"The Ichthus" Peghead Inlay

Chris recently developed the Ichthus peghead inlay at the request of a client who wished his custom instrument to reflect his deep faith in God. The simple, elegant symbol of the Ichthus was chosen to communicate that message, and Chris is happy to offer the Ichthus peghead inlay in Maple as a no-additional-cost option on his instruments. The Ichthus inlay in white Mother-of-Pearl or figured Abalone is available for an additional $50.00.


"The Ichthus" Peghead Inlay in Maple

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History and Symbolism of the Ichthus

In the times of the early Roman Christians, followers of Christ were often persecuted for their faith and any outward symbol of their belief could often get them imprisoned or killed. However, for their underground movement, the practitioners needed some means of identifying one another, and for safety they chose a symbol that was not directly associated with their faith. Thus the fish symbol was born.

For the symbol to be a success there had to be some recognizable links with the faith. The fish was said to symbolize the baptismal waters, the loaves and fishes that Jesus used to feed the five thousand, and Jesus' own declaration to the disciples to become 'fishers of men'. The Greek word for fish, ichthus, is an acrostic consisting of the initial letters of five more Greek words, which briefly but clearly described the character of Christ and His claim to the worship of believers: 'Iesous Christos Theou Yios Soter' which translates as 'Jesus Christ, Son of God, Saviour'. An acrostic is a poem whose initial or last letters can be put together to form a word or message.

The Apostles were often referred to as "fishers of men". Followers of Christianity were called Pisciculi; the root of this Latin word is "fish". The ichthus symbol was simple to draw and was often used among Christians as a type of password during times of persecution by the Roman government. If two strangers met and were unsure whether each other was a Christian, one would draw an arc in the earth representing one-half of the ichthus symbol. If the other were a Christian, they would complete the symbol with a reverse arc, forming the outline of a fish.

The symbol of the fish and the word ichthus (or icthus) gained a meaning of high significance for those early Christians, and is still recognized as a Christian symbol today. For some time a chalk fish-mark was used by homeless wanderers to mark the houses of people who could be depended on for charity or for food. The ichthus is commonly seen today in the form of a bumper sticker or casting mounted on the trunk lids of cars. The body of the symbol may be empty, or may contain a name ("Jesus" or "ICTUS").


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CB instruments are all truly custom-made instruments, made to order for the individual and completely hand-built one at a time by Chris Bozung. As such, your CB Instrument can be made to suit your desires. Please click the links below to see some of our more popular options.

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Last modified: November 28, 2015


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Last modified: November 28, 2015