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Martha's Vineyard Museum

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About this artifact

Ambergris is solid, waxy, and flammable. It has a dull gray or black color, and comes from the digestive system of sperm whales. It is likely that the whale produced the ambergris in its intestines and expelled it along with hard objects as a aid to make them pass more easily. Due to its scientific properties, it was used to make perfume. Ambergris has a long history in whaling, and was written about in Moby Dick, by Herman Melville.

c. 1880
2 7/8" x 2" x 1/2"

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