0118 This is an American double-flued whaling iron. One face of the flat tapering boss with chamfered corners is deeply stamped by the maker A G SNELL. Opposite side shows evidence of ship’s markings but they are so fragmentary as to be entirely unreadable. Head about 4 in. in length and 4 in. between the rear points. OA length 36 1/4 in. The iron has much black paint, probably old, and there is evidence of use with the the tip of the head blunted and the cutting edges “chewed”. There is very little pitting of the metal. Despite the noted flaws of the head the condition is Good. Dates from the 1830’s or 1840’s.
Alden G. Snell was a New Bedford blacksmith who worked alone between 1836 and the mid 1840’s. He then teamed up with Henry N. Dean to form the firm of Snell & Dean which was in business between 1852 and 1856.
From the Robert Hellman Whaling Collection with description and notes from his data base.