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Friday, 19 June 2015 11:46

An Important Scrimshaw Collection Goes on View at the Mystic Seaport

Mystic Seaport. Mystic Seaport. Wikimedia Commons

Collecting scrimshaw is a dicey hobby, given the prevalence of forgeries in the field — plastic resin copies are known as fakeshaw.

The welding supply magnate Thomas Mittler, who died in 2010 at 67, bought whale bone and tooth carvings with the guidance of scholars and dealers, including Nina Hellman, who owns a marine antiques store on Nantucket. Her new book, “Through the Eyes of a Collector: The Scrimshaw Collection of Thomas Mittler,” was published by Charlotte Mittler, the widow of Mr. Mittler; he had long planned to commission a publication about his hundreds of acquisitions.

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