Eldred's - Auctioneers, Appraisers

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Item Details

Lot #208
DepartmentScrimshaw
Sold For$1,500.00(hammer price)
 $1,800.00(price including buyer's premium)
Last UpdatedJuly 25, 2019

Description

PAIR OF SCRIMSHAW WHALE'S TEETH MEDITATION" AND "THE SHIPWRECK'D TAR" ATTRIBUTED TO JAMES CHAPMAN TINKER Mid-19th Century
Both signed "J.C.T. Sculp". Titles in pinpoint lettering. "Meditation" depicts a forlorn woman, probably the tar's sweetheart, sitting on a coastal rocky outcropping, with the ocean and a distant sailing vessel behind her. She is wearing a beaded necklace with pendant and is resting her head in her right hand and holding her hat in her left hand. "The Shipwreck'd Tar" depicts a barefoot sailor standing near a similar coastal rocky outcropping, with his shipwrecked vessel visible in the distance. He is wearing a neckerchief and a striped shirt, and his arms are outstretched as if he is bracing against the wind, which is ruffling his hair and his neckerchief. Lengths 5.25".

According to Stuart M. Frank's Dictionary of Scrimshaw Artists, James Chapman Tinker (1827-1868), of Groton, Connecticut, is said to have made a baleen ditty box engraved with a ship portrait that is now in the New Bedford Whaling Museum. Family lore claims the box was made on board the whaleship John P. West of New Bedford, which was commanded by relative Daniel Tinker from 1858 to 1863 and 1863 to 1867. Given that Tinker died in 1868, it is likely he engraved this pair of teeth during one of these voyages.
The Collection of Sam and Donna McDowell."

Condition

Typical age lines at tips and bases of both teeth. Meditation" with very small chip at very tip and an approx. .75" crack extending from the base on the obverse. "Shipwreck'd Tar" with old gouges on back, possibly done when the tooth was extracted.

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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