Two Whale Bone Canes with Bird Hand Holds
Unknown Maritime Carvers
Whale Bone, Tooth, Baleen & Bamboo
31 1/4” & 33 1/2”
1,350- & 1,900-
The 31 1/4” cane to viewer’s left having a well carved whale bone raptor as a hand hold. Believe the shaft to be a bamboo or a similar cellular structured plant based material. The tip with a brass ferrule which is open on the bottom revealing the vessels of the wood shaft. Bamboo being one of the few light weight woods where these water channels can be ascertained without magnification. Condition: Generally fine with two tight cracks to hand hold. A 1 1/4” line extending from below the bird’s neck to the base of the bone. Both lines clearly visible in images . The other 1 3/4” crack below the bird’s tail feathers is contained and does not extend to the base nor the tail tip. Neither crack reveals separation and appears only as a darkened thin line. The handle with a rich even patina. The shaft with possibly the original finish having areas of the oxidized sealer showing loss and wear. The color is little affected from a viewing at a short distance. The wood in fine condition.
The 33 1/2” cane to viewers right with a carved whale’s tooth formed as a dove perched on a baleen washer separating the bird from the whale bone shaft. This cane unlike the other example, quite heavier than one would expect who is not familiar with similar carvings (myself included) . Surprising the shaft is undamaged as the hand hold shows handling yet the shaft which could be easily snapped with a rich even patina without any breaks, cracks, nor restoration. The handle too with a rich aged surface.