On a recent coastal excursion and stay at Lincoln City’s quirky and wonderful gem — The Historic Anchor Inn — I photographed many pieces of their antique wall art, including these fantastical Neptunus Rex certificates. After a little research I found that these certificates have a long history and are traditionally issued to sailors who have crossed the equator. The line-crossing ceremony is a rite of passage, after which the sailor is referred to as a ‘shellback’ or ‘Son of Neptune.’
Top three images here are the certificates that hang at the Anchor Inn (badly photographed by me). Then, many lovely examples I’ve found around the web. Amazing details of mermaids, seahorses, and Neptune with his trident.
I took the opportunity on this piece to try drawing custom type digitally for the first time. Surprisingly it came really easy to me ! I guess all that calligraphy discipline laid a solid foundation for this kind of work, which I plan to do lots more of !
The script is loosely based on “Beaugrande” from Paris, 1605.