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WHALEBONE AND WHALE IVORY SWIFT Mid-19th Century

Whale ivory yarn cup, turned adjustment collars and a beautiful key-shaped adjustment screw with pierced heart and cross design and metal pique inlay. Turned and stepped whale ivory clamp mounted with an unengraved silvered metal plaque. Whalebone shaft and staves. Appears some bands, probably silvered metal, are missing from yarn cup and clamp, as some residue and pins/pinholes remain where they would have been. Length approx. 15". Cage diameter approx. 17".
A similar swift, with intact coin silver bands and metal pique inlay, was part of the Collection of Paul Vardeman, sold at Eldred's, The Marine Sale, July 25, 2019, Lot #50. The Vardeman swift was nearly identical to one attributed to Capt. James M. Clark of Rochester, Massachusetts that is part of the New Bedford Whaling Museum collection and illustrated in Scrimshaw Artists by Dr. Stuart M. Frank.
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  • Condition: Swift does not include stand that is part of the item photograph.

    Condition as noted, and with typical wear commensurate with age and use.


    Please contact Eldred's 48 hours prior to the auction start time with condition report requests. Please do not bid on any item without reading the condition report. The absence of a condition report does NOT imply that an an object is free of defects or restoration. Please contact Eldred's before bidding with any questions as to condition. Condition reports are provided as a complimentary service and only reflect the opinion of Eldred's and should not be taken as a statement of fact. Condition reports only detail flaws or restorations and do not take into account wear, fading, or other issues consistent with an object's age.

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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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