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Enquiry from Online Galleries regarding "American Sailors Scrimshaw Patriotic Staybusk"
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Look at what I found on the Online Galleries website!
Engraved with scenes of a paddle steamer flying a red coloured Republican flag and with two imposing urban American buildings
Probably based on illustrations from John Warner Barber's book 'The Connecticut Historical Collections' published in New Haven in 1838
Circa 1845 – 50
Size: 40cm wide, 4cm high – 15¾ ins wide, 1½ ins high
Intended as a stay in front of a woman's bodice or corset these busks are made of pan bone, the lower jaw of a sperm whale, whose flat surface was fairly easy to inscribe when 'green' even with a sailors jack knife. Popular as love tokens they were usually 10 to 12 inches long and were inserted in a vertical pocket in the front of the corset to keep the garment from bunching when tightly laced.