Scrimshaw Sperm Whale Tooth, mid-19th Century

Description
This small sperm whale's tooth is highly polished, but only has an unfinished freehand carving on one side. Identifiable by the whaleboats on davits along the right or starboard side, a small three-masted whaleship sails from left to right on a choppy sea. The ship's hull is deeply carved and detailed, but the sails are only outlined, with some sketchy standing rigging just started by the artist.
Location
Currently not on view
Object Name
scrimshaw
scrimshaw tooth, whale
date made
mid 19th century
Physical Description
whale tooth (overall material)
scrimshaw (overall production method/technique)
Measurements
overall: 5 in x 1 5/8 in x 1 1/8 in; 12.7 cm x 4.1275 cm x 2.8575 cm
ID Number
1978.0052.33
accession number
1978.0052
catalog number
1978.52.33
subject
Cultures & Communities
Scrimshaw
See more items in
Work and Industry: Maritime
Scrimshaw
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Wilbur J. Gould

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