Price on application

This object is eligible for a Certificate of BADA Provenance

An English Sailor’s Scrimshaw Turned and Carved Whalebone Walking Cane the knop forming a clenched ‘Friendship Fist’ 
Mid 19th Century

Size: 85.5cm long - 33¾ ins long 

Made on board whaling ships during their long sea voyages, sailors mostly made walking canes to sell on their return to their home port to augment their ‘share’. The time spent scrimshawing did not affect their wages as a peculiar form of payment had been established in the whaling industry in that whalers were not paid a regular salary. Instead their pay was based on a pre-set share in the profits. This was called a ‘lay’ and varied from quite a large portion for the captain to almost miniscule shares for a greenhand or inexperienced seaman.


85.5cm long

Stock number

By appointment only