Scrimshaw art

DEFINITION

One of the oldest folk arts in America, it refers to any carving or etching by a whaleman, and was a common pastime in the 18th and 19th Century. Often it was carving on ivory such as tusks. The origin of the name is not verified, but perhaps comes from the words "scrimp" to save and "shaw" to saw, or there is the British word "scrimshanker", meaning a time waster. Scrimshaw art did not become popular or collectible until it became known that President John F. Kennedy was a collector. The earliest known scrimshaw artist was Edward Burdett. Also known is N.S. Finney. Source: http://www.theantiquesalmanac.com/scrimshaw.htm

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