The Robert Minshall Scrimshaw Collection contains more than fifty pieces of antique scrimshaw, decorative or practical objects created by whalers during the nineteenth century. Scrimshaw was made from whale teeth, walrus tusks, skeletal bone, or baleen. Additional materials found on the whaling voyage were also frequently incorporated, including exotic woods, tortoise shell, coconut shells, silver, and more.
The Minshall Collection reflects the many different forms of antique scrimshaw: walking sticks, pie crimpers, ship blocks, rolling pins, spoons, wax stamps, seam rubbers, corset busks, and engraved teeth. These items are currently on display outside the Nickerson Archives reading room, on the lower level of the Wilkens Library. Please stop by and check it out!