The Value of Scrimshaw

"A Sailor's Life for Me" scrimshaw on whale's tooth

Color scrimshaw on whale's tooth "A Sailor's Life for Me""A Sailor's Life for Me" scrimshaw on whale's toothI’ve received a question regarding the value of a piece of scrimshaw done in the 20th century on a whale’s tooth, and I really don’t know the answer. I do scrimshaw, though I don’t collect it. A reader has a beautiful piece by P. Hayde, I believe, and wants to know how to figure its value so they may insure it. If there is a collector who could help them and similar collectors out with either a link or some good guidelines, I’ll be happy to post the information here, with or without your email as you see fit. It would be greatly appreciated.
Leave a reply in the box below to help your fellow collectors.

Thank you in advance,

Andrew Perkins

Identifying Ivory

I was set to create a long post about identifying ivory (there are many different types – just ask the tooth fairy) when I found this excellent pdf by CITES.org: http://www.cites.org/sites/default/files/eng/resources/pub/E-Ivory-guide.pdf.

The pdf is in black and white. Here are a couple of full color examples of pre-embargo elephant ivory, mammoth ivory and a “vegetable ivory” cross-cuts showing the Schreger lines in the ivories and the lack of them in the plant alternative (clicking on the image brings it up to full size):

Elephant Ivory Chunk from pre-embargo ivory showing Schreger lines
Elephant Ivory Chunk from pre-embargo ivory showing Schreger lines

 

Mammoth ivory showing Schreger lines
Mammoth ivory showing Schreger linesMammoth ivory

 

Ivory nut whole, halved and quartered
Ivory nut whole, halved and quartered