A Sailor’s Treasure: Sea Chests and Curiosities

Scrimshaw, engravings done on the bones or cartilage of whales, was a popular pastime aboard whaling vessels; the largest tooth shown here is engraved with a documentary inscription naming the vessel (“Wiscasset” of Wiscasset, Maine) and the latitude and longitude where the whale was encountered: between New Zealand’s North Island and Raoul Island—and dates back to 1836.

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