Historical information

When scrimshaw is mentioned, most people think of carving on sperm whale teeth only. But scrimshaw also includes engravings on skeletal whale bone–such as the jaw bone, called pan bone and ivory from other marine mammals such as walrus. Although scrimshaw is widely associated with nautical themes and designs of the 19th century whaling industry, vintage scrimshaw was also produced as tribal art in many cultures. Today, scrimshaw is recognized as a unique medium in which present-day artists have developed their own modern themes.

Scrimshaw reproductions may take several forms. There are new carvings on genuine ivory or bone with the deliberate intent to create an "antique;" new carvings on genuine ivory or bone sold as signed and dated contemporary art, clearly marked synthetic museum reproductions and mass marketed, unmarked synthetic replicas.

This item is marked with an artists name. Medium is possibly of bone. Writer believes it was produced in the first half of the 20th century by an American scrimshaw artist.

Significance

The scrimshaw is a modern representation of a typical scrimshaw whaling scene made by an artist that specialised in this medium, the subject item is not associated with an historical event, person or place, provenance is unable to be fully determined at this time and the item is believed not to have been made by a sailor. It is of modern manufacture and made as a decorative piece, currently displayed in Flagstaff Hill village display.

Physical description

An inscribed whale tooth depicting a whaling scene.

Inscriptions & markings

Depicting two sailors looking from the crow’s-nest at two sperm whales. Inscribed "G Tough"