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Scrimshaw rattle
A miniature ivory scrimshaw rattle with whistle. Inv. nr. 0400
2015-05-29
Sailors rattle
It is very likely that this ivory rattle was made at sea.
In the past, sailors, merchants and whalers could be at sea for months at a time. During their long travels to America, Asia and Antartica, sailors kept themselves occupied by crafting objects with materials that were readily at hand: (walrus)ivory, bone and whalebone. At first,  they primarily made boardgames, spools and cutlery. Later on, their handiwork also included rattles, teethers and small toys intended for their children at home or for trade.
These sailor-made ivory- and bone objects are also known as ‘scrimshaw’. Scrimshaw rattles - like this one from the Keijser Collection - are very popular amongst collectors today.  This is mainly due to the fact that it is no longer legal to trade ivory, unless the object is over a 100 years old.

Sources:   
Hersey, M. Collecting Baby Rattles and Teethers. Iola 1998: p. 61.

http://www.kovels.com/Price-Guide/Scrimshaw.html

For further information:
See object information Inv. Nr. 0400 and for comparable items: Inv. nr. 0385 t/m Inv. nr. 0400
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