Department of Commerce Registration
A scrimshawed Prime Sperm Whale's tooth combining graceful curvature and shape with a bold and true romantic theme right out of our own recent history. Remember when your teacher had you read "The Sea Wolf?" Lt. Cdr. Count Felix von Luckner (the Sea Wolf) was a real captain who fought for the Imperial German navy during World War I. With his sailing ship Seeadler (formerly Pass of Balmaha) he accounted for 86,000 tons of allied shipping. Unbelievably, von Luckner never took a human life! (He even saved the ship's cats!) The British bark Pinmore was one of his prizes. After capturing the Pinmore, von Luckner sailed her into Rio de la Plata to buy stores and then returned to the Seeadler which had been waiting off the coast. He "reluctantly" sunk Pinmore on February 19th, 1917 by placing a bomb in her hold - even though he had sailed in her as a crew member in 1902(under Captain Maxwell)!
The Pinmore was built at Port Glasgow in 1882, by John Reid and Co. In 1885 she was reduced to a bark rig.
On October 29, 1901, she left Santa Rosalia, Mexico, with 1000 tons of sand ballast for Portland, OR, under command of Captain Jamieson. Six days out a leak was discovered under the chain locker which was temporarily repaired. In a subsequent gale the ballast shifted which caused the Pinmore to get a 45° list to starboard. The ship was abandoned and after two nights in the boats, during which time ten men died, they managed to reach Quartermaster Harbour, Portland. The tug Tyee had found the Pinmore and brought her into Quartermaster Harbour where her crew found her resting at anchor. For the salvage, the crew of the Tyee was awarded $20.000 in salvage money.
The infamous raider Seadler was wrecked on Wakaya in the Society Islands. Intent on finding a new ship with which to continue the war, von Luckner and his men sailed to Fiji in an open boat. They found a suitable ship to commandeer, but their plans were foiled by the untimely arrival of a British officer and four soldiers. They surrendered and were interned in Auckland for the remainder of the war. In 1917 von Luckner and his crew made a daring escape from Motuihe, commandeered a vessel and sailed over 900 km north where they were eventually captured at the Kermadec Islands.
This is a beautiful left-handed tooth which is 6 inches around its curve, and 1 7/8 inches across its base. The Pinmore is shown on the front carefully etched in black ink. On the back, in blue color is her name. (see inset) [Please click on the pictures for a larger view.] The sides of the tooth are left unpolished, so you can feel its natural state. Choose, as an added option, a Sterling Silver display stand made specifically for this tooth, which allows you to remove the tooth for closer viewing, and replace it when you are done. Also available is a turned walnut wood stand.
This is, of course, a real and legal tooth, registered with the U.S. Department of Commerce as #21-225-0006. It weighs 185 grams. This is a classic piece rich in history that will be much treasured by any scrimshaw collector. Can be shipped only within the United States.
This is a signed piece by M.M. Cohen - a well-known American scrimshander for over 35 years! A unique piece - Of course, only one is available.