This rare, now illegal to sell or even practice, scrimshaw ivory tusk vase was recently added to be on display at the Fairbanks Museum and Planetarium.
I mentioned illegal now, because back in the days of whaling, scrimshaw was an artisan practice done by sailors from the tusks, teeth, and bones of their captured animals. Often, these rare artisan works of art were given as gifts to those of status, and were highly sought after from the most talented of sailors and crafters.
Thankfully, ivory harvest and trade is rather illegal in most countries around the world. Thank our god given right for human progression, simply because we’ve certainly done a well job endangering all of these animals on the ivory list – some of which are now extinct.
This very rare vase belonged to Franklin Fairbanks’ cabinet collection, and sat on his fireplace mantel in his home Underclyffe. I hope you enjoy the close up shots, especially of the ankh symbol!