Item WC7 - Whale Toggle Harpoon. 

The principle tool of the post-1850 Yankee whaling, this form of harpoon was credited as being the favorite harpoon type, and has been heralded as the most important technological advancement in the days of hand thrown harpoons.  The main feature is a harpoon point and barb that swivel inside the whale’s skin and blubber to greatly reduce the likelihood of the harpoon pulling out once set.  This style was first created by a black smith, Lewis Temple, working in New Bedford about 1850.  Actually Temple conceived the idea after talking with Whalers returning from whale hunts in the Seas of Okhotsk and Bering in the late 1840s where they had seen Eskimos using toggle harpoons made of walrus ivory.  In fact the ideal of a toggling harpoon had been used by these natives for nearly 2000 years, so Temple’s invention was really not new at all.  This example has a harpoon head that is nearly 7 ½ inches long, with the two barbs rising 2 inches above the base of the head’s length.  It is at least partially hand forged, and likely dates from the later 1800s.  I has received a fairly old coat of black paint, and seems not to have been marked by maker, ship, or harpooner.  It is in nice condition.  The head is peened to a cross rivet and revolves around the faxture..  The shaft is made of iron and has a diameter of about 7/16”.  At the tail end the shaft is forge welded to a hollow socket that is 6 ½” long.  The open edges of the forged socket have been forge welded closed at the terminal end of the socket.  The socket is partially packed with the corroded end of a former wooden pole that served the harpoon’s shaft,  A crudely drilled hole for a fixing screw or nail has been bored in one side of the socket.  The overall length of the harpoon is about 37 inches, which is about average for this type of harpoon.  It is a nice original relic of a bygone day.  Fine







                Price -  $400.00

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