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12" Whale Tooth Scrimshaw
By - Seaman Jack Sharkey

   We recently received a letter from Mr. Micheal Cobbold from the USA who has in his possession a scrimshaw believed to be of the Marco Polo era. If anyone out there has any further information on this piece please let us know @ marcopolo@new-brunswick.net.
   I have a piece of scrimshaw which I believe is original or at least hope so, of the Marco Polo recording a record breaking run in 1852; a piece created by "Seaman Jack Sharkey". I would love to learn more, confirm the history and eventually find out if the piece is authentic. The information below is a written file of the narrative on the 12 " tooth; and illustrated with various scenes of reefed sails at Cape Horn, and other locations on the return to "Anchored on the Mersey on December 26, 1852".
    For "at-sea" artwork, it is a beautiful piece which perhaps puts its authenticity in question. Perhaps he did it once back on land after recognizing and wishing to document the record passage. Are there other known pieces by "Jack Sharkey"? (The tip of the tooth is engraved to look like a shark's head with teeth.)

Writing on Scrimshaw Ships on Scrimshaw

Clipper Marco Polo
of the
Black Ball Line

1852

"The Fastest Ship in the World"
Liverpool to Melbourne and Back in 5 Months 21 Days

  • October 11, 1852 - 5am Sailed from Hobson's Bay, Melbourne
  • October 17 - Sighted Auckland Isles - 6 Days
  • November 3 - Rounded Cape Horn - 17 Days
  • November 23 - Passed Pernamboco - 20 Days
  • December 25 - Holyhead - 32 Days
  • December 26 - Anchored in the Mersey - 1 Day

(One Way Total: 76 Days)

12" Whale Tooth Scrimshaw   By - Seaman Jack Sharkey

If anyone has any more information on this scrimshaw, please contact: marcopolo@new-brunswick.net

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