Scrimshaw Tooth

Description:

Women and ships were the most popular subjects for scrimshaw carved by crewmen on long, slow whaling voyages. In this deeply engraved example, a beautifully coiffed and fashionable young lady, possibly in mourning dress, has pulled a locket from her bodice and is gazing at the image of a smiling young man. The curls of her girlish hairstyle would indicate that she is unmarried, although the traditional ring finger of her left hand is not shown. The mid-19th-century date of this tooth is suggested by the style of the dress.

Date Made: ca 1840

Maker: unknown

Related Event: Expansion and Reform

Subject:

See more items in: Work and Industry: Maritime, Family & Social Life, Clothing & Accessories, Cultures & Communities, Work, Industry & Manufacturing, Natural Resources, Transportation, On the Water exhibit, Art

Exhibition: On the Water

Exhibition Location: National Museum of American History

Related Web Publication: http://americanhistory.si.edu/onthewater

Related Publication: On the Water online exhibition

Credit Line: Gift of Frederic A. Delano

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: TR.374506Catalog Number: 374506Accession Number: 136263

Object Name: scrimshawscrimshaw tooth, whale

Physical Description: scrimshaw (overall production method/technique)sperm whale tooth (overall material)wood (base material)Measurements: overall: 6 3/4 in x 3 1/2 in x 2 5/16 in; 17.145 cm x 8.89 cm x 5.87375 cm

Guid: http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ng49ca746a1-0aed-704b-e053-15f76fa0b4fa

Record Id: nmah_309414

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