08 September 2010

New England Scrimshaw

When I was still in high school, I bought a wonderful scrimshaw tie clip while on a family vacation on Cape Cod. I loved that thing, and for all these years I've worn it often (see it worn to great effect here, as well as in many other past blog posts). Then, alas, one day I lost it. It was the day of my "Live Appearance" at Raspberry Beret. It was hot that day, so I brought my jacket and tie with me. I put the old tie bar in the pocket of my vintage charcoal grey slacks. Unfortunately, vintage slacks frequently come with vintage holes, this time in the right hand pocket. I stopped off to get o.j. for the mimosas, and I never saw the old piece again. Enter Originals by Pierce & Co., of Littleton Massachusetts, just across the bay from New Bedford...you know, like in Moby Dick.

Flush from the sale of some of my own brand of "well curated vintage Americana", I ran a Google search for "scrimshaw tie clip", or something. I wound up at the Pierce website, a website so quaint in its very 1997-ness that I was immediately reminded of the pleasant experience I had a while back with Arrow Moccasins. They offer a wide range of scrimshaw products, from knives to jewelry, to carved teeth, and even a really killing shaving set. Pieces are made to order. Everything they make can be done on shed antler (i.e. antlers naturally shed by the animal and later gathered in the woods), which is what I opted for, or for a bit more on fossil ivory (i.e. old ivory found in Alaska). You get to pick the design, and they even do custom work. My piece arrived a scant two weeks after placing the order, a mere $28 shipped. Seriously.
It arrived in a small jewelry box lined in cotton with this business card sized certificate of authenticity. Usually, such certificates are totally bogus, but in this case it's the icing on the cake.

The back of the card offers a lovely write up of the kind lady who actually made this thing.
I could get all descriptive and flowery, but I won't, because I don't have to. Buy something from these people now. You won't be disappointed. Take my word for it.


11 comments:

A. Monkee said...

A tie clip in high school? Really, now. My own sartorial apex in high school were studded leather jackets and death metal band shirts.

spoozyliciouzz said...

This is one hell of a tie clip!

Real craftmanship can´t be underrated these times, even more so when the ones creating such art supposedly love what they do.

Thornproof said...

You find some of the best old-fashioned suppliers! I have to say that Pierce & Co has quite an interesting selection. Being a regular bar guy, I like the look of their wine knife but the box of mini-dominoes has to be the best.

Cheers!

james at 10engines said...

found these guys a few weeks ago too but even though not "whale teeth" have slight nagging feeling that it perpetrates some kind of "want" against the old whale. btw new camera? deep down want one though... something primal about scrimshaw.

Main Line Sportsman said...

Love the new tag-line. Sorry about losing that nice piece...know the feeling.

Greg said...

That's beautiful - a true New England craft! I also appreciate the fact that no animals were harmed in the making of the product. I just have one question - how do you pick the design? The images on the site are all squares - so am I right to assume the artist just takes a look at the square and then decides how to put it on the much longer tie clip?

Anonymous said...

A bit unrelated, but you did call the dirty-bucks trend.

http://streetetiquette.com/2010/08/24/summer-etiquette-suede-bucks/

-Paul

Giuseppe said...

Paul,

I guess I did.

Laguna Beach Trad said...

Very nice. Shed Antler sounds nice, but rather common. I'm sure Cut Antler is what I would prefer.

Anonymous said...

Dude, really. You should call this blog An Awful Wardrobe.

Giuseppe said...

Feel free not to read it.