• Christie's Interiors - Masters auction at Christies

    Sale 5686

    Christie's Interiors - Masters & Makers

    9 March 2010, London, South Kensington

  • Lot 285

    A SCRIMSHAW ENGRAVED WHALE-TOOTH AND WHALEBONE BASKET-WATCHSTAND

    PROBABLY AMERICAN, CIRCA 1840

    Price Realised  

    A SCRIMSHAW ENGRAVED WHALE-TOOTH AND WHALEBONE BASKET-WATCHSTAND
    PROBABLY AMERICAN, CIRCA 1840
    The pan-bone base engraved with whales and whaling ships and a rowing boat, two applied sperm-whale teeth engraved with whaling ships at sea, the two part whale-bone handle engraved with rowing boats
    10½ in. (27 cm.) wide; 5¼ in. (13.2 cm.) high


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    The rowing boats depicted are a type associated with the Polynesian Islands, as the South Pacific was a prime hunting area for whalers on their voyages, which averaged nearly four years.
    Scrimshaw falls broadly into two categories, decorative and utilitarian. Examples of the latter include pie crimpers, busks, swifts and walking canes. This example covers both functions. Besides being finely decorated the panbone is drilled with two holes which suggests that it was originally intended to be hung from a wall. Further, the two whalebone strips at the top both have two small hooks on the underside. This would seem to suggest that something would have been attached to them e.g a watch or a portrait of a loved one.

    Special Notice

    Prospective purchasers are advised that several countries prohibit the importation of property containing materials from endangered species, including but not limited to coral, ivory and tortoiseshell. Accordingly, prospective purchasers should familiarize themselves with relevant customs regulations prior to bidding if they intend to import this lot into another country.
    No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 17.5% will be added to the buyer's premium, which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.
    This lot will be removed to an off-site warehouse at the close of business on the day of sale - 2 weeks free storage