This framed piece is a beautiful resin reproduction of traditional scrimshaw. As it is a reproduction, it is NOT whalebone or ivory and does not violate any trade laws.
This piece depicts the USS Constitution, byname Old Ironsides; a warship renowned in American history. It was one of the first frigates built for the U.S. Navy as commissioned by the Naval Act of 1794, it was launched in Boston, Massachusetts, on October 21, 1797. It remains the world’s oldest commissioned warship afloat. This item is in beautiful condition with some wear to the surface of the piece and slight coloring inconsistencies of the resin, though it does not interfere with the design but in fact, makes the piece look more aged. There is backing paper on the back of the frame, but no hanging hardware attached for display. Please inspect the listing photos closely for details on the condition of this piece. It is approximately 4.75 inches by 5.75 inches.
From the MV Museum Website on the Craft of Scrimshaw:
“The unique art form of carving into ivory, known as scrimshaw, is inherently tied to the whaling industry. During the ‘golden age’ of whaling in the mid 1800s, the length of voyages grew to as many as four years as Vineyard whalers were forced to travel greater distances due to declining whale populations. They found themselves in the Atlantic, Pacific, Arctic and Indian oceans chasing after their prey. An ample supply of teeth, tusks, bone and baleen, as well as long stretches of free time led to the creation of a wide variety of objects, from decorative arts to the tools and accessories of every day. Teeth and tusks were polished, then carved into scenes of whale hunts, vessels, patriotic imagery and women. Ink or lampblack (a type of soot) was then rubbed into the carvings to bring out their details. For these homesick artists, the thoughts of loved ones were an inspiration, as reflected in the numerous keepsakes and trinkets they carved.”
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