Very Large Walrus Tusk w Elaborate Scrimshaw Work
This incredible scrimshaw walrus tusk is one large example. Straight from tip to tip it measures just under 23 inches and a cool 61 ounces, while what is usually found is about half that size. Condition is perfect throughout with only the age lining that is always found in older tusks. This comes from it drying over the decades/centuries and is unavoidable in older pieces. None of these lines are split open. The hole in the top is a period bit of work indicating that this was hung as decoration somewhere along the way. The bottom of the tusk is fabulous with a plethora of crystalline nodules. As is always the case, the front surface has been gently smoothed to take the scrimshaw work. The area I roam is fro New York to Virginia, which is obviously the home of early American shipping and the scrim work is typical of work often found in my area. While I find it impossible to date scrim work, the style of this piece is typical of the mid to late 19th century with a federal eagle and what must be Lady Liberty with a sword that reads "Union". The detail of the carving is superb but the best work is on the central figure of the ship with an absolute maze of sails and intricate rigging. Below that is the caption "SHIP CHARLES MORGAN". Even if the scrim work is more recent, the size of this tusk and the detail and extent of scrim work on this piece is just jaw dropping.