This sitting polar bear is carved out of a nice piece of walrus ivory with inlaid baleen used for the eyes and nose. It is very nicely detailed, it even has the fur carved in. It is about 2″ tall and almost 3″ long. The piece is signed “NA” it comes from Western Alaska.
Scrimshaw was originally carved or engraved articles made by American whalers usually from baleen or whale teeth and bone. Native Alaskans have been using bone and ivory from walrus, mammoth and other animals for thousands of years as tools, utensils, weapons, and even armor. Today Alaskan artists use these same raw materials in their carvings and other scrimshaw artwork.