WHALE IVORY AND WHALEBONE SWIFT ON AN OCTAGONAL WOODEN BASE AMERICAN mid-19th Century. the swift with turned whale ivory yarn cup, adjustment knobs and screw, whalebone staves. The main shaft of the swift is made from two sections of round whales’ tooth with a baleen spacer separating the two sections. The swift has its original eight-sided base with carved whalebone gallery. The gallery has eight bone section each carved with a double "S" shape. The rails but into eight whale ivory turned posts with bud shaped finials. The top of the base has a thin eight-sided dark wood inlay. At the center of the base is a two-staged stepped octagon applied base which supports the swift. The base has two working drawers and six faux drawers. All of the draws have a rectangular dark wood inlay and draw pull that matches the color of the inlay on the top.
Dimensions: Height 18 1/4 Inches, Width 10 Inches
Note: A similar swift by the same maker is in the New Bedford Whaling Museum Collection (number 2001.100.942).
Provenance: Rafael Osona Auctions, Nantucket, Massachusetts, August 7, 1993, Lot #76.
                     The Collection of Paul Vardeman."