?

Log in

No account? Create an account
Glistening White Triangular Tooth (Er, tusk?) - katori blog [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
susan smitten

[ website | katoributa.com ]
[ userinfo | view my profile ]
[ archive | browse this journal by date ]
[ categories | browse this journal by topic ]

Glistening White Triangular Tooth (Er, tusk?) [Mar. 28th, 2006|02:28 am]
susan smitten
I found this mysterious thing at my brother's house:



If you were itching to etch some kind of walrus tooth or something, what would your subject be? Would you go with the tried-and-true portrait of President Polk? Pandas painting penguins, perhaps?

I'm wondering if thing might be an antique... does it look over 150 years old to you?

Edit: I didn't even realize I posted this to my personal journal! It was meant for tmbg and I thought I'd hit "stop" before it posted here. (I tend not to cross-post to avoid flist dupes.) But I'm glad it is, because now I've got your comments... also, my tmbg posts tend to fade into obscurity.
linkReply

Comments:
[User Picture]From: etherealmommy
2006-03-27 10:47 pm (UTC)
I *love* that icon! squeee!
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: chu_hi
2006-03-27 11:19 pm (UTC)
Thanks!! =D
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: zenmondo
2006-03-27 11:04 pm (UTC)
It looks like a fine old piece of scrimshaw to me. But then again, what the heck would I know?
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: chu_hi
2006-03-27 11:45 pm (UTC)
I agree - it's gorgeous!
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: mcgillianaire
2006-03-27 11:07 pm (UTC)
I can't see the picture but I did write a paper on the fake antique ivory trade last semester. Not that I've become an expert on dating the 'fakes' though. :)
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: chu_hi
2006-03-27 11:46 pm (UTC)
Very cool topic!
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: readherring
2006-03-27 11:08 pm (UTC)

Someone had a crush on Polk?

My guess is that this was a bit of sailor art, and Polk was made the subject because his picture was one of the few lying around on the ship. It was probably copied from a newspaper litho.

Either that, or this was the result of a governmental patriotically fanged monster development experiment, gone horribly awry.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: chu_hi
2006-03-27 11:14 pm (UTC)

Patriotically fanged!

Hey, I just said the exact same thing! That it must have been a sailor looking at a picture of Polk on the wall... there's a ship engraved on the other side. Litho seems more likely - good call. =)
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: dantendo64
2006-03-28 03:04 am (UTC)
Ha...I thought you had posted to both on purpose.
For the most part, the posts I've made on tmbg have gone obscure, too, until this morning...
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: chu_hi
2006-03-28 08:27 pm (UTC)
...when your post was axed with a resounding chop! Why fade into obscurity when you can go out with a bang?
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: dantendo64
2006-03-28 08:41 pm (UTC)
Precisely...
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
From: doc_cathode
2006-03-29 02:32 am (UTC)
Walrus? Nah. My first guess would be Spermaceti. If only I still had a copy of Moby Dick I could look up what other whales have teeth.

Without, physically examining the thing, my gut reaction is that it's real. Sailors scrimshawed often. Surviving pieces aren't worth all that much. This is just some century and a half old doodle/attempt to make item that could be sold for beer. In general, faked antiques are of better quality, and higher (fraudulent) value.

Nobody fakes plain Bakelite pieces. You buy plain pieces and carve and glue them into ornate pieces.
(Reply) (Thread)
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]From: doc_cathode
2006-03-29 04:18 am (UTC)
Well that's embarassing. This is what I get for venturing an opinion in an unfamiliar antique area.

They pulled a double bluff. You expect fakes to be of better craftmanship.

Why Sperm whale? Cause it's the first toothed whale to come to mind.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: chu_hi
2006-03-29 04:16 am (UTC)
My first guess would be Spermaceti.
You're the second person to say that! How do you know these things?

I hadn't even considered the possibility of it being a fake, even after mcgillianaire's comment. Did you see lilith999's comment on tmbg:
Okay, I was bored and did some seaching...according to http://www.whalingmuseum.org/kendall/fakeshaw/body.html it is indeed a fake. Oh well...
POLK, JAS. K.
-see VINCENNES

149.
VINCENNES
Tooth, ±7 inches (18 cm).
[Manufacturer not identified.]
Obverse: Crude stern-quarter portrait of a sailing ship with gunports and stern galleries, labeled "U.S.S. VINCENNES / GUAM / LADRONE ISLES / Sept 1846." Reverse: Oval male portrait in fancy border with USA Eagle, labeled "JAS. K. POLK."


...cuz that sounds like a pretty convincing argument for it being a fake!

Incidentally, your comment made me thirsty for beer. But it's 8:00 in the morning, so I don't think I'll be hitting my local Bridey O'Reilly's or whatever. Even though I'm trying to stay up until noon zzzz... I don't have any fake scrimshaw to trade, anyhow. Or money.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: doc_cathode
2006-03-29 04:54 am (UTC)
I think I've figured it out. I have several fake ivory pieces, ranging in quality. All are of better craftmanship than that tooth.

BUT, what if the fake scrimshaw is not an attempt to fool buyers? What if this piece, and others like it, are manufactured for museum shops, and sold as replicas? It would explain alot.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
From: (Anonymous)
2013-07-20 07:03 pm (UTC)
hi i just found your post here and figure yours is a replica since the tooth is so white and the scribing is so dart, i have an original one of these although the carving is the same on the one side the age is evident to be old on the one we have wonder who made the original ones
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: doc_cathode
2006-03-29 04:20 am (UTC)
Well that's embarassing. This is what I get for venturing an opinion in an unfamiliar antique area.

They pulled a double bluff. You expect fakes to be of better craftmanship.

Why Sperm whale? Cause it's the first toothed whale to come to mind.
(Reply) (Thread)