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Item Details

Lot #105
DepartmentScrimshaw
Low Estimate$4,000.00
High Estimate$6,000.00
Last UpdatedJune 18, 2019

Description

SCRIMSHAW WHALE'S TOOTH WITH BRITISH PATRIOTIC IMAGERY ATTRIBUTED TO WILLIAM HILL 1840s
Multiple patriotic images and vignettes cover the circumference of the tooth, centering on a portrait of Nelson's Ship Victory", identified in a banner above. The banner, entwined within a central crown, is being held aloft by two trumpeting angels. The ship is flying a Royal Navy ensign off the stern, and a Union Jack, a Royal Standard and the flag of England off the masts. A coastal lighthouse is in the distance off her stern. The reverse depicts a ship with figures visible on deck and a British red ensign flying off the stern. Other images include Britannia surrounded by a flag, shield and recumbent lion, the Colossus of Rhodes, a man in the moon, a heart pierced by two arrows, two compass roses, and a large alligator consuming a man as he tries to escape onto an awaiting boat. Images are deeply engraved and heavily inked. Length 7". Includes stand.
Teeth with many of the same images are illustrated in Scrimshaw and Scrimshanders, Whales and Whalemen by E. Norman Flayderman (New Milford, Ct.: N. Flayderman & Co., Inc., 1972), p. 13, as well as in The Handicrafts of the Sailor by Steven Banks (1974), p. 16. Others are in the collection of the New Bedford Whaling Museum (numbers 2001.200.1354 and 2001.100.1079). According to Dr. Stuart M. Frank in Dictionary of Scrimshaw Artists, W. Hill was "one of the earliest known practitioners of pictorial scrimshaw".
Provenance:
Richard A. Bourne Company, Hyannis, Massachusetts, August 4, 1987, Lot #214.

The Collection of Paul Vardeman."

Condition

Pearling at tip, with fissures around a larger naturally occuring imperfection in the ivory. Typical ragged base. Dowel for stand glued into interior of tooth.

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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