Sailors' craftwork, Decorative art

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Whale tooth

Sailors' craftwork

Object connections:

Collection Sailors' craftwork, Decorative art
ExhibitionsThe Atlantic: Slavery, Trade, Empire, Trade and Commerce
Gallery locationNot on display
VesselsJapan 1831

Object details:

Object ID AAA0026
Description A sperm whale tooth engraved with four boats harpooning a sperm whale. The scene is entitled 'Crew of Japan killing a large whale'. The other side shows the carcass suspended alongside the ship while the blubber is removed entitled: 'Ship Japan cutting a large whale'. This type of sailor's craftwork is known as scrimshaw. The 'Japan' was built on the Thames in 1831. She was London-owned and registered and 'Lloyd's Register' confirms that she was a whaler operating in the southern oceans.
Date made Mid 19th century

Artist/Maker Unknown
Credit National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
Materials whale tooth
Measurements 58 x 210 x 83 mm
  • Whale tooth (AAA0026)
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