Item SCR16 - Chunk of Sperm Whale Mandibular Bone. 

True 19th Century Sperm Whale bone is tough to come by, and for every 100 sperm whale teeth that you see, you are lucky to find one piece of bone.  Sperm whale mandible bone is one of the most dense sorts of bone in the animal world.  This is, in part, because male sperm whales use their jaws to grab that of the “other guys” and wrestle, gripping their jaws to establish dominance and win the affection of the “the little lady.”  In the world of bone, increased stress calls for greater levels of mineral deposition.  And what better way to develop dense bone than to have a 60 ton adult Sperm Whale dangling from your mouth!  This substantial piece of bone was chopped from the mandible of a Sperm whale taken by a New England Whaler in the 19th century.  It was crudely chopped (the adze, chisel, and bone spade marks are clear) into a piece that is about 7 inches long, by 3 inches wide, and 1 ¾” thick.  It was surely in the plan of making a piece of scrimshaw (perhaps a whale bone block).  But that plan did not come to be,  and it was brought home and turned up in a whaler’s descendant’s home in Tiverton, RI 150 years later.  The piece of bone now weighs 2 lbs, 7 oz (1106 grams, and has a density of about 1.84 grams per cc.  This is compared to the density of lignum vitae wood at 1.23, or cow bone at 1.4.  There is little wonder why scrimshanders in the 19th century preferred Sperm whale bone for scrimshaw.  This large piece of bone is available to create scrimshaw anew, or to use as pieces to repair old scrimshaw.  Fine.


Price -   $250.00

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