Tuesday, April 22, 2014 – A powder horn with a beautiful engraving of a map of Boston… a ship carved onto a whale tooth… those are examples of scrimshaw. It’s engravings, carvings, and scrollwork done in bone or ivory.
Sailors of old, specifically on whaling ships, often used the byproducts of whales to create common tools. This art of crafting bone and other byproducts into useful tools, was termed scrimshaw. Later, artists took over carving beautiful images into powder horns, knife handles, and more.