the grey lady’s skein holders

if you find yourself celebrating memorial day in nantucket (aka the grey lady) this weekend, do check-out the nantucket whaling museum — the exhibits give an excellent dip into history of the island and the whaling industry (a sad chapter in human history that i am very glad to see closed).

a small room on the second floor, houses a collection of scrimshaw (objects made out of whale bone mainly during the 18-19th centuries) curiosities that set my heart aflutter.  amongst this collection, i spotted the most exquisite skein holders that i’ve ever seen.   i hastily took a few images on my iphone, as i didn’t have a proper camera handy. the workmanship on these antique holders is remarkable, with each piece intricately carved, assembled, and mounted to a wooden pedestal.  some of these skein holders had been presented as wedding presents and bear the monogram of the couple.

as i’m re-visiting these objects, i find myself both mesmerised by the beauty of these skein holders from a time when knitting was less of a hobby and more of necessity, but am at the same time highly aware of the cost in terms of pain inflicted on a living mammal that these relics represent.

pondering for memorial day . . .

– Vandermeer

Nantucket Whaling Museum
11 Broad St
Nantucket, Massachusetts
(508) 228-1894

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