Overall: 2 3/4 x 9 1/4 x 1 3/4 in. ( 7 x 23.5 x 4.4 cm )
inscribed: "Ship Swift New Bedford/ Capt. Worth/ 30 months out on the Line June 17, 1860/ This day took an 80 barrel Sperm whale from whose jaw this tooth was taken/ Presented to Herman Melville/ author of Typee & Omoo & by him to E.S. Doolittle Jan 1867-
Scrimshawed sperm whale tooth. One side is inscribed in ink "S.S. Stafford". The other side is inscribed in ink: "Ship Swift New Bedford/Capt Worth/30 months out "On the Line" June 17 1860/This day took an 80 barrel "Sperm Whale" from whose jaw this tooth was taken/Presented by Capt Worth to Herman Melville/author of Typee & Omoo & by him to E.S. Doolittle Jan 1867".
In addition to the noted author Herman Melville, the individuals cited in the inscriptions on this tooth include Albany artist Edwin Stafford Doolittle (1843-1879) and his uncle Samuel Spencer Stafford (1825-1895). In 1887, S.S. Stafford published an article about the whale's tooth in the "Albany Journal," stating that it was then in his possession (June 1, 1887). The donor, Louise Stafford Gilder (1890-1982), was Samuel Stafford's granddaughter.
Gift of Miss Louise Gilder
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.