Obverse depicts a characteristic Locket Engraver portrait of a dark-haired woman holding a locket. She has bows in her ringlets, a Maltese cross at her neck and her dress has puffy sleeves and lace trim. The locket, suspended from her neck on a long cord, contains a portrait of a man. Notably, a panel at the base contains "Melintha" in script lettering. Reverse with two fine ship portraits, one identified as the "James" and the other as the "York Town". Both ships are flying assorted flags and pennants, including an American flag flying off the stern.
Length 5.75". Includes wood stand. Height on stand approx. 7.25".
Condition: Some scant loss of inking on obverse. Base cut mostly flat, with small chip near edge.
**Not available for international shipping.**

The absence of a condition report does not imply an object is free of defects. All items may have normal signs of age and wear commensurate with their age; these issues will likely not be mentioned in the condition report. Please contact Eldred's before the auction with any condition questions. Questions about condition will not be answered after purchase. Condition reports are provided as a courtesy, and we are not responsible for any errors or omissions. Important note on frames: Frames are not guaranteed to be in the same condition as they are in the item photograph. Due to handling and shipping, many frames, especially antique ones, are prone to losses. If you have questions about the condition of a frame, please contact us prior to the auction. 

  • Provenance: A Third Dictionary of Scrimshaw Artists by Stuart M. Frank (Mystic, Ct.: Stuart M. Frank and Mystic Seaport Museum, 2013), p. 165, fig. 13. Frank writes that Judge Paul Vardeman coined the moniker "Locket Engraver" after identifying six teeth in public and private collections attributed to the anonymous artisan. Others have been more recently discovered. Most depict a lady with a locket and portraits of U.S. Navy vessels. Frank also writes the "Yorktown", a 16-gun full-rigged ship, made one trip to the Pacific and two from Boston to Africa to suppress the slave trade. She was in service from 1839 to 1850. Accompanying 2010 emails between Dr. Frank and Judge Vardeman discuss "Melintha" as a name in the Taber family of Fairhaven, Massachusetts, in which some members were whalemen.

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We require prompt payment and removal of your purchases as stated in Paragraph 12 of the Conditions of Sale. If you plan to pick up your purchases, please call ahead and we'll make every effort to have your items ready. Our physical address is 1483 Route 6A, East Dennis, MA. Pick up of smaller items at our Mystic, CT location is also available with advance notice.
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COLLECTION OF PURCHASES: Delivery or shipping arrangements must be made within seven (7) days from the close of the auction for all purchases. All items must be removed from Eldred's facilities within fourteen (14) days of the end of the auction. All items remaining after fourteen days may be subject to a $15/per item/per day storage fee. No items will be released unless storage fees are paid in full. Items remaining over thirty (30) days from the close of the auction may be sold for the buyer's account minus auction and storage fees.

August 4, 2022 9:30 AM EDT
East Dennis, MA, US


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