HM.131

walrus teeth, etched, 1852. Examined by Desmond Liddy, Australian scrimshaw expert, June 6, 1991. Very lightly engraved designs over pin prick engraving (to trace the designs from another source). Root end of teeth were polished, not sawn. Very rarely were scrimshawed pieces identified by date and name of artist, so these pieces are very special having both name and date. One piece has the American eagle motif and the angel of death, the other depicts a dancing sailor and, very unusually, a scottish castle flying a pirate (skull and cross bones) flag. Challenges to the scrimshander included a moving, swaying ship, poor light, uncorrected eyesight and discouragement from captains who didn't want the sailors to become melancholy from the loneliness that thoughts of home brought.
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