Exceptionally scrimshawed pair of teeth engraved by an identified Australian scrimshaw artist circa 1855. The teeth are engraved on both sides of each of the pair. The left facing tooth on the obverse is a Portrait of the ship identified in an engrave banner above the ship image with the inscription “H.M.S. Iris”. At the tip of the tooth above the ship is a crisp image with an eye and eyebrow with an ancient Egyptian style design with a web like decoration below the eye. This same engraving appears on the tip of the right standing tooth. Below the engraving is a banner with an engraving stating “AUSTRAILIAN STATION” and at the bottom is a beautifully detailed engraving of a design with leaves and flowers with thistles. The reverse of the left standing tooth has an Image of a 2 masted schooner above a large Image of an iris flower. There is an engraving of a 2-leaf vine circling he tip.
The right standing tooth has the same eye engraving of the other tooth which is above a Large engraving of the Royal Seal which is titled at the center “HON. SOIt” and at the bottom in a banner “DIEU. ET. MON. DROUT”. The tip as a engraving around the circumference identical to the other tooth. The reverse side depicts a crown with three feathers that resembles the emblem of the Duke of Whales. The image at the base illustrates a whaling scene with 2 whaleboats attacking a whale on the left and a stove whale boat on the right. The mother whale ship is in the distance on the right. The quality of the scrimshaw work is of the absolute highest quality consistently on both sides of each tooth.
Condition: With the minor exception a few natural age cracks at the base the pair of teeth are in wonderful Condition. They were beautifully polished and engraved and are rather heavy for their size. (SC1219)
Note: The Ship “Iris” was built around 1840 and between then and August 1843 she served the west African Squadron. “Iris” was then assigned to the East Indies and was Flagship for the Australian squadron between 1864-1865. She then worked with th famous ship “Great Republic laying cable.
Reference: Scrimshaw and Scrimshanders, Whales and Whaleman by E. Norman Flayderman, 1972 page 10. A similar possible pair with similar subject matter of the same ship by the same hand is illustrated on page 10. These teeth are of substantially lower quality than the ones described above.
Dimensions of both teeth: Height 7, Width 3 1/8 Inches