This elegant sewing etui is carved of whale tooth ivory. The grain pattern is very distinctive. Sperm whaling was the primary industry of the Azores until the 20th century when it was finally abolished. The Scrimshaw Museum there presents a collection of whale and sperm whale teeth which have been sculptured by the skillful hands of the fishermen of the Island.
The outside is engraved and scrimshawed with "Ste Maris, Açôres". This is Santa Maria Island in the Azores, a Portuguese territory. It unscrews and inside is a thread bobbin over a needle case with a thimble on top. The spool and needlecase are also whale ivory and the thimble is elephant ivory. All of the pieces are in excellent condition with no chips, cracks or other damage and the thimble is about an American child's size 4 (12.4 mm diameter opening). The case screws together securely as does the top of the needle case. The case measures 2 1/2" long and 1" in diameter. The exterior case has been exposed to the light and air over the years and has mellowed to a golden color.