Crossing The Line
Honouring Tradition: Crossing the Line Shellback Figurines, Caps, and Medallions
The maritime tradition of "Crossing the Line" ceremonies, deeply rooted in antiquity, has found a cherished place within the Royal Australian Navy. Dating back to the belief that crossing the equator was a perilous endeavor, sailors developed elaborate rituals to appease Neptune, the god of the sea. These customs have evolved into modern ceremonies where sailors transition from "Pollywogs" to revered "Shellbacks."
In the Royal Australian Navy, Shellbacks are sailors who have crossed the equator onboard a warship, participating in the time-honored traditions. The distinction of a "Golden Shellback" is bestowed upon those who cross the equator where it intersects with the international date line in the Pacific Ocean, marked by a gold-plated medallion. Rarest of all are the "Emerald Shellbacks," who cross at the Prime Meridian in the Gulf of Guinea off the west coast of Africa. These ceremonies serve as a testament to the enduring maritime spirit and heritage of the sea.
Crossing the Line Shellback Medallions
The obverse of each medallion features a dramatic, three-dimensional image of Neptune rising from the ocean, his trident held high. A scroll beneath him bears the etched words "IMPERIUM NEPTUNI REGIS," signifying Neptune's imperial rule over the sea and the rites that accompany it.
On the reverse side, the outer rim is inscribed with the words "ANCIENT ORDER OF THE DEEP" at the top and the Shellback rank at the bottom. In the centre, a plinth awaits personalisation through engraving, allowing you to inscribe your name, date, or other meaningful information. Below the plinth, the medallion bears the protruding text, "To all polliwogs and landlubbers, Know ye, that on..." affirming your transition into the ranks of the Shellbacks.
As you hold this Crossing the Line Shellback Medallion, you are not only partaking in a revered naval tradition but also connecting with the mariners of old who undertook this sacred rite of passage. Carry the spirit of the sea and the camaraderie of Shellbacks with you, proudly displaying your journey across Neptune's realm.
Each Crossing the Line Shellback Medallion is available in a blister pack or leatherette presentation case.
Crossing the Line Shellback Caps
Embrace the legacy of ancient maritime traditions with your own Crossing the Line Shellback Cap.
The Crossing the Line Shellback Caps boast a distinguished navy blue heavy brushed cotton construction, meticulously designed to withstand the challenges of seafaring life. The contrasting sandwich peaks add a touch of brilliance and contrast to the design. At the forefront, Neptune, the legendary god of the sea, is finely embroidered in tonal gold or silver. Atop a scroll that reads "IMPERIUM NEPTUNI REGIS," Neptune represents maritime mastery and the enduring connection shared between sailors and the ocean. The cap's peak proudly displays the phrase "Ancient Order of the Deep," encapsulating the timeless traditions that bind sailors across generations.
Turn the cap around, and you'll find the back adorned with the embroidered Shellback rank on a dignified scroll.
Crossing the Line Shellback Figurines
The centrepiece of these figurines is a striking representation of Neptune, the legendary god of the sea, emerging resplendently from the ocean's embrace. With his regal trident held high and a visage that exudes authority, Neptune's presence commands awe and respect. His image is a symbol of the deep connection that sailors share with the vast expanse of the ocean.
Affixed to the front of the timber stand, an inscription plate gleams with engraved text. The words "IMPERIUM NEPTUNI REGIS" pay homage to Neptune's reign, while the Shellback rank and "Ancient Order of the Deep" are testaments to your esteemed status. This plate also offers you a unique opportunity to etch your own story by recording the date, your name, and the name of the ship where you earned your Shellback title.
The Crossing the Line Shellback Figurines aren't just a piece of art; they are a tangible symbol of your maritime journey, your perseverance, and your connection to the ancient traditions of the sea. Whether they grace your home, office, or mantle, they serve as a constant reminder of your indomitable spirit as you ventured across the equator on the deck of a warship. This figurines encapsulate the essence of Neptune's realm and the profound bond between sailors and the boundless sea, cherished mementos that honour your place among the esteemed ranks of Shellbacks.