Whalebone and whale ivory scrimshaw ball and Cup toy. The cup at the top of the item is round and is hollowed out so it can hold the whale ivory ball which is attached to the handle with a string. The shaft of the handle is a decorative turned whalebone with a whale ivory section sandwiched a pair of baleen spacers. The handle and ball have decoratively scribed circular scribe lines and retain some of the original red sealing wax filling. (SC-1073)
Condition: The toy is in excellent condition and has a mellow patina.
Length with ball on top: 6 1/4 inches
Provenance: The Howland family of New Bedford arrived on the Mayflower in Plymouth in 1630. During the voyage in a gale John Howland fell overboard and was pulled aboard the Mayflower. He became a signer of the Mayflower Compact and had eight children and 88 grandchildren. Many of his ancestors became extremely successful in the whaling industry. Among the descendants of the Howland family was Henrietta Howland Robinson, a woman of two great whaling fortunes. By the age of 30 in 1865 she had inherited the equivalent of $80 million dollars. When she died, fifty years later her nickname was "Hetty" the witch of Wall Street and had built a fortune equaling several billion dollars in todays currency.The Howland family name became synonymous with the most successful period in American whaling and this item has descended untill now in the Howland family collection.