News from – Latest Updates

Whaling Bark scrimshaw of a ship on ancient mammoth ivory
“Whaling Bark” by Jason Webb, entry in the 2013 International Scrimshaw Competition

Scrimshaw Artists International Competition

Congratulations to everyone who entered the International Scrimshaw Competition! The works of art were all amazing. Both Jason Webb (picture of entry below, used by permission), and Nick Finocchio entered into the competition along with many other masterful scrimshaw artists like Mark Thogerson and Jim Stevens.  Piano key ivory, antique billiard balls, mammoth ivory that has sat under the ground for thousands of years, even a mirror and brush set were scrimmed on and entered into the competition. The styles sizes and variety shows that scrimshaw is still alive and well, and the artists are as innovative as they are creative.

See all the entries at:

Also – Jason Webb’s page has been updated (see near the bottom for more of his interesting work!)

Scrimshaw Artist Nick Finocchio

Scrimshaw Portrait on corian of a woman
Nick Finocchio Scrimshaw Portrait on Corian

Nick works on traditional as well as non-traditional media and has a wonderfully detailed yet rustic texture to his work. His subjects range from wildlife to nautical to nudes. We’re hoping to get more information from Nick and we’ll post it at

Confirmed Mystery Artist #12 Peter LaJoie!

We got a confirmation of the artist in question for the Mystery Artist #12 – Peter LaJoie – See  Thanks to Al Douchette for the information!

Article from Fretboard Journal Regarding the Sale of Ivory in California

A good article about the sale of ivory in California.  (link)

Mystery Artist #12 – PL Peter LaJoie?Scrimshaw ship necklace

We have another mystery artist with the initial PL.  The owner has done some research, and it could be Peter LaJoie… (read more)

Tiger ring with the initials HM or HN in the lower left hand Corner - Mystery Artist #11

Mystery Artist #11 – Tiger Ring with initials HN or HM

The owner of a beautiful sterling silver ring with the initials “HN” or “HM” is looking for it’s maker.  Oblong and rectangular the silver looks as if it were cast, but we aren’t experts in silversmithing. (read more)

2013-02-17 – Jason Webb’s Ship #6 Pics

Jason has shared a sequence of pictures of his ship #6 from close to the beginning to the finished piece.  We’re in progress on the page, but wanted to share his stunning work.  See it at

2013-02-06 – Mystery

Bolo Closeup of eagle head with initials MN - mystery artist #10 -

Artist # 10

Bolo on an antler “button” – this has the initials “MN” – read more…

2013-02-05 Local Scrimshander needed for Long Island, NY for a March 3rd Family Event

Nomi is looking for a local artisan who would like to show their art on Sunday, March 3rd, 2013.

Contact: Nomi Dayan – NDayan[at]

Cold Spring Harbor Whaling Museum

301 Main St – PO Box 25

Cold Spring Harbor, New York 11724

2013-01-28 – Book from the New Bedford Whaling Museum

Jack Chang brought this book to our attention: Ingenious Contrivances, Curiously Carved: Scrimshaw in the New Bedford Whaling Museum

A coffee table book detailing 700 of the over 5000 pieces of scrimshaw at the New Bedford Whaling Museum. Beautifully photographed, you can see… (read more)

2013-01-23 – Mystery Artist #9

Initials SSL from Mystery Artist #9
Initials SSL from Mystery Artist #9

A folder has surfaced with the initials SSL, a ship, and a piece of rope scrimshawed on the opposite side… (read more)






(C) 2013 Jason R. Webb. All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission
(C) 2013 Jason R. Webb. All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission. Click on image to view full size

2013-01-09 – Jason Webb’s Page Updated

Jason has just finished another piece, this one on antique piano key ivory.  His abilities continue to astound.  Several pictures on his page, including an excellent picture of the work in progress.







2013-01-05 – New Scrimshaw Pattern

We’ve added a new scrimshaw pattern, and pulled the old one. “Abandoning the Bark Kathleen” is a classic image that can be a challenge, depending upon the detail you wish to include. The people can be seen to the left of the ship in the skiff, the whale’s tale to the right. The rigging is well detailed in the original picture. The sized tracings in the pdf allow you to tape the page right onto the ivory and get the general outline of your piece by piercing through the paper, making a “dot-to-dot”, and there are sizes from 1 inch to 2-1/4 inches. Look to the right for links, and enjoy!

2012-12-31 – Mystery Artist #7

Beautiful breaching sperm whale on mahogany Mystery Artist # 7 on
Beautiful breaching sperm whale on mahogany

The initials are either MUL, HUL or three other initials too stylized for us to ascertain, but the beautiful piece is of a breaching sperm whale set on a mahogany base.  The owner would love to know more about the piece and the artist… Continue reading…

2012-12-30 Mystery Artist Found!

walrus scrimshaw by P. Hayde Eagles

Philip Hayde (not Hoyte, as previously mentioned) just contacted us.  He’s alive and well, living on the West coast.  See the comments below the post in the  Mystery Artists  page.  Thanks again Philip!

2012-12-15 Looking for Florida Scrimshaw Artists

We’re looking for active Florida scrimshaw artists for an upcoming project. Please contact us at Questions[at] Thank you!

(C) 2013 Jason R. Webb. All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission
(C) 2013 Jason R. Webb. All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission. Click on image to view full size.

2012-11-17 Jason Webb – Scrimshaw Artist Interview

We had the pleasure of doing an email interview with scrimshaw artist Jason Webb.   A self-taught guitarist and artist and scrimshander, Jason is as resourceful as he is talented: –

continue reading

2012-11-13 Mystery Artist #6 Mateus

The Mystery scrimshaw artist for November 2012 scrimshawed a whale tooth and signed it “Mateus”. This is a whale tooth currently in Ontario Canada. “Mateus” – continue reading



2012-11-11: Bee Eater Scrimshaw on

Bee-Eater on lightswitch 2010
Bee-Eater on lightswitch 2010

Mammoth Ivory and on a Lightswitch

The Williamsburg Church Fair has come and gone, and I couldn’t squeeze in the time to create a Williamsburg themed scrimshaw.  So instead, I brought along a Bee Eater Scrimshaw on Mammoth Ivory.  The fair went well, they were able to raise over $6,000, though I’m sure my scrimshaw only did a fraction of a percentage of that much. …continue reading

2012-11-07: The Brady Block

Brady Block (aka KleinBlock)(Originally published 2012-09-06)
The BradyBlock is a great tool for scrimshanders and engravers alike.  Allowing you to not only turn your piece 360 degrees, you can also tilt it easily getting the best angle without having to readjust your lighting.  Your piece is held by a piece of putty or other adhesive material that does not “give” too much, yet holds it firmly. The base is small and lightweight, and you don’t have to secure it to the table, … continue reading

2012-07-12: Looking for a Scrimshaw Artist in the Idaho Area…

…for a special project to be done for someone in the area.  Any Idaho’an scrimshaw artists out there?  Leave a comment and I’ll see if I can connect you to the person heading the project.  Thanks for reading!

2012-06-18: Linda Layden

on the Artists page. Another prolific and novel artist. Wide variety of items and subjects.

2012-06-04: Michael Cohen

on the Artists page.  An amazing variety of subjects.  He’s near the bottom of the page.

A New Page: History of Scrimshaw

has just been finished. No pictures at the moment.

In the How-To section

Lighthouse at Lighthouse Point, New Haven, CTWe have an excellent picture of a lighthouse for beginning artists as well as a basis for more accomplished scrimshanders. We’ve created a pdf so you can print it out then choose your size, plus at the bottom there is a large size image for reference. See for more information and a link to the pdf. I want to thank Chris Amelung again for putting this up as a creative commons photo, and his gracious email when I asked him if I could use it in my beginner’s scrimshaw book.

Kraken Blog

Kraken scrimshaw - Just a little clean up and it's complete!Finally finished the Kraken with a coat of archival wax and a couple of touchups.  Pierre Denys de Montfort penned the original illustration in 1801, after he was inspired by a description from 1783 of an eight-meter long tentacle found in the mouth of a sperm whale. The ancient piece of mammoth ivory measures 15/16″x 1-1/2″, and was hand scribed using a tungsten carbide scribe from Coulter Precision Tools (also on Etsy).

Also added a “collage” of the Kraken in progress.

Mystery Artist Section

Portrait of Woman, Art Nouveau styleMystery Artist Found (actually the Mystery Artist found us!) She is still an active scrimshander, but currently does not have her own site.  We are happy to be able to connect the owner and the artist of this beautiful piece.  There are several others that remain a mystery, so any help would be appreciated!

See Mystery Artist for more!

Scrimshaw Books

scrimashander's secret scrapbook coverThe Scrimshander’s Secret Scrapbook of Whaling Era Illustrations” – continues to be popular.  A resource of whaling illustrations for beginner as well as accomplished scrimshaw artists, it is available in e-book form as well as spiral bound for ease of scanning.

Also added several of my favorite scrimshaw books and DVDs in our Books section.


52 Replies to “News from – Latest Updates”

  1. I have Bill Christian’s engraved slate art: Flying Cloud – 12 days San Francisco – Honolulu. Any idea what it might be worth and how could I sell it

    1. Hi Bill, and thanks for writing! I’m not sure how you would go about finding the worth other than bringing it to an art appraiser. Since it is slate, it is not subject to the current restrictions of most ivory. Would love to see a picture of it!

      1. Oops – may not have sent the last reply, sorry if this is a duplicate email. Your inquiry on T DonAngelo is live on our site as “Mystery Artist 17”. Thanks for visiting the site and we’ll forward any information as it comes in.

  2. would like to find out if this is a known artist
    Trudy Donangelo scrimshawed ivory stocks.

    on one of the stocks i can see a first letter and then the name of donangelo ,which i suspect it to be a letter T (for Trudy)

    if not Trudy ,then what or who is Don Angelo or DonAngelo,T Don Angelo?
    Thank you

  3. I have a full size walruss tusk on one side are walruss mountains and polar bears and igloos on the other side it shows an escimo being pulled by a reindeer. and a husky as well as a large polar bear.the end of the tusk has a inscription which I had to have translated it read..IN THE MEMORY OF SERVICE TOGETHER IN CHUKOTKA TO IVAN ANATOLIEVICH.It was bought a few years ago in a flea market in kiev .the ivory is genuine I have had it tested..any idea of the age and also do you think it was given for the war.

    1. Hi Janet,
      thanks for writing! Your scrimshaw sounds interesting to say the least! A quick search finds a couple of Ivan Anatolievich instances that served in the military:,
      and – while these are both in the northern regions of Russia, it’s hard to tell whether your tusk was made for either of them.
      Pictures may be helpful, and we’d be glad to put it up on our “Mystery Artists” page to see if anyone is aware of more pertinent information.

    1. Hi Sam! Cigarette boxes? I haven’t seen them, but you may have some luck at – they’re great people. If they don’t have any, they may be able to make/source them for you. Do you have any pictures you can share? We can put the inquiry up on the site, too.

    1. Dear Steve,
      we don’t typically have ebay listers on our site – we usually put up artists sites. Do you have an site or your own website? It *is* an interesting material to create scrimshaw on. Let us know if there is some avenue other than ebay where you show your work and we will see if we can accomodate you.

  4. I have several scrimshaw items found in a box of “junk” from my great grandfathers collection of old keys. They seem to be tooth picks.Is there anyone who can appraise thees or determine if they are real or not?

  5. I have a cribbage board which came from Alaska. It is inscribed On the side with E. Okleasik white mountain alaska.On the top is a picture of a large walrus and a smaller view of a walrus coming out of the water. Is this artist known and what are the chances that this is a real tusk? Thanks for any information. Pat

  6. Hi
    I got a very special scrimshaw in black Africa in the seventies from an old french army colonel.
    It is two dwarf elephant teeth from forest of Ruwenzori mountains in Rwanda.
    Lot of people in the world only know the Indian elephant with small ears and the big African elephant with large ears.
    Quite nobody knows that there is a third kind of elephant, the dwarf elephant living in the rain forest in the north Rwanda which ivory is pinky and extremely rare.
    The scrimshaw work represent the wrong (evil) on one tooth and the other tooth represent the right (good).
    The good is a tall ship with a mermaid and her dolphins as a guide and protection. The wrong is the same tall ship attacked by a kraken with dinghies and crew falling down in the water. The views are really special as they are upon and underwater seeings.
    Does somebody has heard before about such a scrimshaw ?
    Christian Cranois
    Port Vila
    Republic of Vanuatu
    South Pacific

    1. Thanks for writing – that is fascinating. I had heard of the dwarf elephant, but have not heard of that specific scrimshaw work. Anyone out there hear of this?

    2. Dear Cristian,
      would you be able to send some pictures of this scrimshaw? I am sure the scrimshaw community would be as fascinated as we are to see this work.

  7. I recently inquired about a piece of scrimshaw that I have.Do you have an email address that I could send a picture of my piece to you.

  8. I am purchasing a Brady Block. What material do you use to keep the piece on the block. It looks like play dough. Thanks, love your work

    1. You can use modeling clay, “duct seal” (be sure it’s a non-drying kind), or the window caulk seal (the type connected to this link – not silicone seal in the tubes!). You can usually find it in your local hardware store, too.

      Hope this helps – it’s an excellent tool.

  9. Interesting site .I have been doing scrimshaw for over 30years & did most of the original engravings for the thousands of repros which now clutter Ebay.I just wish I had apenny for every copy made ..I could put down my tools & relax
    By the way can you recommend any source of reference other than dear old Flayderman?
    Keep up the good work I’ll look in again if I’m not in prison…..

    1. Dear John,
      I’m not sure what reference of “Flayderman” you are talking about. If you can let me know what you’re looking for I’ll be glad to help find what you need.


  10. Dear Sir/Madam,
    I have been admiring the bone resin pendant of a wolf and wondered if it would be possible if I send a picture of my wolf for you to put it on a similar pendant?

    1. We had a close cousin to a wolf for a long time, and was mistaken for one on several occasions (she was an Alaskan malamute). Wolves are beautiful animals. I am once again gearing up for scrimming, though not quite ready yet, so you may wish to contact one or more of the other fine artists on the “Artists” page to get a quote – they are all excellent as you can see by their work. Some artists will only work on supplied materials, others have materials at hand. If you are in California, you will have to read over the latest laws carefully, as they do not allow the sale of ivory in any form. Wondering if bone or horn will be next? =kidding= There are alternatives such as paper micarta, corian (see Katherine Plumer’s work), tagua nut (can be worked like ivory or a small “canvas” for woodburning), antler, bone and many more – but I’m off on a tangent again. If you need an artist in your area, add a comment and we’ll see if we can find one in your area. Many don’t have websites of their own.
      Hope this helps, and give your wolf a good scritch behind the ears for me.


  11. I have a scrimshaw pendant signed by Knight that I acquired around 1976. It is oval shaped approximately 1- 1/2″ tall, 1 – 3/16″ wide and 3/4″ thick with the edge wrapped in gold so that it could be worn hanging from a chain. The design is a three masted ship. I am not sure of the media but it has yellowed with age.

    1. Sorry about the late reply – been out at sea (or at least my mind has). Not familiar with any artists named Knight, there are many knives with imitation ivory stamped “Silver Knight” – but this is getting away from your needs. Yellowing with age could mean it is ivory, though it could also be other materials. Would you be able to provide a hi resolution photograph or scan of the piece? We’d love to see it and will be glad to set it up as one of our mystery artists.

    1. Hi Brian,
      you may post a question or a comment on any of the posts, we typically approve them unless they are a blatant advertisement for things like the latest sham-wow pyramid scheme or someone wanting to link to their designer drapery site :). Nice work on the colt on your site ( – seldom see tri-color work. Feel free to comment, question, and offer constructive criticism.

  12. There is a ban on importing new teeth into the country since 1972. Of course there is almost a universal ban on sperm whale hunting, although it is still done by a couple of countries. A couple of prominent scrimshaw artists and dealers got burned recently big time.

    That said your tooth is safe to sell excep in California. How much does it weigh? At 7 plus inches, it should be worth a few hundred, depending also on weight and general condition.

    I might be interested in buying. I have purchased a few in second hand stores in Maine over the years and had one carved. You can see it here.

  13. I have what I believe is an old sperm whale tooth, not carved, approx. 7 1/4″ long, but very heavy for its size, found at an old farmhouse my parents bought in Maine 40 years ago. Is there any value to it, and if so, is it legal to sell?

    1. Laws are changing rapidly, it is now (as of 2012) illegal to sell any type of ivory in California. Your best information would be directly from the US Fish & Wildlife Field Office in Maine – 17 Godfrey Drive Suite 2 Orono, ME 04473 (207) 866-3344. They would be able to either help you or direct you to the proper place. Hope this helps.

  14. I’m a scrimshander living in N.Idaho. Been here 17 yrs, lived in Molalla, Ore. Before. I have been doing schrimshaw now for 21 yrs now. With each piece got more detailed then the last~don to the eye lashes on a deer. Some of my pieces went out east. Thank you for creating this site,especially for Idaho. On the pieces I have done I hide my initales & date~sometimes I have a hard time finding them. Great luck to all the artists out there and Thank you for the web site~it is pretty cool

    1. Dear Sarah,
      thanks for responding, we would love to see some of your pieces if you have pictures you can send, and if you have ea website we’d be glad to include you on our site. Thanks for the kudo’s too – most people are outside doing other things in the summer, scrimshaw being more of a cold weather art (at least in the east).

  15. I have a 17 inch walrus tusk dtd 1830 of “THE SHIP TEMPEST” that I purchased in Scotland in 1990. It shows the ship sailing in a landscape setting out to sea with the words NEW BEDFORD. on the reverse side it has an eagle with the words “E. PLURIBUS UNUM”. I would love to know more about this tusk. I will eventually figure out how to upload a picture or two.

  16. i have a real whale tooth with scrimshaw art purchased in 1981 in Maine USA. I am looking for infomation about it and its value. Not selling.

    1. Hi Rich,
      can you supply some pictures taken with a digital camera? We’ll be glad to put it up on the “Mystery Artists” page so other readers may be able to help too.

  17. Got a piece of walrus tusk “Taken from Dead Walrus Oct 17, 1841” “1st MATE T. BOWERS” “THE WHALER PRINCE”
    This is the info scribed on this tusk (if real) Got this when I was in Hawaii and few years ago.
    A lot of design, including a cannon with American Flag (5 stars)two nice size walrusesPictlure of a big ship, a row boat with six people, one with a line to a whale, another whale in the water, a ?whale with a horn? scribed seperately on the tusk, ice burgs that look like mountains, a sun (or moon) two other whales with tusks pointing straight ahead of their head. and other designs
    Any way of telling if this is a real tusk?

  18. Hi, just wondering if anyone can give me information on a piece of art my friend has. It was made by Bill Christian, called “Self Portrait” inv#108-0804. He bought it in 1979 in Hawaii. It is on slate. Any info would help. Thanks.

      1. I also have a Bill Christian etching on slate from 1965. I have the lost the gallery label
        but it still has an explanation of the materials and what is in the etching that he typed and pasted onto the back of the frame. Etching of a boat on a very old piece of slate
        that has something to do with Hurricane Betsy from what I can make out.

        1. Sounds wonderful! Sorry you lost the gallery label but it is still a wonderful piece I am sure! According to, it may have been done in New Orleans where he “had the corner spot.” They have a few images of some of his paintings as well, and may be a good place to look for more information. Hope this helps – can you send a picture of your piece? We’d love to see it!

          1. Dear GarrettGL,
            Fascinating etching, thanks for sharing it. Having the book will definitely help if you ever decide to sell it or put it in an auction, too. The fourth page states that scrimshaw is a derivative of the old Dutch term “scrimshander” meaning someone who is not doing his job. I’d heard this before (seen on but had never seen it in print, especially in a book from the early 20th century. Do you know what the title of the book is?

  19. Hi,
    I have an absolutely stunning mounted piece of a large and a small ship on a slightly curved piece approx 16 by 12 inches and am trying hard to learn more about it.. Would love to send you a picture and ask if you can supply any additional information or insight.. I would attach a low res, or high res picture but cannot find a way to do this on your sight.
    Thanks for any help you might be able to provide,

    1. Hi Vince,
      you can send the pics (hi res would have to be below 25MB) to aperkins[at] and we’ll be glad to look at it and put it up as a “Mystery Artist”. Simply replace the [at] with the @ sign and it should go through with no problems.

      Thanks again, and hope we find some information for you!

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