Friday, January 14, 2011


Co-Collections Management Fellow Monica and I arrived here in June and started photographing and labeling objects in the museum's collection. We've sorted through trade signs, folk art and equipment used to make maple syrup. (I'm positive we'll be blogging about some of those projects in the near future.)

Right now, however, I'm currently thinking back to my work on the scrimshaw collection in August. I also recently heard that one of the newest food trends for 2011 is pie--all different types. Seriously! Cupcakes were the popular food of the past few years, but now that it's a NEW year we might turning to a NEW food trend, and that thought leads me straight back to the museum's collection. Here's a little sample that I've picked out for today:

So...what is it?

37.1-28: Scrimshaw Jagging Wheel

Scrimshaw itself is a pretty fascinating art form: the term refers to artistic and utilitarian carvings made by whalers when they were on long trips at sea. Whalers usually created scrimshaw with whale teeth or bone. Sometimes the carvings were just decorative, and other times they could actually be used for something, like this particular example. This photo shows a completely hand-carved pie crimper, or "jagging wheel," made from whale bone. The fluted edges of the wheel made decorative cuts in pie dough or pastry. It's just like a modern pastry cutter, only WAY more elaborate and stylish. Very trendy, right?

We're all about forging ahead at Shelburne Museum. So, let's hear it for 2011, scrimshaw, and pie.


  1. That is super trendy--the prize gift at a white elephant gift exchange! Thanks for sharing, Fran!

  2. Thank you, Fran and Monica, for reciprocating my thoughts about television with your knowledge of the Shelburne Museum collection!