On the Water

Scrimshaw Panbone Port Scene

The absence of much pinpricking in this elaborate panbone picture indicates a highly skilled scrimshaw artist who was able to sketch the fantastic port scene freehand. The presence of palm trees indicates a warm climate, dominated by naval warships in a fortified harbor with its own lighthouse. Military camps dominate the land, and a smaller factory or mill town on the bottom of the scene is defended by a partial stockade.

The artist has left no clues for the specific location of this beautifully detailed landscape, although the palm trees suggest somewhere in the vicinity of the equator.

ID Number:
DL*374479
Material:
whale bone
Date:
1800s
Dimensions:
6 1/4 in x 9 1/4 in x 1/4 in; 15.875 cm x 23.495 cm x .635 cm
Source:
Gift of Frederic A. Delano