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Bear

Turtle Shell Art

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Hello,

Anyone ever seen something like this? I think its a turtle shell thats two feet long and sixteen inches wide.

thanks,

barry

Edited by Bear

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I have never seen anything like it. Are the images engraved or in ink?

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Turtle art was common in the late 1800's and early 1900's. Turtle shells were made into hairbrush handles, combs, shoe horns, you name it. Turtle soup and turtle stew were popular meals along the sea board states.

Of course now most turtles, especially the sea turtles like Kemps Ridley are endangered species.

I would guess that this artifact is from the centennial celebration . . .again it's just a guess.

Is a turtle without a shell naked or homeless? I'm sorry, . . . . . I had to say that :D

Edited by mott5ranch

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Odd Confederate flags up top and Lincoln lower left. It's remarkably well done by somebody who was no amateur.

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Turtle art was common in the late 1800's and early 1900's. Turtle shells were made into hairbrush handles, combs, shoe horns, you name it. Turtle soup and turtle stew were popular meals along the sea board states.

Of course now most turtles, especially the sea turtles like Kemps Ridley are endangered species.

I would guess that this artifact is from the centenial celebration . . .again it's just a guess.

Is a turtle without a shell naked or homeless? I'm sorry, . . . . . I had to say that :D

Homeless... nope.

I am sure that they found him a nice can shaped house

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Turtle art was common in the late 1800's and early 1900's. Turtle shells were made into hairbrush handles, combs, shoe horns, you name it. Turtle soup and turtle stew were popular meals along the sea board states.

Of course now most turtles, especially the sea turtles like Kemps Ridley are endangered species.

I would guess that this artifact is from the centenial celebration . . .again it's just a guess.

Is a turtle without a shell naked or homeless? I'm sorry, . . . . . I had to say that :D

Tortoiseshell came from the scales covering the shell of the larger sea turtles, not the shell itself, which is bone.

Barry's impressive piece of scrimshaw is on the bone itself.

Barry, what is the lining of the shell? It looks like the vestigial vertebraeandc ribs were removed.

Edited by Tom Y

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Hello,

It is lightly engraved with I guess ink rubbed in the cuts. The underside has some sort of mortar painted on it. I've been looking around the web for another example but can't find any.

thanks,

barry

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My guess is ..... it is a Southern Centennial piece . . . .I would guess the shell came from a Southern coastline in 1876. Thus the reason for the Confederate flag in the back ground. The war of Northern aggression was not that long ago in 1876 and Southern pride was alive and well (even today :D 200 years plus ).

It's just a guess . . .but I bet I am "spot on" as our Aussie friends would say.

Edited by mott5ranch

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Anyone care to guess what it might be worth. :rolleyes: I found it at a garage sale and paid $20 for it around five years ago. It's been in my attic ever since. Here are some more pics

thanks,

barry

Abe

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If it is turtle, I am not sure sale would be allowed these days. Like ivory.

You may need some expert opinion document establishing that it predates the ban on trade in pieces of endangered species' bodies.

Edited by Ed_Haynes

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Notice the name on the steamboat . . . . Again I guess it is from a Southern coastline state and it is a centennial piece

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A very impressive piece, I have seen turtle shell used as a display piece, but not the engraved bone. It would be difficult to put a price on it, really would only appeal to a small market I would imagine. There are people who collect scrimshaw, so it may be a valuable historical piece or just a curio.

Regards;

Johnsy

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The art work is photographic on the little scenes. From the initials "J.A." under the wagon and the name on the workshop, I'd suggest looking for an artist named "J. Adams."

It is so incredibly well done I would almost wonder if it is a MOCK piece, like the synthetic scrimshaw sold these days. If it is not, then that is a magnificent piece of work indeed.

When's "Antiqques Roadshow" next your way? :catjava:

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Well according to Toms link, someone has a matching piece, I must admit I'm very sceptical, IMO its too well rendered to be a period piece, stick a hot needle in it, the smell will say if its bone or plastic (or cast resin) the back looks like plaster of paris or something similar. Difficult without having it in hand but....

Regards,

Pete

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Hello Pete,

I also noticed that :speechless: I don't think its plastic so its either real or resin. I think that we have a taxidermist in town and I might try and find him. He would probably know if its turtle bone or something else. Here is a picture of a break.

thanks,

barry

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Sorry, can't tell a thing from the pic.

I'll stick with Rick's idea..

MOCK turtle!

Pete

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It looks like bone to me . . .and a turtle shell is basicly bone. I think the interior is some sort of old plaster that has become darker with age like grout on buildings and between old tiles.

I'd have an expert look at this before I'd call it fake or MOCK. Sure it's possible, but the cracks in the shell around the drawings or etchings looks like cracks I've seen on other bleached out bone fragments. And like Rick said, the details in the etchings are very well done, it may be a MOCK shell and it may not.

I just have a feeling it's a real centennial piece.

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Yup: either the one or the other. But if this guy was a big name for this kind of work, I think I'd shop around before taking the first offer to "do you a favor and make your money back."

Now if there's a website selling these by the gross, that's one thing. But a commercially available replica ought to be findable by those of you with googleskills. If not........

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