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Item Details

Lot #186
DepartmentScrimshaw
Sold For$7,500.00(hammer price)
 $9,000.00(price including buyer's premium)
Last UpdatedJuly 25, 2019

Description

PAIR OF POLYCHROME SCRIMSHAW WHALE'S TEETH, KNOWN AS THE LIGHTNING TEETH" First Half of the 19th Century
Two teeth from the same jaw but not a symmetrical pair. Together they depict a scene of a naval engagement between American and British 16-gun ships-of-war during a storm. The full-rigged British ship under partial sail, flying a long pennant from the central mast and a red ensign off the stern, is firing the larboard bow gun. The full-rigged American ship under plain sail, flying a long red pennant from the central mast and an American ensign off the stern, is also firing the larboard bow gun, but her fore topgallant mast is parted and about to fall away. Both teeth have storm clouds and bolts of lighting above the ships and the turbulent seas on both is distinctively rendered. Believed to depict the capture of the U.S. frigate Essex during a heavy storm March 28, 1814 off Valparaiso, though two British ships, the Phoebe and the Cherub, were involved in the capture, not just one as seen here. Two teeth making a single scene is unusual in scrimshaw, and the depiction of lighting is rare if not unique. Lengths 7.25" and 7.5".
Provenance:
West Sea Company, San Diego, 2008
.
The Collection of Sam and Donna McDowell."

Condition

Typical age lines/cracks at tip and base, not obtrusive or impacting the scenes.

This item will not be shipped internationally without a CITES permit. Obtaining CITES and any other necessary permits is the obligation of the buyer.

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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