Thursday, October 29, 2009


I had a major setback today. I'd been trying to get rid of a computer virus for 2 days, and called in a tech. The only solution it seems was to re-image my computer, so I may have lost some data and I am using different software programs because we couldn't restore everything exactly as it was. Grrrrr...
Meanwhile, I am onto the topic of scrimshaw, the carving of whalebone or ivory that was a pastime of 19th c. sailors, who would have been called scrimshanders. PETA doesn't have an entry on scrimshaw, but the rules for ownership are listed on Wikipedia. There are plenty of dealers offering scrimshaw on-line, and I learned a lot of new words during my search: bodkins (awls), swifts (reels for winding yarn), and busks (the rigid pieces that fronted corsets). The utilitarian object above tops a cane and is believed to be authentic. It turns out that there are many forgeries out there - referred to as fakeshaw, since the real thing commands a pretty price.

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