scrimshaw


1scrim·shaw

verb \ˈskrim-ˌsh\

Definition of SCRIMSHAW

transitive verb
:  to carve or engrave into scrimshaw
intransitive verb
:  to produce scrimshaw

Origin of SCRIMSHAW

origin unknown
First Known Use: circa 1826

2scrimshaw

noun

Definition of SCRIMSHAW

1
:  any of various carved or engraved articles made originally by American whalers usually from baleen or whale ivory
2
:  scrimshawed work
3
:  the art, practice, or technique of producing scrimshaw

First Known Use of SCRIMSHAW

circa 1864

scrimshaw

noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Decoration of bone or ivory objects, such as whale's teeth and walrus tusks, with fanciful designs, traditionally carved by Anglo-American and Native American whale fishermen with a jackknife or sail needle and emphasized with black pigments (e.g., lampblack). Among the traditional subjects are whaling scenes, ships, naval battles, flower bouquets, Masonic emblems, coats of arms, and the Irish harp. The earliest surviving examples date from the late 17th century, but the craft reached its peak in 1830–50. It is still practiced by whalers in Siberia and Alaska.

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