Sperm whale teeth

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MFA Acc. #: 2003.349

Description

Large, blunt conical teeth obtained from the sperm whale, Physeter macrocephalus or Physeter catadon. Sperm whale teeth were used for decorative scrimshaw as well as small functional items, such as buttons, combs, and gaming pieces.

Synonyms and Related Terms

sperm whale tooth

Sperm whale

Other Properties

UV autofluorescence is usually white or blue but may occasionally be yellowish.

Contain well-marked concentric lines.

Sources Checked for Data in Record

  • Benjamin Burack, Ivory and Its Uses, Charles E. Tuttle and Co., Vermont, 1984
  • Hermann Kuhn, Conservation and Restoration of Works of Art and Antiquities, Butterworths, London, 1986
  • Hermann Kuhn, Conservation and Restoration of Works of Art and Antiquities, Butterworths, London, 1986
  • Oppi Untracht, Jewelry Concepts and Technology, Doubleday & Co., Inc., New York City, 1985