Eldred's - Auctioneers, Appraisers

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Item Details

Lot #185
Sold For$6,500.00(hammer price)
 $7,800.00(price including buyer's premium)
Last UpdatedJuly 25, 2019


Rectangular wooden box with sliding lid, whalebone trim, and whalebone and baleen facades in the shape of a church. The front facade, constructed of a layer of carved and pierced whalebone over a layer of engraved baleen, projects beyond the height of the box. Engraved baleen windows" mounted on both sides of box. The rear facade with the same construction as the front. Height 7". Length 6.75".
Although this box had been described as a tithing box throughout most of its provenance, Dr. Stuart M. Frank believes it is an Azorean Portuguese box for storing religious articles like a crucifix or a rosary. It closely resembles Roman Catholic churches seen throughout the Azores.
The Museum of American Folk Art, 1967.
Mystic Seaport Museum.
The Smithsonian.
Boston University.

Barbara Johnson Whaling Collection, Sotheby's New York, September 24-25, 1982, Lot #488.
Richard "Sam" Sylvia, Nantucket, Massachusetts.
West Sea Company, San Diego, circa 2002.

The Collection of Sam and Donna McDowell."


Some age cracking of whalebone and baleen components. Very tip of steeple top with slight bend.

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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