American Sailors Scrimshaw Pair of Carved Whalebone and Baleen Sugar Tongs
American Sailors Scrimshaw Pair of Carved Whalebone and Baleen Sugar Tongs
American Sailors Scrimshaw Pair of Carved Whalebone and Baleen Sugar Tongs
American Sailors Scrimshaw Pair of Carved Whalebone and Baleen Sugar Tongs
American Sailors Scrimshaw Pair of Carved Whalebone and Baleen Sugar Tongs

American Sailors Scrimshaw Pair of Carved Whalebone and Baleen Sugar Tongs

1800 to 1900 America

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An American Sailors Scrimshaw Pair of Carved Whalebone and Baleen Sugar Tongs
The fretwork arms coloured in blue, red and green, an interesting dated inscription etched into the bowls reading: 'this gift from Daine Perry of Offenham Boat House is presented as a memorial of an excursion to that place July 4th 1811 by the following party Mrs Mary Acton Mrs Kinsey Miss Eliza Honiatt Miss M A Honiatt Mr JosH Thomas & Mr Mann'
Circa 1810

Size: approx: 11cm high – 4¼ ins high
Provenance: Ex London Private collection
Baleen was a special product of the right whale and was used for making stay busks, boxes, for inlay and as flexible strips for joining carved whalebone objects such as these sugar tongs. Before granulated sugar or sugar cubes were commonplace, sugar was purchased in the form of a loaf and then cut into lumps that would be grasped by a pair of tongs. The flexibility of the baleen allowed the tongs to bend as the arms clasped the sugar.
Medium
Whalebone and Baleen
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