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A step where the rail of a ship drops to a lower level in cases where a deck is not continuous, as from poop to upper deck, etc. As such a step, if unfilled, is square and unsightly they were, in the days when most wooden ships were highly decorated with carved work, filled by hancing pieces, usually combined with long drop carvings often in the form of a human figure, to produce a curve instead of a square step. The elaborately carved hancing pieces of the Tudor and Stuart periods (1550–1690) gave way to a more restrained and simplified design in the 18th century as an economy measure.

Subjects: Maritime History.

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