EAST DENNIS, MASS. – Leading Eldred’s 441-lot August 13 Marine Sale at $118,750 was an 8-inch scrimshaw whale’s tooth by master scrimshander Edward Burdett (1805-1833), presumably executed during his November 1829 to February 1833 tenure aboard the whaling ship William Tell. The tooth is engraved with the artist’s and ship’s name, and features the vessel to both sides: one side with a scene of the ship in open water and the other a whaling scene with smaller whaleboats encircling a surfaced sperm whale.
The tooth came from the collection of Sam & Donna McDowell and sold to a private collector.
A Burdett tooth set an auction record for scrimshaw at Eldred’s in 2017 when it sold for $456,000. Both that example and the present tooth were carved aboard the William Tell.
Watch for a full review in a future issue.