Scrimshaw with Sailor design

KINCM:2005.2340, Hull Maritime Museum
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Perhaps unsurprisingly, sailors and other naval imagery were popular motifs on scrimshaw, since many whalers were ex navy themselves. Here a typical British tar stands one arm raised in celebration, the other proudly holding a naval white Ensign. The colours are particularly prominent. To get this effect, whalers employed paint, lamp-black, tobacco juice, berries and sometimes tar in a method similar to the tattooing.

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Credit: Images are courtesy of the Hull Maritime Museum