Information

Polychrome scrimshaw whalebone oval ditty box American mid-19th Century. The panbone sides are connected with tree tapered and wavy carved fingers. The bone top band is joined with a single finger with the same size and design as the fingers at the base of the box. The top of the box is made from a ¼ inch thick panbone oval panel. The top is beautifully polychrome engraved with a picture of a formally dressed woman and her child and a second women with a bonnet below to the right. Along the border of the box lid is a red and green design with swagers. The base of the basket has several attractive polychrome engravings going around the circumference including a swan, trees with a house and a potted plant. 
Condition: The basket has a mellow age patina. There is small piece of bone replaced around the rim of the basket top. Along the top edge of the basket is a small loss. (SC1203)
Reference: “Scrimshaw on Nantucket: The Collection of the Nantucket Historical Association” by Stuart Frank. Published by the Nantucket Historical Association 2019. See page 98 ascension #1991.514.1. The polychrome panbone plaque illustrated on this page has a polychrome engraved image depicting a mother and child and 2 additional women all fashionable dressed. It similar in subject matter to the image at the top of the box described above.
Provenance: Found on the Thimble Islands on Long Island Sound near Branford CT where it has been for generations. The base of the box island the panbone sides are fastened to the wood with metal fasteners. The panbone sides are connected with tree tapered and wavy fingers. The bone top band is joined with a single figure with the same size and design as the base of the box. The top of the box is made from a ¼ inch thick whalebone panel. The top is beautifully polychrome engraved with a picture of a formally dressed woman and her child and a second women with a bonnet below to the right. Along the top border is a red and green design with swagers along the bottom of the pattern. The base of the basket has attractive polychrome engravings going around the circumference including a swan, trees with a house and a potted plant. 
Condition: The basket has a mellow age patina. There is a small loss and a repair to the rim of the basket top. The top edge the basket has a small loss.
Reference: Scrimshaw on Nantucket. The Collection of the Nantucket Historical Association by Stuart Frank. Published by the Nantucket Historical Association 2019 page 98 ascension #1991.514.1. The polychrome panbone illustrated on this page has a polychrome engraved image depicting a mother and child and 2 additional women all fashionable dressed. It similar in subject matter to the image at the top of the box described above.
Dimensions: Length 5 ½, Width 4 ¼, Height 3, Inches