimeter rope border are some lines carved to “frame” the central compass rose. The corners of this framing device are carved in the form of a stylized shell as another extension of the theme of the sea.
The phrase “Fair winds and following seas
” oft used within Naval environments was carved on the front panel of the box.
On the underside of the lid a birthday greeting was carved on a plaque purposely shaped like the transom of a ship in keeping with the nautical theme of the box.
The overall impression of the motif was meant to be suggestive of the words from President John F. Kennedy: "It is an interesting biological fact that all of us have in our veins the exact same percentage of salt in our blood that exists in the ocean, and therefore, we have salt in our blood, in our sweat, in our tears. We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea --whether it is to sail or to watch it-- we are going back from whence we came."