In the early 1970s, as a Midshipman at the U.S. Naval Academy, I purchased a number of whale's teeth (it was legal then) from a ship chandlery in New York. At the time, J.P. McNalley's, located at 234 Water St., in lower Manhattan, had barrels full of sperm whale teeth for a dollar or two each. Some of the teeth were very old and had been around since the 19th century. Over the next several years, as a Midshipman and then as a naval officer on destroyers and cruisers in the Pacific Fleet, I engraved many of the teeth as gifts for family and friends. This is one I did for my sister in 1985. She just recently asked me to make a base for it. The base is turned ebony with an ivory inset.
Copy and photos supplied by David Crisalli.