Item SCR10 - Shark Vertebrae and Baleen Pointer.

Back in the day when I was teaching university classes in shark biology, I would have like to have owned this particular teaching tool. I find it interesting for some technical reasons. The cane consists the centra of 72 shark vertebrae that are actually well calcified cartilage. Each centrum has two dorsal an two ventral aperatures filled with dry cartilage. These are the remains of the neural arches above and the haemal arches below the centrum. Strung together this makes a pleasing pattern to the eye. The vertebrae diminish in size from 1/2 diameter to 5/16 diameter from the top of the cane to the bottom. This taper is consistent, although I think one block of 5 vertebrae is out of sequence, but this is hardly notable. It is unusual in my experience to see a cane made of such small vertebrae that are so well calcified. Generally the vertebrae of larger species of sharks are not well calcified until they approach maturity. This is obviously made from a shark species that matures at a small size. Moreover, the degree of calcification suggests that this is not a deep water shark, nor one from high latitudes (where calcium can be wanting. So my guess is that this cane came from a shark like a blacktip Reef shark that is abundant throughout the tropical Pacific and would have been available to any visitor in that region. It would have been caught by a visiting whale ship. The top of the cane is made from a piece of thick black baleen (it could also be the core of a goat horn, but some small insect damage on the head and on the baleen rings decorating the shaft point to baleen. This cane (or lecture pointer) is 21 1/4 long) with a bottom pad of baleen. It could have been made (or used) as a pointer, baton for a conductor, and even as a toy for a child. I like the last option best. Fine

    Price - $255.00

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