Property of various owners
A large and impressive mounted scrimshaw double swift
American, early 19th century
with a spool cup at the top, the swift is made up of 96 large stays made of whalebone. 32 of these are double split-stays, making a total of 128 stays. All of the outer stays are riveted with silver studs in 3 places and each of the double stays is reinforced with a silver rivet at the slot to prevent splitting. The ties joining the stays are silk ribbons, the cage collars, clamp and cup finial are decoratively turned and scribed whale tooth ivory. The central shaft is of whalebone as is the large pedestal atop the box, affixed with internal screws. Mounted atop its original sewing box is constructed of mahogany with all knobs, finials and fittings made of polished whalebone, including the four ball feet. The stand has two drawers, the lower drawer is hand cut dovetail construction. The topmost panel with bone pedestal opens revealing 7 bobbins which held spools of thread feeding through the circular bone eyelets through which the thread was dispensed.
30 x 27 in. (76.2 x 68.5 cm.) the swift - height x diameter; 13 x 10-1/2 x 10 in. (33 x 26.6 x 25.4 cm.) the box.
US$ 6,000 - 8,000
£4,000 - 5,300
4,700 - 6,200
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