Scrimshaw Tooth with Man, Woman, Patriotic Symbols

zoomable artifact image here

Description

Sperm whale tooth with finely engraved pin-pricked vignette showing a young couple in parlor, above which is inscribed "Fanny placed a ringlet in the Locket that/ she hung around the neck of Chapman Heartly."  The image illustrates a scene in "The Wedded Wanderer; or, The Soldier's Fate" (London, 1827), a novel by the British playwright and novelist William Leman Rede (1802-1847), but it does not appear in the 1827 edition of the book itself. 

On reverse side is another pin-pricked engraving showing a triumphant American eagle in clouds, holding a banner with the motto "E PLURIBUS UNUM" (copied from another illustration).  Federal shield has red stripes.  This vignette is framed in elaborate geometric border.  Base of tooth is decorated with more elaborate geometric imagery, including sawtooth, swag and checkerboard patterns.