Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Harpoon Head Repairs Finished

Two antler harpoon heads and two
ivory harpoon heads
The three harpoon heads that I set out to make and/or repair on Monday are finished now.  The missing endblade on the complete Dorset harpoon is part of a larger order, so I'll hold on to that for the time being, but I can contact the owners of the other two harpoon heads and make the delivery arrangements.  I'd like to hang on to the fresh ivory harpoon head for a few days just to be certain that it is stable.  A freshly carved ivory surface is prone to cracking if its not treated carefully.  I coated the harpoon head in mineral oil overnight at various stages and now that it is done, I've added another mineral oil coating.  The oil should help mitigate the swelling and cracking as the new surfaces react to their new temperature, humidity, and pressure.

The new harpoon head is shown here alongside the broken one that it is replacing.

This is an Inuit style toggling harpoon head for seal hunting.  It is made from walrus ivory for the body, iron for the blade, and brass for the rivet to hold the blade in place.

This is a Dorset Palaeoeskimo harpoon head reproduction with a tip fluted endblade.  It is made from antler and Newfoundland chert.

Two of the harpoon heads are part of complete harpoons.  The one in the upper right corner is another Dorset Palaeoeskimo harpoon head that was given a replacement endblade.  I don't have the complete Inuit harpoon, but the client sent along the ivory foreshaft so that I could ensure that the replacement harpoon head fits.

Photo Credits: Tim Rast

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