Curved plaque made from decorated whale jawbone

Curved plaque made from decorated whale jawbone decorated in Scrimshaw with the inscription, ‘HM Sloop Acorn capturing the Spanish Slaver Gabriel July 6th 1841’.

Scrimshaw is the handiwork of whalers carving decorative designs on bone, tusk or teeth of sperm whales.

This scrimshaw design shows H.M. brig Acorn capturing the Spanish slave ship Gabriel on 6th July 1841. The ship was launched in 1838 and was used by the British Navy as part of their anti-slavery operations. Finding and overpowering slave ships was often a long and dangerous process as the slave ships would either try to outrun or fire repeatedly at the Royal Navy ships. The capture of the Gabriel slave ship took 12 hours.

© Hull Museums

Accession reference: Hull Museums, 2006.2374 (a & b)