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Scrimshaw walking stick traditional design

Date: mid 19th Century
Overall: 870 x 115 x 25 mm, 0.54 kg
Medium: Whalebone
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Object Name: Walking stick
Object No: 00032496

User Terms

    This simply designed walking stick was carved from a single piece of whale bone and features a curved handle. Unlike other similar scrimshaw it has no decorative engravings. Walking sticks were a fashionable accessory for men in the 19th century and came in a variety of styles and materials. Whalers made them in large numbers for personal use or as gifts.
    SignificanceThis item represents the scrimshaw production of walking sticks. It must have come from a particuarly large whale as it was carved from a single piece of bone.
    HistoryScrimshaw is a maritime folk art that developed onboard American whaling ships in the 19th century. It helped sailors deal with the isolation and loneliness of being on whaling expeditions that often lasted for more than five years. Scrimshaw is produced by engraving and carving animal material, such as whale bone, teeth and baleen, walrus tusks and shell. Using jackknives, saws or homemade files sailors would etch artistic images of women, whaling scenes and memories of home or carve popular functional objects, including canes, needles, cutlery, cups or containers.
    Additional Titles

    Web title: Scrimshaw walking stick traditional design

    Primary title: Scrimshaw walking stick traditional design

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