The making of scrimshaw probably began on whaling ships in the late 18th century and survived until the ban on commercial whaling. The practice survives as a hobby and as a trade for commercial artisans. A maker of scrimshaw is known as a scrimshander. The word first appeared in print in the early 19th century, but the etymology is uncertain.
We are proud to offer an early 19th Century fork art bone scrimshaw snuff box. Detail across this example includes a working hinge flap and finger shaped pinch hole. The scrimshaw detail that includes a basket of sorts on the lid, workman to front and rear with hammers in hand, tree, and house.
Scrimshaw is scrollwork, engravings, and carvings done in bone or ivory. Typically, it refers to the artwork created by whalers, engraved on the by-products of whales, such as bones or cartilage. It is mostly made from the bone and teeth of sperm whales, the baleen of other whales, and the tusks of walrus. It takes the form of elaborate engravings in the form of pictures and lettering on the surface of the bone or tooth, with the engraving highlighted using a pigment, or, less often, small sculptures made from the same material. However, the latter really fall into the categories of ivory carving, for all carved teeth and tusks, or bone carving.
Size in inches: H 1” x W 3” x D 2”
Period: Early 19th Century
Completely solid in structure and form, the surface is well aged and faded around the edges. A deep patina across the whole item with one small hole at the edge. Its exceedingly difficult to photograph all the areas in this piece, therefore we strongly suggest reviewing all the photos provided as part of this advert and propose questions where sections are unclear to avoid disappointment.
Please get in touch in advance of a purchase if you based outside of the UK to clarify P&P on this item as this varies dependent upon your global location. Global shipping is possible so please view all shipping details as explained. With items of this fragile and rare nature we always recommend recorded/tracked postage with adequate insurance cover. This may cost a bit more, but at least you are covered from accidents that may take place whilst in transit.
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We aim to ship your purchased item in 2 to 3 working days. The item is packed well and shipped via Parcelforce or Royal mail. Additional to this we used a few carefully selected couriers in the UK to deliver our most fragile or larger item. The courier option is applied at the buyer’s cost, so please get in touch with us directly for further information.
Cancellation / Refunds
We are unable to refund any item which is purchased unless the item is different from what is described in the advert stated. We go to a lot of effect to ensure our customers are happy with their items and purchases. Therefore, we strongly suggest the customer consider the purchase/view all pictures and close ups and propose as many questions via email before a purchase is made. We do no refund our customers if they choose to change their mind about the purchase unfortunately, we will however offer a full refund of the item (excluding postage) if the item once received is not as described, this however can only take place within 48hr of the item being received by the customer. Once an item has been received and if a cancellation has been agreed by The House of Antiques management team, the customer is liable for the cost and insurance of postage if the item needs to be sent back to us in London.
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What Our Customers Say
Sourcing new and outstanding props is quite a challenge these days, especially when you’re looking for something that is not only highly decorative but also fits into a director’s frame of mind.
The House of Antiques have some of the most outstanding and visually stimulating antiques and artifacts I have seen. After speaking to their team I was quickly reassured that they not only got what I was looking for but that they also understood the brief regarding our new production. They packed and shipped our items not only safely but on time for our first screen test. A highly professional and reliable team, highly recommended and very cool setup.J Thompson
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