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Museum catalogue: Scrimshaw Collection

 

Scrimshaw

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Accession no.: Y: 62/15/55
Object name: Scrimshaw
Title: Scrimshaw
Description: Tooth 149mm, monochrome, each face with a pricked-round picture of a woman in outdoor dress ca. 1850-60, the period of the crinoline. Woman caught in a storm; reverse: Woman in long cloak.
Classified name:
[Unknown system] 730.235 & 639.245.1
Number of items: 1
Full description:

55A.: Caught in a storm with her umbrella gone, the woman holds onto her hat. Before the widespread use of steel, umbrella ribs were made of baleen (whalebone). She wears a tight waisted hip-length overcoat, the bell shaped sleeves revealing wide undersleeves with narrow cuffs. Her ample skirts, raised by the wind, reveal not ankles but boots. A rare example of humour on scrimshaw (cf Y: 62/15/35).

55B.: A woman in a crinoline skirt and broad brimmed hat is wearing a hooded cloak, a garment rarely illustrated. This view shows the beautifully aligned stripes and the hood folded back over a triangular panel which has two huge tassels hanging from its point. She is standing by a rail with netting, possibly a ship's rail, as in Ford Maddox Brown's haunting painting "The Last of England".

Dimensions:
  • Height: 149mm
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