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   Back to London declines as a whaling port

An engraved tooth of a sperm whale.

An engraved tooth of a sperm whale.
An engraved tooth of a sperm whale.
© National Maritime Museum, London
Description: A sperm whale's tooth engraved on one side with a view of a sailor climbing a ship's rigging in a storm, in a squared frame with anchors at the top corners. Inscribed below: “The Sailor Boy/Though the strained mast should quiver as a reed,/And the rent canvas fluttering strew the gale,/Still must I on...Byron”. On the reverse side an engraved portrait of a lady in a low cut dress. Her lips and cheeks engraved in a red stipple. “MISS O'NEILL/IN THE CHARACTER OF BELVIDERA” (the actress Eliza O'Neill, Eliza (1791-1872). These scenes would have been copied from prints probably some time after Miss O’Neill’s retirement from the stage in 1819. This piece of scrimshaw is associated with William Tolley Brookes, commander of the whaler Active in the late 1830’s.
Creator: Unknown
Date: c. 1830
Credit line: National Maritime Museum
National Maritime Museum/Royal Observatory GreenwichNew Opportunities Fund 
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