Object Detail

Whalers often returned from long voyages with eardrums from the whales they caught. This small dense bone that fits into the palm of a hand came from a mature sperm whale of over 20m in length. Seen from a particular angle these bones resemble the profile of a grotesque human face. Sailors would often paint them with faces and hats as souvenirs. Christian Salvasen, a Norwegian company, established an Antarctic whaling business in the early 1900s. The company had offices in Bernard Street, Leith and a large whaling station known as ‘Leith Harbour’, in South Georgia. The company ceased whaling in 1962.
Collection Type
Date Made
Early 20th Century
130 x 80 x 88mm
142 x 60 x 40mm
255 x 94 x 65mm
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Object Type