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Item Details

The Marine Sale

July 20, 2017

Lot #106
DepartmentScrimshaw
Sold For$32,500.00(hammer price)
 $39,000.00(price including buyer's premium)
Last UpdatedAugust 4, 2017

Description

POLYCHROME SCRIMSHAW PANBONE PLAQUE BY WILLIAM LEWIS RODERICK Mid-19th Century
Titled The Death" at lower edge. Depicts a remarkably detailed scene of a whaleship on the horizon and active whaling in the foreground, with three whaleboats, one of which is being stoved by a sperm whale. Each whaleman in the boats is wearing a hat and two are wearing red shirts. The faces of four whalemen in one boat are visible; two of them have beards. The water is executed in typical Roderick style and is colored medium to deep blue, save for the water immediately surrounding the whale, which is colored sepia red. A house flag with central star flies from the whaleship's central mast. Scene is framed within a geometric border. Signed lower right "W.L. Roderick". Approx. 4.75" x 6.34".
Very few pieces of signed Roderick work are known to exist. This piece is similar in composition and size to the Roderick panbone plaque in the collection of the New Bedford Whaling Museum and illustrated in Ingenious Contrivances, Curiously Carved by Stuart M. Frank (Boston: David R. Godine with the New Bedford Whaling Museum, 2012), p. 69, fig. 5:5.
W.L. Roderick served as ship's surgeon on at least three London South Sea whaling voyages in the bark
Adventure from 1847 to 1856. Originally believed to be Welsh, current research indicates Roderick was English and worked in London as a physician/dentist. His meticulously detailed work is considered some of the finest of British scrimshaw. "

Condition

Some natural curvature of the bone. House flag has lost most of its ink. Some area in the water, mostly concentrated around the stoved boat, shows some ink loss.

The description of the item above may not be the final version used in the catalog. The descriptions are as yet unedited and may contain mistakes. The description, estimates and photos could all be wrong. In rare cases they may not end up in this sale. Once the items have received their lot number the descriptions will have been changed if needed.

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