September 24, 2021


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Mittler’s Eye For Scrimshaw Drives Eldred’s Marine Art Sale – Antiques and the Arts Online

This striking, scrimshaw-carved whale's tooth by W.L. was the top lot at the auction. Roderick durin.......

This striking, scrimshaw-carved whale’s tooth by W.L. was the top lot at the auction. Roderick during the middle of the Nineteenth Century. The carving is inscribed along the bottom with “In Shore Whaling the Death”. It depicts a whaling scene that includes a whaleship and four whaleboats, as well as an island. On the tip of the tooth, the inscription “The Tooth of Sperm Whale Captured February 30, 1855” is written. It’s also signed lower right with “W.L.” Roderick. The estimated price of $40/60,000 seemed fair. It was priced at $30,000 and sold at a strong $180,000 to the buyer.

Jackie Sideli reviews, Catalog Photos Courtesy Eldred

EAST DENNIS MASS. Robert C. Eldred Co. held a marine art auction on October 15. It featured the legendary scrimshaw collection by Thomas Mittler. Nina Hellman, a Nantucket dealer, published a book about it.

Hellman and Mittler met at the Winnetka antiques fair in Illinois. The renowned dealer assisted Mittler with his collection. Hellman stated just before the auction that it would be an interesting sale.

Jennifer Lacker (right), conservator and appraiser, heads Eldred’s gallery in Mystic.

The Mittler collection had 60 lots at the auction. All the remainder will go to two separate auctions in 2017. The sale included yachting items from Robert Tiedemann, Newport, R.I. and several owners. After the auction ended, Frank spoke briefly with Stuart Frank, New Bedford Whaling Museum curator, and said that “Eldreds did …….