S/2424 Antique 19th Century Bone and Steel Folding Cut Throat Razor
An extremely interesting bone and steel folding cut throat razor, decorated on both sides with a whaling scene. The razor is stamped and made by Joseph Rodgers and Sons, No. 6 Norfolk St. Sheffield (cutlers to His Majesty).
On one side there are depicted two whales, on the left a grey whale (eschrichtius robustus), and the other is a sperm whale (physeter macrocephalus). Both were hunted extensively in the 18th/19th centuries, because they were relatively slow swimmers and would float when killed (instead of sinking). Both of them provided good oil (spermaceti) in there heads. Under this is engraved W.Wells Hull.
The reverse side depicts a whaling ship in full sale and a boat with figures that have harpooned a whale, that looks like a generic whale and could be any type. Albeit likely a sperm whale, grey whale or right whale, which were the main species hunted. It could also be a bowhead whale and probably not does not depict any specific whale by the artist.
Genuine scrimshaw is difficult to find, and we do not have any doubt that this is completely genuine and the work of a talented sailor on a whaling ship from Hull, a major whaling port in the 19th century. W. Wells was possibly the name of the captain.
Blade open: 9.50 in. (24 cm.)
6 in. (15 cm.) Wide
1 in. (2.5 cm.) Deep
English Circa 1820