Unlike any ship model that I've seen, this Arctic or Fishing steam vessel is crafted from Walrus ivory and black baleen. The degree of detail is amazing, especially for its small size. The model has a total length of 10 ½ inches, a beam of 2 ¼ inches, and a total height of 6 3/4” (including the two masts). There is a smoke stack (with the remains of an attached whistle), showing the vessel was steam powered, and even the remains of a three bladed propeller, with enclosing housing to prevent ice damage to the prop. The hull and deck railings are carved from a single piece of walrus tusk (with obvious central pith), while the main deck house with cabin, bridge and railings are carved from another single piece. The ancillary deck houses for winch operators, stack, both masts, five deck winches, masts and their supports, are carved from separate pieces of ivory. Port holes are inicated by plugs of black baleen. There are drilled holes for deck railing stanchions, hawse holes, mast rotation arms, and upper deck egress.
The basic design and materials speak to the Arctic region home for this inspiration of this model—most likely in the Bering Sea. At first I thought that it might have been an Arctic trading vessel bringing trade goods to the Arctic in order to deal with natives for ivory and furs. But while I think that the Bering Sea location in valid, I'm more inclined to consider it a fishing vessel, likely working in the early 20th Century while fishing for crabs, salmon, and halibut. The four deck winches (and one, maybe two) anchor winches, that can be operated from deck houses in bad weather point to this. The the rotating masts probably were rigged to handle nets, crap pots , and / or halibut gear, bringing the catch to within easy reach for the fore and aft catches. This is simply a wonderful boat model. I'm sure that I'll never see another. Easily Good+