The last few weeks of August in the Northeast are magical. Growing up, my family would spend the entire summer in Amagansett, and by late August you could already sense fall coming as the sun shifted overhead and the ocean breezes cooled. Monarch butterflies and enormous flocks of birds would pass through the dunes, on their southbound migratory paths.
Barack Obama and family chose Martha’s Vineyard as their late August vacation spot this year. It’s a wonderful choice for many reasons, including the fact that summer is peak season for whale watching in Cape Cod, as they swim up to 4,000 miles to their winter home. America’s ancient whaling history is centered in Cape Cod, and one of my favorite summer looks is scrimshaw jewelry made with vintage charms from the region.
I am fascinated by this technique, originally the handiwork of whalers, who etched patterns and stories into the bones and teeth of the marine mammals they hunted, rubbing in pigment to highlight the carving. Recently, I designed a vermeil lariot dripping with white coral branches and scrimshaw charms. Perfect with my Christopher Deane knot patterned maxi for a Cape Cod getaway, should the need arise!
Cynthia Rybakoff oxidized sterling silver Whale Story Charm Bracelet with angel skin coral and vintage scrimshaw, $655; vermeil Sailors Not Lariot with white coral and vintage scrimshaw charms $550, both to order at cynthiarybakoff.com.