Eldred's - Auctioneers, Appraisers

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Item Details

Lot #104
DepartmentScrimshaw
Sold For$15,000.00(hammer price)
 $18,000.00(price including buyer's premium)
Last UpdatedJuly 25, 2019

Description

SCRIMSHAW WHALEBONE BOX ATTRIBUTED TO WILLIAM HILL First Half of the 19th Century
Sliding lid's central panel engraved with Neptune in his chariot and inlaid with an 1832 U.S. half dime and four small Peruvian coins. Panel surrounded by an engraved diamond and circle pattern. Sides of box with multiple vignettes interspersed with symbolic imagery and geometric borders at each corner. Vignettes include a man carrying a bindle while walking past a sign marked To Ply To. Lon"; a naval officer meeting Britannia, titled in arch above vignette "Britannia Inviting the Sons of Her Navy 1834"; an obelisk monument erected in honor of Admiral Lord Nelson by his agent Alexander Davison in 1807; a couple seated on a garden bench below a rose-covered trellis, titled in banner above "Love Among the Roses."; a couple in a hilly landscape with distant house and church; a sailor surrounded by a globe, British flags, cannons and cannonballs, titled in banner above "Defiance"; and a portrait of a warship flying a British ensign off the stern, titled in banners held aloft by trumpeting angels "Nelson Ship" and "Victory". Small images include a sun face, Cupid aiming his arrow, a Masonic handshake, and two conjoined hearts pierced by an arrow. Underside of box depicts the Colossus of Rhodes, holding aloft a torch while a ship sails between his legs. Titled in banner above "Collossus". Box with dovetail construction and mitered corners. Height 2.5". Length 6". Width 3.75".
Two teeth with similar engravings to this box, both attributed to William Hill or his brother Edward, are illustrated in Ingenious Contrivances, Curiously Carved by Stuart M. Frank (Boston: David R. Godine, 2012), figs. 3:19a and 6:13. Frank describes Hill as "one of the earliest known practitioners of pictorial scrimshaw" in his Dictionary of Scrimshaw Artists on p. 68. The monument to Nelson seen here still stands where it was originally erected at Swarland in Northumberland, England.
Provenance:
Butterfield & Butterfield, San Francisco, October 29, 1996.

The Collection of Paul Vardeman."

Condition

Some separation along seams and roughness around dovetails.


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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