Engraved scrimshaw whale tooth with an image of a female pirate on both sides., depicting the female pirate "Alwilda", American, circa 1850. The obverse of the tooth has an extremely fine engraving of Alwilda copied from the engraving from "The Pirate's Own Book" published in 1837 in Philadelphia and titled "Alwilda the Female Pirate." Alwilda is shown wearing a long jacket with wide lapels with some fancy patterns in the lapels and waistcoat. She is wearing a large hat and a kerchief around her neck. Her right arm is raised with her hand clutching a curved sword. Tucked into her belt are a dagger and pistol. The quality of the engraving is extremely fine. The revere side has an engraving of another female pirate that looks very similar to the female pirate Fanny Campbell. She has a pistol in her belt and she is holding in her left hand a sword in a down facing direction. There are traces of red polychrome on each side of ther tooth.
Condition: The tooth is in excellent condition and has a deep warm patina.
Reference 1: Flayderman, E. Norman, "Scrimshaw and Scrimshanders Whales and Whalemen", New Milford, Connecticut: N. Flayderman & Co., Inc., 1972, pp 76 & 77. These pages display a picture of the engraving and three examples of teeth engraved based upon the print. The tooth described above has finer engraving and is much wider tooth than the other examples pictured in the book.
Reference 2: “Female Pirate Captain. A Tale of the Revolution by Lieutenant Murry”, Published by the United States Publishing Company, Boston 1846. The frontispiece in the book has an illustration of Fanny Campbell which is very similar to the image on the reverse of this tooth.
Condition: There are a few small typical age cracks at the tip and base. The tooth has a warm and mellow age patina. Thee is a small round wood base that holds the tooth in a vertical position.
Dimensions: Height 7 1/4 inches; Width 3 7/8 inches.