Eldred's - Auctioneers, Appraisers

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Item Details

Temp #20
DepartmentScrimshaw
Low Estimate$5,000.00
High Estimate$8,000.00
Last UpdatedApril 19, 2019

Description

SCRIMSHAW WHALE'S TOOTH DEPICTING A HARPOONED MERMAID Mid-19th Century
A whimsical scene of a whaleman standing at the bow of a whaleboat to harpoon a mermaid. The mermaid, colossal in scale to the whaleboat and the ship on the reverse, has long hair, large almond-shaped eyes, a long neck and tiny hands, and she is wearing cross-shaped dangly earrings. She has already been pierced by one harpoon as the whaleman takes aim with another, and both harpoons are tied looping lengths of rope. The whaleboat's six whalemen are wearing striped shirts and have delightfully expressive faces. Much of the imagery is rendered with fine parallel and concentric undulating lines, similar to traditional Japanese water patterns. Length 6.25.
Provenance:
The Bill Coffin Collection. It is said Coffin prized this tooth and kept it on his living room mantel.
Rafael Osona Auctions, Nantucket, Massachusetts, August 8, 2004, Lot #122.
"

Condition

Typical age lines and small cracks at base and tip.

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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