Wives & Sweethearts

Image #4 - Never Meet text
Image #2 - Wives & Sweethearts text
Image #3 - Pacific Wife
Image #1 - New England Wife

Sperm whale tooth is 5.5-inches & 12.3-ounces.

To Our Wives and Sweethearts
Frontside scrimwork depicts a typical Victorian-era New England wife, faithfully & patiently waiting at home for her whaler husband on his 3-year or 4-year long cruise. Original photograph image of Charity Norton found on page 168 of book “Petticoat Whalers – Whaling Wives at Sea, 1820 – 1920”.

May They Never Meet!
Backside scrimwork depicts the “Pacific wife” which often kept house for her whaler “husband”, and occasionally his Pacific children. Original image by Tina White.

All images & text scribed by scrimshander Tina White.

The phrase “To our wives and sweethearts; may they never meet” is actually a drinking toast which was used on English war ships only on Tuesday evenings, as quoted by Russell Crowe in the movie “Master and Commander”. While only a dream of English sailors, it was a reality for many Yankee whalers.

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  1. Ronnie Courtney says:

    ” …. a drinking toast which was used on English war ships only on Tuesday evenings ….”

    Absolutely not! This is the toast offered in British – not English – warships on Saturday nights at sea, and traditionally given by the most junior officer present.

    Ronnie

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