Search the Collection
Advanced Search

Scrimshaw whistle

Date: 19th century
Overall: 47 x 15 x 15 mm
Medium: Whalebone, baleen
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Object Name: Scrimshaw Whistle
Object No: 00006618

User Terms

    This whistle was craved from a piece of whalebone and features a threaded end with a separate pea. Whalers often produced small functional objects out of whaling by-products. On average a whaling expedition lasted up to five years and sailors would spend a large part of the time waiting onboard the ship.
    SignificanceThis scrimshaw whistle represents the diversity of functional objects made by whalers in the 19th century.
    HistoryScrimshaw was originally a whalers' folk art and involves carving and engraving animal material, including whale bone, teeth, baleen, shell, ivory and tusks. Jackknives and metal tools were used to make incisions which would then have pigment rubbed into them to enhance the drawings. Engravings on teeth are the most widely recognised form of scrimshaw, however sailors made many small simplistic items of everyday use.
    Additional Titles

    Primary title: Scrimshaw whistle

    Web title: Scrimshaw whistle

    Collection title: Tilbrook collection

    Discuss this Object


    Please log in to add a comment.