This antique scrimshaw tooth is engraved in polychrome on the obverse with a brig flying an American flag and launching pennant, surmounted by a hot air balloon. On the reverse there is a charming full figure portrait of a stylishly attired lady under an arch of leaves with a flower pot above. A band of leaves circles the tooth beneath the flower pot and balloon. This wonderful little gem is attributed to Moses Denning whose work is found at the New Bedford Whaling Museum as well as in several private collections. Many of his pieces bear the same hot air balloon as well as this lady with elaborate hair do, puffy sleeved blouse and holding a reticule. An example may be seen in the Northeast Auction Catalog, Aug. 20, 2006 Lot #809. 5 in. tall, ca. 1840ís, with an old chip at the tip which does not interfere with the engraving.