An example of scrimshaw art. Photo credit: Rusty Clark | Flickr
Much ado has been made lately about some saucy, 150-year-old artifacts at the otherwise staid Vancouver Maritime Museum.
The museum, which is dedicated to all things seafaring, is currently showing Tattoos & Scrimshaw, an exhibit on the art of the sailor.
Tattoos, now a ubiquitous badge of hipster pride, originated in the West after sailors came back from exotic destinations like Polynesia, where the locals practiced elaborate body art. Meanwhile, scrimshaw refers to ornate carvings made in a whale’s bones or teeth, once a popular pastime on long whaling trips.
Dozens of historic examples of this whale bone art are on display at the museum. And – since sailors will be sailors – quite a few of them are decidedly R-rated, offering peeps at mermaids, visions of distant lovers and other scintillating scenes. Continue reading:
Naughty Whale Bone Art Making Waves in Vancouver