Scrimshaw - a Ship and a Mermaid

Contributed by Antiques Roadshow - Beverley

Scrimshaw - a Ship and a Mermaid

This was bought at an auction in Beverley and originates from around 1850. It shows a ship and a mermaid. Scrimshaw is the name of the craft and handiwork of whalers, usually things made from the bones and the teeth of sperm whales. These are often elaborate carvings, and pigment can be used to highlight the detail. The craft began in the mid 18th century and lasted until a ban on commercial whaling.

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