Eldred's - Auctioneers, Appraisers

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Item Details

Temp #21
DepartmentScrimshaw
Low Estimate$2,000.00
High Estimate$3,000.00
Last UpdatedApril 19, 2019

Description

POLYCHROME SCRIMSHAW WHALE'S TOOTH ATTRIBUTED TO HENRY VINCENT GERRODETTE Mid-19th Century
Obverse depicts two vignettes: a red floral wreath enclosing two bleeding hearts pierced by an arrow, and a portrait of a frigate flying an American flag off the stern. Reverse depicts a dramatic scene of a lady wearing a bonnet and red dress holding her hand at her throat, while a man wearing a cape and a sword runs away from her. At her feet is a small sword or dagger. Length 4.25.
According to Scrimshaw and Provenance: A Third Dictionary of Scrimshaw Artists by Stuart M. Frank (Mystic, Ct.: Stuart M. Frank and Mystic Seaport Museum, 2013), p. 116, not much is known about Henry Vincent Gerrodette, other than he served in the Mexican War aboard the frigate Constitution. A collection of his personal belongings from this time, including knives, scabbards, a pair of embroidered trousers, and three pieces of scrimshaw, were donated to the Smithsonian in 1956 by a descendant. This tooth bears stylistic similarities to the donated pieces, including the trousers, which are believed to have been embroidered by Gerrodette himself. Research indicates Gerrodette was born in New York in 1822 and lived in Brooklyn toward the end of his life in the 1870s and 1880s. There is no record of him serving on a whaling voyage.
Provenance:
Nina Hellman, Nantucket, Massachusetts.
"

Condition

Typical age lines at tip and base. Rich patina.

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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