Scrimshaw Panbone Port Scene

Scrimshaw Panbone Port Scene

Usage conditions apply
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.
Object Name
scrimshaw bone panel
date made
19th century
Physical Description
whalebone (overall material)
overall: 6 1/4 in x 9 1/4 in x 1/4 in; 15.875 cm x 23.495 cm x.635 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
Gift of Frederic A. Delano
Expansion and Reform
The Development of the Industrial United States
Civil War and Reconstruction
See more items in
Work and Industry: Maritime
Cultures & Communities
Industry & Manufacturing
Natural Resources
On the Water
Exhibition Location
National Museum of American History
Data Source
National Museum of American History
Nominate this object for photography.   

Our collection database is a work in progress. We may update this record based on further research and review. Learn more about our approach to sharing our collection online.

If you would like to know how you can use content on this page, see the Smithsonian's Terms of Use. If you need to request an image for publication or other use, please visit Rights and Reproductions.


Add a comment about this object