1890s carved vegetable ivory measuring tape w stanhope & ship decoration


Made in late 19th century, this diminutive barrel-form measuring tape was carved from Coquille nut or “vegetable ivory,” which is actually the fruit of a Brazilian palm tree. It’s polished to a high luster and both the finish and ship decoration are in good condition except for a whiteish haze near the base.

The overall condition is good with a shallow crack on one side of the barrel and a deeper one in the top that do not compromise the structure. The bright pink measuring tape unrolls and retracts smoothly, and has the original bone ring at the end. The tape is slightly faded, the bone ring is still attached and the tape unrolls and retracts smoothly. “OV/VX” is written in ink on the bottom.

The carved bone (ox or cow) finial contains an intact Stanhope viewer with a multi-scene labeled “Souvenir of the Niagara Falls.” It measures about 1-5/8″ tall and 3/4″ across at the bottom.

Out of stock