19th Century Inuit Scrimshaw - Walrus Tusk
Late 19th or early 20th-century Inuit walrus tusk with scrimshaw. The entire tusk is covered with scrimshawed images depicting native peoples hunting, whaling, kayaking, sailing, and dogsledding. Images include human figures, birds, walrus, whales, dogs, structures, and sailing vessels. There are human figures and birds perched on structures, and a steamer sailing ship etched in the center of one side of the tusk. The imagery has a storybook quality with a playfulness about it. Many of the native figures are depicted with arms raised and hands open as if waving from a distance, and all facing the viewer.
This tusk was purchased from a small auction in the Pacific Northwest in the late 1990s. The tusk is in good condition overall considering the age. There are several cracks and a small chip at the large end due to the thin walls of the tusk’s top.
Measures 11.75 inches long.
Good condition, some cracking, and chips at the larger end.