DescriptionLARGE SPERM WHALE TOOTH
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.
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