Whalebones Worldwide

This is the rather grand title of a project that aims single-handedly to record all the practical and decorative uses to which the huge skulls, jawbones, shoulder blades, vertebrae and ribs of the Blue, Sei, Fin, Right, Minke and Sperm whales have been put anywhere in the world.

These great bones, some of which are the largest of any creature that has ever lived, have been used in all sorts of interesting, unusual and imaginative ways. Jawbone arches are perhaps the best known example, but bones have also been utilised to create elaborate triumphal arches, as gateposts, fencing, boundary markers, cattle-rubbing posts, scrubbing boards, front door steps, bridge balustrades, gravestones, tethering posts for animals, a framework for simple dwellings, foundations for buildings, umbrella stands, chandeliers, railway sleepers, and inn signs; also as seats, stools and benches. They have been displayed inside and outside town halls, castles, houses and churches, in inns, parks, gardens and zoos. They were particularly useful in places where wood was scarce or non-existent. Although they are generally to be found in coastal regions, there are also some far inland, hundreds of kilometres from the sea.




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