Scrimshaw Sperm Whale Tooth, mid 19th Century

Description
The entire surface of this small sperm whale tooth is highly polished, but only one side is carved. A couple stands under a leafy vine, and the vine motif is echoed on the hem of the woman's floor length dress. The front of her dress has an apron design, and she wears a kerchief at her neck and a small flat-brimmed hat perched on her head. She holds hands with a man wearing a waist-length cape over his shoulders, speckled chaps or trousers with slash pockets and pointed shoes or boots. He is also wearing a button-down shirt with vertical stripes and a large flat-brimmed hat, almost providing the effect of a western cowboy style outfit.
Location
Currently not on view
Object Name
scrimshaw
scrimshaw tooth, whale
Object Type
scrimshaws
date made
mid 19th century
Physical Description
whale tooth (overall material)
Measurements
overall: 5 in x 2 1/8 in x 1 3/8 in; 12.7 cm x 5.3975 cm x 3.4925 cm
ID Number
1978.0052.12
accession number
1978.0052
catalog number
1978.52.12
subject
Transportation
Cultures & Communities
Whaling
Art
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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