Made more for whimsy than for actual use, this folding set of bone implements must have given some sailor hours of creative amusement. The tapered body, decorated on both sides with color-filled bull'-eyes, encloses a fingernail scraper, an awl and a pretty deadly ear cleaner. The bottom has a rounded notch and the business end is crudely shaped to resemble a whale or walrus. American, circa 1800 to 1825. Cf.: McManus "A Treasury of American Scrimshaw" (Penguin Studio), p. 140. Excellent condition, with some rust staining on one side around the pins at the base. Approximately 3-3/8 inches by 11/16 inch closed, 4-5/8 inches long opened.
Instruments and Implements
Antique Tools & Work Related