Item SCR2 - Marking Gage.  Whale Bone Inlay.

This typical carpenter’s marking gage with beech stem and fence is almost surely 19th century and American in origin.  The stem is 9 ¾ inches long and is equipped with well worn tacks as scribing implements at both ends.  One end of the stem shows good wear on one corner out to about three inches from the end, with matching wear on the bottom of the fence.  The fixing screw is hardwood, probably beech, and its form is American.  The typical fence is 2 ¼ inches wide and 2” high, with the top and bottom slightly curved.  The fence is stamped in a couple of places with an owner’s name, “J. S. Lunt.”  The noteworthy feature of the gage is that plugs of bone (probably whale skeletal bone) have been inserted on all four sides of the fence, with pairs being evenly spaced on each side.  They present a very pleasing and eye-catching feature.  These were almost certainly placed there by a sailor, most likely a whale man.  Because one of the stampings is overlaid by the inlays, I believe the inlays were made after Mr. Lunt’s ownership had expired.  Indeed, no “J. S. Lunt” appears on the published crew lists of whale ships departing from New Bedford.  Good+


Price - $75.00

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