20 Replies to “MA”

  1. I have two engraved whale teeth signed by Frank Barcelos. I also have a belt buckle and tie clasp and cuff links all by him. I bought them I think in Provincetown in the seventies. The teeth each have engraved a copy of the “tall ships,” visiting the US.
    I read that he did some work for President John F. Kennedy and can find no record of this.
    I want to keep them as a small part of US history and would appreciate it if anyone has any information concerning this artist.

  2. I have some scrimshaw jewelry that belonged to my mother. I am trying to find out the name of the artist. It would have been purchased in New Bedford in the 60’s. I have the whaling voyage on a bracelet plus the matching earrings and pendant. They are done in color. Does anyone know any artists in the NB area around that time? Thank you.

    1. Hi Cheryl and thanks for writing!
      Would you be able to send some pictures? I’ll be glad to put them up on the site as a “Mystery Artist” – we’ve had some luck with matching artists to their artwork. You can send the pictures to “questions[at]scrimshaw.com“, replacing the [at] with an @ sign. I look forward to seeing the artwork!
      Andrew

    2. Hi…..I was a successful scrimshaw artist in New Bedford late 60’s thru the70’s.I got harderand harder to get whalebone.

      1. Hi Cheryl, and thanks for writing! Whale bone is next to impossible to get, but you can still practice your art on other materials. From man-made materials to natural materials such as boar tusk, antler and cow horn (I’ve been working with water buffalo horn). Mammoth ivory, though illegal in NY, NJ, CA (and possibly HI) is still currently a viable alternative as well. My favorite natural material is still mammoth ivory and antique piano keys. Are you still scrimshawing?

      2. Hi, Cheryl,
        I bought a pendant from you in 1974 in Provincetown. It’s a female Saggitarius, and my friend commissioned a fat, lazy Scorpio. We each still treasure our pieces. Thank you for creating them for us. Let me know if you’d like us to send you pictures of your work, what they look like today.

      3. What can you do with whalebone? My father bought this big tooth in Mystic, CT, in the sixties. He was attempting to scrimshaw. He has passed on and now I have a big tooth in a closet.

        1. Hi Cheryl, there are a couple of things you can do with your “tooth in the closet”: first, you could learn to scrimshaw, though I think you would have done that already if you were interested. The second would be to have it appraised if you have a maritime museum nearby, then – getting the appraisal in writing, you could donate it if they’re interested and, checking with your tax adviser, see if you can get some credit on your taxes for the donation. Wish it was possible for you to legally sell it, but that would mean you would need to prove (with a receipt from 1960’s) that it was in fact purchased at that time, then checking in your state to see if it is legal to sell. Hope this helps,

          Andrew

  3. I am an art teacher ( retired ) from Westport Ma. As part of my teaching job I taught scrimshaw and whaling history to classes yearly. Because of this I have taught many who were involved in the trade. ..

    1. Thanks for the information Bob! Would love to chat with you further. Do you still scrimshaw and would you like to be contacted if there is anyone who would like custom work or perhaps some one-on-one training? I’d be glad to put you on the map. –Andrew

      1. I was very active at this time. I was an Art teacher and at one time had many a tie students Bob Rayno …robrayno @hotmail.com

        I am80 now and lately have still taught scrimshaw. The last time was a group from the navy. a couple of my more successful students….. Charles Conners. 3rd… And Bill Feeney of Spouting Whale associates. Bob

    1. Hi Michelle, selling old tusks can be difficult. Due to the CITES treaty and recent state ivory bans, it might not be possible. New York and New Jersey have gone so far as to ban the sale of mammoth ivory, and some other states as well. Since it’s walrus, you would probably need to have the proper paperwork to prove the tusks were pre-CITES (1978 as I recall). Hate to have you slog through legal-eze, but the best place to start would be to read through and understand the CITES treaty, followed by any further laws for your state.

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