Eldred's - Auctioneers, Appraisers

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Item Details

Temp #24
DepartmentScrimshaw
Low Estimate$10,000.00
High Estimate$15,000.00
Last UpdatedApril 16, 2019

Description

PAIR OF PATRIOTIC POLYCHROME SCRIMSHAW WHALE'S TEETH Mid-19th Century
Obverses depict vignettes of ships at sea above a patriotic design of a spread-wing eagle and a portrait medallion flanked by American flags. One tooth depicts two ships, while the other depicts a single ship flying an American flag off the stern. The eagles are clutching Constitution Liberty" or "Liberty Constitution" banners in their beaks, have American shields at their breasts, and olive branches and arrows in their talons. The portrait medallions differ, though both are believed to depict U.S. Presidents.
The reverse of one tooth depicts two standing ladies above a basket of fruit. Both edges depict floral vines.
The reverse of the other tooth depicts a red floral sprig, a whaleship cutting in, and two whaleships sailing toward a pod of whales. One edge with a repetitive floral vine. The other edge with image of a whaleship and a sperm whale.
A sawtooth border encircles the base of both teeth.
Though the decoration coordinates and the two teeth are nearly identical in size and shape, the two were probably not intended as a mated pair. Lengths 5.5" and 5.75".
Several examples by this unnamed scrimshander exist, including one in the USNM. A nearly identical example was sold at Skinner, March 4, 2012, Lot #423, and at Rafael Osona Auctions, August 6, 2016, Lot #208.
Provenance:
Tooth with two women: Rafael Osona Auctions, Nantucket, Massachusetts, August 14, 1993.
Tooth with multiple vignettes on reverse: Eldred's, July 23, 2009, Lot 422A.
"

Condition

Both with age cracks extending from base, largest approx. 1.5. Tooth with two women with age crack/line through image."

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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