Very Fine and Rare Whalebone Scrimshaw Wall Pocket, Nantucket, Massachusetts, circa 1870
Property from a Martha's Vineyard Collection
Very Fine and Rare Whalebone Scrimshaw Wall Pocket, Nantucket, Massachusetts, circa 1870

22 January 2021 • New York

Very Fine and Rare Whalebone Scrimshaw Wall Pocket, Nantucket, Massachusetts, circa 1870
Very Fine and Rare Whalebone Scrimshaw Wall Pocket, Nantucket, Massachusetts, circa 1870
Very Fine and Rare Whalebone Scrimshaw Wall Pocket, Nantucket, Massachusetts, circa 1870
Very Fine and Rare Whalebone Scrimshaw Wall Pocket, Nantucket, Massachusetts, circa 1870
Very Fine and Rare Whalebone Scrimshaw Wall Pocket, Nantucket, Massachusetts, circa 1870
Very Fine and Rare Whalebone Scrimshaw Wall Pocket, Nantucket, Massachusetts, circa 1870
Very Fine and Rare Whalebone Scrimshaw Wall Pocket, Nantucket, Massachusetts, circa 1870
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Very Fine and Rare Whalebone Scrimshaw Wall Pocket, Nantucket, Massachusetts, circa 1870

Very Fine and Rare Whalebone Scrimshaw Wall Pocket, Nantucket, Massachusetts, circa 1870

Very Fine and Rare Whalebone Scrimshaw Wall Pocket, Nantucket, Massachusetts, circa 1870

Lot closes:

Lot closes:

1 day, 14 hours

1 day, 14 hours

January 22, 03:59 PM (GMT)

January 22, 03:59 PM (GMT)

This lot has been withdrawn

Description

Property from a Martha's Vineyard Collection

Very Fine and Rare Whalebone Scrimshaw Wall Pocket

Nantucket, Massachusetts

circa 1870


mounted on a later carved wood and parcel-ebonized frame; together with documents from a whale ship

Height 29 in. by Width 25 7/8 in.

Condition report

The documents very fragile and brittle.

The pocket in overall very good condition with minor old breaks and area of repair secured with wire reinforcements. Some of the mounted balls replaced. Old age cracks and tiny losses commensurate with age.


For further information on the condition of this lot, please contact the department at 212-606-7130 or Americana@Sothebys.com.


The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colors and shades which are different to the lot's actual color and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation. The condition report is a statement of opinion only. For that reason, the condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS ONLINE CONDITION REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE/BUSINESS APPLICABLE TO THE RESPECTIVE SALE.

Saleroom Notice

Please note this lot has been withdrawn from the sale.

Provenance

The Breckenridge-Long Collection;
Frank Sylvia, Nantucket;
Sotheby's, New York, Barbara Johnson Whaling Collection: Part IV, December 16-17, 1983, lot 419. 

Literature

Robert Bishop, American Folk Sculpture (New York: E.P. Dutton & Co., Inc, 1972) no. 191, p. 115.
A. B. C. Whipple and the Editors of Time-Life Books, The Whalers (Alexandria: Time-Life Books, 1979), illus. p. 131.

Catalogue note

A unique tour de force, it is one of the largest genuine single pieces of scrimshaw in existence. The wall pocket mounted on the wall and used to hold newspapers, letters and magazines. It was constructed by sectioning very large slabs of whalebone from the panbone and working them into extremely complex, open-carved pieces, which were joined with copper rivets and pins.