Sailors' craftwork, Decorative art

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Whale tooth

Sailors' craftwork

Object connections:

Collection Sailors' craftwork, Decorative art
User collections Illustrated Teeth and Bone by dmclark
Gallery locationNot on display

Object details:

Object ID AAA0023
Description A sperm whale tooth lightly engraved on both sides (probably a pair with AAA0022). On one side is a farmyard scene. A half-timbered farmhouse with leaded windows stands in front of an enclosure surrounded by a paling fence. Four trees stand on the other side of the fence which is crossed by a stile on the left of the farmhouse, an open gate is shown on the right leading into a corn field. A barking dog confronts a cow in front of the gate. Reculver church in Kent is shown on the other side, half-ruined with its towers in use as sea marks. Nearby are two figures of seamen, one in the background with a telescope, one in the foreground with a fishing rod. A small sailing boat is shown in the left background. The Kentish scenes and early date suggest that the maker may have been associated with the London whale fleet. This type of sailor's craftwork is known as scrimshaw.
Date made After 1810

Artist/Maker Unknown
Credit National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
Materials whale tooth
Measurements 54 x 210 x 64 mm
  • Whale tooth (AAA0023)
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