Scrimshaw Sperm Whale's Tooth Portrait: "Donald McKay's Beautiful Clipper James Baines - 1854" Gallery
Department of Commerce Registration Number 21-231-1
Legendary clipper ship designer/builder Donald McKay designed the James Baines in 1854. She turned out to be one of the most graceful and beautiful of all of his clippers. With her graceful lines, holystoned pine decks, polished dark hull and smooth seams, she stood out, even from among other clippers. She measured 2515 tons, and was built for James Baines and Co. of Liverpool, England, for use in their Blackball Line of packets to Australia. Her figurehead was a bust of her owner, and on her stern was a globe supported by the arms of America and England. She made the record run from Boston Light to Rock Island Light in 12 days and 6 hours. In the winter of 1854 and 1855 she ran from Liverpool to Melbourne in 63 days, and home in 69 - thus circumnavigating the globe in the record time of 132 days. On June 17, 1856, she made 21 knots, the highest speed ever made by a sailing ship to that time. In 1857 she was inspected by Queen Victoria at Portsmouth. The Queen commented that she didn't know that her merchant marine had so fine a vessel. The James Baines finally burned on docking at Liverpool.
This superb tooth contains a very carefully etched portrait of the clipper James Baines on the its front. On the back is "James Baines - 1854." This fine example of American scrimshaw has very transparent color. The tooth is 6 inches long around the convex side, and 1 3/4 inches wide. Of course, this is a legal tooth, registered with the U.S. Department of Commerce as #21-231-1. It weighs 168.9 grams. A handmade Sterling Silver display stand, made especially for this tooth, can be yours as an additional option. (Stand allows for removal and reinsertion of the tooth for closer viewing.) An absolutely beautiful scrimshaw Sperm Whale tooth by a well-established American scrimshander! A valuable addition to any collection.
A unique piece - Of course, only one is available.