Scrimshaw tobacco box
American scrimshaw tobacco box depicting:
"Skulking IN His Watch & Lashes
Flogging aboard USS Constitution 1813"
made in whalebone size: 4.2" x2.3" x 0.9" assembled with bone pins.
This is one of the finest pieces of early scrimshaw I've ever offered for sale. It is not a resin fake. The box is made from flat pieces of whale bone. The top and bottom being made from two seperate strips i.e. not one piece that has split. The subject matter is very unusual and would appear from the detail, ratings on the left and different ranks of officiers on the right, to have been drawn by a witness to the event - also the precise dating
gives credence to this. Unquestionably this is an early piece and it almost certainly dates from 1813 or very shortly thereafter. The inside of the box smells strongly of stale tobacco and the outside has many small scratchmarks which one would expect from an object frequently used and kept in a pocket along with other objects. Condition apart from scratches mentioned above perfect - no repairs.
The USS Constitution is preserved in Boston harbour.
Further photos or detailed close-ups on request by email
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