We have an oval shaped Scrimshaw and Sterling pin/brooch that measures 1 1/2" x 1" with an American 3 masted schooner on it. Hand etched into the back in the silver it says "Handmade-Ferris-sterling" in cursive writing. We have had it checked by several jewelers and they all say it is genuine ivory and looks to be rather old according to their tests and because it has a grain to it. It is quite yellowed but in very nice condition.Never polished and kept in a cool dark place. Photos available upon request. Just wanting some insight on who may have made it and/or who may be interested in purchasing it or auctioning it for us. Thank you.
No one yet I have an ad on Craigslist in Maine looking for info but no answers or replies as of yet
This is very interesting. Scrimshaw is very collectible and can be very valuable, if it is truly early, well done and ivory. Does this have any provenance or history? Could you share an image with a free photo sharing site? Our tool bar also has a graphics too.
Here are some simple directions for sharing images. Dori
There is a tree icon on the tool bar to the right of the smiley face that takes you through the steps or if the image is too big a free photo sharing site works if you direct me there either with an address or your user name and password.
Here are some simple directions of the photo sharing site option.
Upload your image to a free photo sharing site such as photobucket and then go to the top of your screen where there is an address starting with "http" - copy the address by bolding the whole line of text and pressing ctrl "c" and then come here to our conversation box and press ctrl "v" and it should paste. I will be able to easily link to your page from here.
You can also give me the user name and password XXXXX I can easily go to your album. PS User names must not be email passwords but a word or numbers as JA will not allow emails to be seen in these text boxes.
I started a photobucket account and added pics of the scrimshaw piece we have. The web address is: http://s1135.photobucket.com/albums/m631/budeelee/ And the username is: budeelee and password XXXXX: dresden Hope this helps. Pic 246 is the best it really shows the "grain" in the ivory.
These images help greatly.Thank you for your efforts.
This looks to be from the middle to the late 19th century from the color of the ivory, silver mount and twisted decorative detail. Even the inscription signifies this period. The work is well done and may even be a souvenir from a ship as scrimshaw was often used in the last half of the 19th century in this manner.
The brooch size and shape also corresponds with the popular fashions that women wore from 1860-1900. Brooches were worn with detachable white collars with ribbons and lace jabots around the neck.
This is a bit different than the early scrimshaw pieces found in high end auctions but is valuable none the less. A piece such as this in sterling silver is a bit hard to evaluate as it is not very common. However looking at the market as a whole and the range of scrimshaw items from the late 19th century, from pie crimpers to toothpicks, I believe this piece has a value in the range of 350-450.00 in the right market.
Lastly, I would suggest sending images to Cowans Auctions for a full appraisal as they see the most scrimshaw from the period...and get the best prices of any auction house that I have found. They would be a good place to sell, if you choose to do that. http://www.cowanauctions.com/
Best wishes, Dori
PS Please remember to press accept as this is the only way JA pays its experts for their time and expertise! Thank you.
20+ Yr Decorative/Fine Art, Historic Objects Expert, AOA Appraiser
Thank you very much for your insight. This gives us a great starting point as far as appraising and or selling the piece. Have a great day!