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Captain Albert Wood? (1813-1884) 1840's Sperm Whale Tooth Nantucket

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    Posted 10 years ago

    (31 items)

    This is a neat old large tooth i found last weekend at a local estate sale. This was the first item i noticed sitting in the showcase and everyone thought it was a piece of wood so i turned it over and saw it was not wood but ivory and measures over 5"inches long and would have been probably 8"-9"inches long before it was cut off. The tooth also has what appears to be rope marks or burns from the battle. One of the relatives of the lady who owned it said they took it to the university of washington and was told it was an old whale tooth. The bottom was marked in pencil Capt. Wood. The estate belonged to Rosemary Wood and i purchased a camera at this same estate with an insurance paper with a slip that must have been her dads who was Carl Wood. I did a quick google search and the only Captain Wood i found was The one from Nantucket who lived from 1813-1884 and had an amazing encounter with a large sperm whale that almost killed him and killed the boat steerer. There was a book written about it. It basically said he kept one of the teeth from this whale as a souvenir of the battle that almost killed him. I am assuming that this could be the tooth from the whale he speaks about in his journal and the odds that it is marked Capt. Wood on the bottom and the fact that the estate it came from the ladies name was Rosemary Wood and Her dad? Was Carl Wood. I should probably figure out how to do some family research online to see if i can make the connection to Albert Wood as that would probably make this tooth even more valuable. If anyone has any clue how to research family records to try to connect these people please let me know.

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    1. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 10 years ago
      I live around boats & know the difference between the pointed end & the dull end. These teeth would make a good design for the whale boats gunnel or "pointed end" as you would wrap your line around the base & if things got to "hairy", you would let it slip up so that it could come off & run free. That would explain the rope burns & it would have been mounted deep in the gunnel so that it would be easier to cut off for a souvenir than dig out. Last whaler down here died so I can't ask but he told me a lot.
    2. MattyG MattyG, 10 years ago
      Try submitting your story to History Detectives
      Sounds interesting enough to me
    3. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 10 years ago
      You have the picture & can dump my idea on them. It's T'Giving, I've worked all day on flying machines & burned out. Plus, I'm not real good at PC's. I got an interview on tape of the last whaler I knew in the early 90's & he was in his 90's then. I gave it to the historical/hysterical society on the island of St. Eustatius back then. I may have a copy.
      If I pursue this, I will have to be another day. I knew an Amer. slave when a child but seems to generate no interest because it doesn't include whipping & all that stuff that people seem to want to hear.
    4. Furee65, 10 years ago
      Thank you guys for the helpful info. I did submit this story to The history detectives as you suggested so we will see what they think and if they can make the connection to it belonging to Albert Wood. I will keep you posted if the reply to my message.
    5. walksoftly walksoftly, 10 years ago
      Do you know the name of the woman that the estate belonged to.
      I found a Albert & Harriet Wood in Nantucket (he was a mariner), they had a son named Charles Albert, born in 1841 & married Hellen Anna Carrol in Nantucket on Aug. 16, 1879.
      Carl may have been what he went by, as it is a variant of Charles.
      Helen A Carrol Wood died, Oct. 24, 1900, in Easton Massachusetts
    6. Furee65, 10 years ago
      The ladies name was Rosemary T. Wood and she was 87 or 89 years old when she passed.
    7. walksoftly walksoftly, 10 years ago
      Was Rosemary a Wood, or did she marry into the family?
      If she recently died, she would have been born in the twenties, Carl must have been her Grandfather, if I have the right family line.
      I have limited access to US records, not sure if I can be of much more help.
      Where did she live?
    8. Furee65, 10 years ago
      I believe she was a Wood and she lived in Bothell,Washington. She was also a noted senior artist of the northwest and was involved in some of the local art workshops that Dale Chihuley started and I also overheard she was a private pilot for years. She seemed like an interesting person. Thanks again for being very helpful with your research.
    9. jtwood, 9 years ago
      Captain Albert Wood was my great, great, great grandfather.
    10. ho2cultcha ho2cultcha, 8 years ago
      i think that this must be the tip of a very large tooth, but it looks like it's partially fossilized - like the ones found under arctic ice. i've bought pieces of fossilized mammouth tusk to make jewelry and this has the same patina.
    11. ho2cultcha ho2cultcha, 8 years ago
      what is the size of this? a sperm whale tooth shouldn't be much more than 10 cm - i think.
    12. ho2cultcha ho2cultcha, 8 years ago
      never mind, i found some which were over 5 inches long - including the root, which yours doesn't have.

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