Walrus Tusk - Scrimshaw (after 1820)
41.8 x 4.6 cm
KINCM:2005.2352.2, Hull Maritime Museum

A pair of decorated walrus tusks, both with hols at their tip for suspension. At the top of the left tusk, a woman is wearing a wide-brimmed hat, below her a Highland man wears plaid and a bonnet. The figure at the base is wrapped in a robe, and plays the harp. Etched at the top of the right hand tusk are flowers in a highly ornamental vase, above a harpist playing in a pastoral landscape, followed by a knight and lady, with a woman holding a child at the base. The illustrations are believed to have inspired by characters from Sir Walter Scott’s Ivanhoe (1820) and Lady Rowena (1820) and would most likely have been copied from, or inspired by later prints.  Scott’s writings were also a key source of inspiration for Turner, who provided a series of watercolours for the 1831 edition of Scott’s Poetical Works.

Figure 1

Fig. 1: The Whale on Shore

Scott’s 1822 novel The Pirate provided inspired for Turner’s small watercolour, The Whale on Shore (c.1837), a highly detailed depiction of a stranded whale on one of the Orkney isles.

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Credit: Images are courtesy of the Hull Maritime Museum