Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice

    Description

    LARGE SPERM WHALE TOOTH
    Physeter macrocephalus
    South Pacific

    The Sperm Whale is a fascinating creature; holding the records both for being the largest toothed animal and for having the largest brain of any animal. Reaching lengths of over 65 feet and able to dive up to 9800 feet to the depths of the ocean, it feeds on many different prey, including the Giant Squid, using its massive jaws lined with these large sharp teeth. Hunting of Sperm Whales began in the early 1700's and ended (officially) in the 1980's. Valued for their blubber oil and their spermaceti (waxy buoyancy liquid found in the head) for industrial uses and precious ambergris for use as a fixative in perfumery, their teeth were usually kept as souvenirs or used for the decorative marine carvings known as scrimshaw. This impressive specimen was from the collection of Captain John S. Dorman (1819-1902); Master of the 301-ton whaling ship Balaena out of New Bedford, Massachusetts. The tooth is believed to have been collected during Captain Dorman's second voyage, between October 5th, 1858 and July 26th, 1863, while whaling between the Galapagos Islands and the coast of Chile. It is in pristine condition with a fine tip and good hollow root cavity, and measures 6 5/8 inches along the outside curve. The specimen comes with provenance documentation and a display describing the life of Captain Dorman and the origin of the tooth.
    This Lot is accompanied by complete documentation allowing it to be sold within the United States; it is important to note however that it cannot be exported outside of the United States.


    Condition Report*: Condition report available upon request.
    *Heritage Auctions strives to provide as much information as possible but encourages in-person inspection by bidders. Statements regarding the condition of objects are only for general guidance and should not be relied upon as complete statements of fact, and do not constitute a representation, warranty or assumption of liability by Heritage. Some condition issues may not be noted in the condition report but are apparent in the provided photos which are considered part of the condition report. Please note that we do not de-frame lots estimated at $1,000 or less and may not be able to provide additional details for lots valued under $500. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions of Auction.

    Shipping, Taxes, Terms and Bidding
    This item cannot be shipped using standard methods. Please contact us for more information.

    Sales Tax information  |  Terms and Conditions

    Bidding Guidelines and Bid Increments

    Glossary of Terms

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2011
    12th Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 9
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,780

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $14) per lot.

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    VIEW BENEFITS
    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
      winnings 
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Only 19 days left to consign to the 2019 March 9 - 10 Fine & Fine & Decorative Arts Signature Auction - Dallas!

    Learn about consigning with us

    Thank you for the wonderful job Heritage did with promotion of this piece. So appreciative.
    Laura I.,
    Tulsa, OK
    View More Testimonials

    HA.com receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source: Similarweb.com)

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search

    Recent auctions

    2014 November 21 Tiffany, Lalique & Art Glass Signature Auction
    2014 November 21 Tiffany, Lalique & Art Glass Signature Auction
    REALIZED $1,441,296
    2014 November 17 American Art Signature Auction
    2014 November 17 American Art Signature Auction
    REALIZED $6,712,638
    2014 November 14 American Indian Art , Pre-Columbian, & Tribal Art Signature Auction
    2014 Nov 14 American Indian Art, Pre-Columbian & Tribal Art Auction
    REALIZED $441,524
    2014 November 8 Modern & Contemporary Art Signature Auction
    2014 November 8 Modern & Contemporary Art Signature Auction
    REALIZED $5,683,719
    2014 November 6 Silver & Vertu Signature Auction
    2014 November 6 Silver & Vertu Signature Auction
    REALIZED $439,980
    2014 October 18 The Belo Collection of Texas Art Signature Auction
    2014 October 18 The Belo Collection of Texas Art Signature Auction
    REALIZED $624,835
    2014 October 16 Photographs Signature Auction
    2014 October 16 Photographs Signature Auction
    REALIZED $824,108
    2014 September 28 Nature & Science Signature Auction
    2014 September 28 Nature & Science Signature Auction
    REALIZED $1,089,341
    2014 Sept 13-14 Gentleman Collector Signature Estate Auction
    2014 Sept 13-14 Gentleman Collector Signature Estate Auction
    REALIZED $1,725,292
    2018 October 12 Illustration Art - Dallas
    2018 October 12 Illustration Art - Dallas
    REALIZED $1,745,893