Scrimshaw is a lost art from the early part of 19th century created by whalers and sailors. The word Scrimshaw came from a slang expression that was used to refer to anything that was the product of a seaman's irrelevant time, or items that were created while loafing. It could take up to months at a time for a whale sighting and it was during this period sailors would practice their scrimshaw. These teeth are not simply drawn on; they are actually carved into the tooth. It was most popular in the early 1800's, as whaling was at its peak but shortly all but died away after the whaling industry declined. Scrimshaw artists (referred to as Scrimshanders) was reborn again in the mid 1900’s. The re-birth of Scrimshaw has been credited to President John F. Kennedy who was an avid collector of Scrimshaw. He even displayed many of his most cherished pieces of scrimshaw on fossil ivory in the White House. Most of the collector’s interest was primarily focused to the illustrated teeth of the sperm whale, however after the sperm whales as of others were placed on the endangered species list spawned restrictions and low supply. Thus items like fossil ivory were also great canvases for an artist to work. Today, Scrimshaw is still practiced and is highly sought after and collected. These particular pieces are meticulously scrimshawed on exotic South Pacific Megaladon shark’s teeth from New Caledonia by master scrishander Kelly Kennedy.
These white ivory fossil Megalodon teeth were fished up in the south of New Caledonia using a dredge up to a depth of 650 meters (around 1,000 feet!). It was found ~800 miles east of Australia. Many times the dredge would get caught up and they had to leave it at the oceans depth. At this depth it is unreachable with SCUBA gear for recovery. There was also only time for few passes in a day and fewer were being found. This is the only location that produced these colors, which made a perfect canvas for scrimshaw. Dredging has stopped as the French government shut the project down which makes these teeth even more rare. Other sites around the world do produce Megalodon teeth but these are the only ones that can be used for scrimshaw.
Carcharodon Megalodon an extinct shark that could reach lengths to 60 feet and weighed more than 20 tons. Hands Down, this was the largest predatory fish that ever swam the waters of planet Earth. This massive predator ruled the oceans and the question of why this beast died out are still debatable. What happened to this fish that lasted from the beginning of the early Mid-Miocene and lasted until the Pliocene/Pleistocene Period? All that remains from this beast are the teeth and occationally a vertabra is found. Teeth from this shark are highly collectable and they are great investment as they have never declined in value, Ever.
These teeth are 100% guaranteed authentic fossils. The tooth has been polished with lapidary to make it possible to Scrimshaw and to show enhance the rare color of these teeth. Rarely seen in the United States, these original scrimshaw artwork will make a great addition to any fossil collection or art enthusiast.