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Click on this image to order the book
The book version of James Gammell's life story is now available. Click on this image.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Scrimshaw Engraved by William Gammell

Kim Cox of Corpus Christi, Texas, sent these photos of a scrimshaw engraved by William Gammell, the brother of James Gammell.  (I had to refer to the dictionary for the definition of scrimshaw:  "any of various carved or engraved articles originally made by American whalers usually from baleen or whale ivory.")

This piece was handed down by Kim's grandfather James Bedford Sterns, a grandson of Margaret Jane Gammell (sister of James and William.)  William Gammell and his wife, Jane, had no children, so apparently William's possessions were handed down through his sister's family. 


Scrimshaw engraved by William Gammell
(circa 1848)
Photo by Kim Cox

Thanks to Kim for sending these photos.  The inscription on one side of the scrimshaw reads, "GAMMELL, BROWN, GERAD & FREEMAN."  The inscription on the other side, "TRIP UP THE YUBA CALIFORNIA,"  refers to William's journey to the California Gold Rush. 


Other side of scrimshaw engraved by William Gammell
(circa 1848)
Photo by Kim Cox

Kim's mother, who turns ninety-nine in July 2011, may be able to give us more information about William and the origin of  the scrimshaw.  To learn more about William Gammell, see previous posts dated May 19, May 29, and June 3, 2010.

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