Scrimshaw

Object Number: 
1982.68
Date: 
1840
Medium: 
Ivory
Dimensions: 
Overall: 4 3/8 x 2 1/8 x 1 3/4 in. ( 11.1 x 5.4 x 4.4 cm )
Marks: 
inscribed: obverse, arched over figure: "Don't give up the ship"
Description: 
Whale tooth engraved continously around with the figure of Lady Liberty holding a flag and shield standing with an eagle and cannon on a free-floating dock (?), with an inscription on obverse and a ship flying the American flag sailing away from a lighthouse on a bluff on the reverse.
Gallery Label: 
The phrase inscribed on this scrimshaw, "Don't give up the ship," was coined by Captain James Lawrence (1781-1813) in 1813. Acting against orders during the War of 1812, he engaged his ship, the Chesapeake, against Britain's Shannon. In a battle which lasted about 15 minutes, the Shannon was victorious, and Lawrence was mortally wounded.
Credit Line: 
Gift of Colonel Henry O. Havemeyer
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.
Creative: Tronvig Group