Exceptional and enlarged whale ivory crimper, American, mid-nineteenth century. The entire crimper is carved from a single section of whale tooth. Given the length and width of the crimper, it had to have been made from a massive tooth. The upper section of the crimper is shaped like a pistol grip and has interestingly carved grooved patterns on each side of the grip which look like moldings on the top and bottom. The bottom of the grip has a metal pin fitting which holds an ivory shackle which pivots in the pin. The front section moves forward at a ninety degree angle and then curves up. The end of this section has a loop with a metal pin at the center which holds the wheel. The forward section has four pierced decorations and a three tine fork at the top. The wheel is beautifully constructed and has four pierced triangles as the spokes of the wheel. (SC1095)
Condition: The crimper is in excellent condition. The fork tines have typical warpage.
Provenance: This crimper is very similar to one in the Barbara Johnson Collection and was sold at Sotheby's at the second sale on September 25, 1982 and is illustrated in a catalogue as Lot 417.
Exhibitions: Mystic Seaport Museum, Nantucket Whaling Museum
Dimensions: Length 7 inches; Width 4 inches.