Sailors' craftwork, Decorative art, Routes and Resources

The Collection

Your selection



Buy this image Add this to a collection
Share or embed this object  


Sailors' craftwork

Object connections:

Collection Sailors' craftwork, Decorative art, Routes and Resources
ExhibitionsNorth-West Passage
Gallery locationPolar Worlds Gallery (Floor plans)

Object details:

Object ID AAA0031
Description A scrimshaw staybusk made of whalebone. One side is divided into six panels viewed vertically. They are engraved top to bottom with: warships signalling and a ship's boat; a thatched cottage with a smoking chimney amid three poplars, a model boat and four swans afloat on the river in front, the lady of the house looks out over a half door while a man cuts the hedge; two hearts pierced with an arrow on top of an altar or capstan; a church; a black swan; a fort flying the Union Flag. Each scene is separated with a band of geometric decoration, with tasselled, draped curtains at the top and a partridge in a tree below. The initials 'A.M.L.' are engraved on a diamond in the centre. On the other side, viewed horizontally, is a whaling scene with a barque-rigged whale ship, and three boats amid a pod of sperm whales. The head of a whale that has been harpooned is shown on the left, the tails of two whales in the centre. Three dead whales are marked with flags. The engravings are coloured in black, red and green.
Date made Mid 19th century

Artist/Maker Unknown
Credit National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
Materials whalebone
Measurements 380 x 58 mm
  • Staybusk (AAA0031)
    Help us

    Do you know more about this?

    Share your knowledge