Bringing Early New England ambience into your home decor
Scrimshaw was first practiced by the sailors working on whaling ships out of New England.
Sailors carved designs into whale teeth, while time passed on the voyages that could sometimes take 3, 4, or even 5 years to end. And whale sightings would happen maybe weeks or months apart, so this gave them a way to occupy their time, and take something home to their loved ones when they were on dry land again.
Utilizing the Sperm Whale's teeth, they were small enough to stow away in their sea chest and had no commercial value to the ship's captain. (recycling at it's earliest form)
And in our world today, our whales have "protected status" and so carving into the whale teeth is not something you will find being produced. However, our designs are etched into the oxen horn, affording the same style of art, to enjoy today.
FYI: President John F Kennedy was an avid collector of Scrimshaw.