30 %

USS Congress 1812

$3,000.00 $2,100.00

Color scrimshaw on pre-ban African Ivory by Joel Cowan. When it comes to detailed (and I do mean detailed) ship portraits, there is Joel Cowan and then there is everyone else. Working in time consuming stipple technique, Cowan does thousands and thousands of tiny dots for each prized portrait. We have worked with Cowan for several decades and are fortunate enough to have accumulated several of his pieces. These are prized by knowing collectors throughout the U.S. and abroad and many collectors have several Cowans in their collections. Now is the perfect opportunity to acquire one for yourself.

Taken from the internet:
USS Congress, one of six frigates authorized by congressional enactment of 27 March 1794, was built by naval constructor, J. Hackett, at Portsmouth, N.H. Her construction, interrupted upon conclusion of peace terms with Algiers, was resumed with the imminence of naval war with France, and she was launched 15 August 1799 under the command of Captain J. Sever.

After outfitting at Portsmouth and Boston, Congress proceeded to Newport, R.I., in December 1799 then to sea to protect commerce from French despoilment. She started her maiden voyage, on 6 January 1800, in company with frigate USS Essex, escorting merchant ships to the East Indies; however, she lost her mast when only 6 days out and returned to the States. Following repairs at Hampton Roads she again sailed for the West Indies on 26 July.

On 29 August she recaptured the merchant brig, Experiment, seized 3 days previously by a French privateer. Sailing on the Santo Domingo station until the following year, Congress returned to Boston in April 1801 and was thereafter placed in ordinary at Washington, D.C.

The continuing piracy of the Barbary States occasioned Congress’ return to commission in April 1804. Under Captain John Rodgers she departed for Hampton Roads to join the ships of the Mediterranean Squadron under the command of Commodore Samuel Barren. Arriving at Gibraltar on 11 August, Congress cruised vigilantly in the Mediterranean for 11 months. Now commanded by Stephen Decatur, she returned to the United States in November, carrying the Tunisian ambassador to the United States. She again laid up in ordinary at Washington until 1811.

A period of extensive repair preceded recommissioning of Congress in the fall of 1811, under the command of Captain J. Smith. Early in 1812 before war broke out she made several brief cruises along the eastern coast. Congress was assigned to the squadron of Commodore John Rodgers, patrolling the North Atlantic, from June to August 1812. She made her second cruise against the enemy in company with the frigate USS President, sailing from Boston on 8 October and capturing nine prizes before returning on 31 December. On 30 April 1813, Congress again put to sea, cruising off the Cape Verde Islands and the Brazil coast where she captured four small enemy ships. On 14 December she returned to Portsmouth for repairs, remaining there for the duration.

From October 1822 to April 1823 Congress operated against the West Indies pirates. During the second half of 1823 she carried the United States Ministers to Spain and the Argentine Republic. In 1824 Congress was placed in ordinary at Norfolk until December when she was towed to Washington for repairs. In November 1829 she returned to Norfolk where she served as receiving ship for several years and then was laid up in ordinary. A naval survey in 1834 found her unfit for repair and she was broken up at the Norfolk Navy Yard by order of the Navy Commissioner.

This scrimshaw is done on pre-ban African ivory. Since the passage of the CITIES Treaty in 1973, there has been no African ivory brought into the U.S. However, ivory that was in the U.S. prior to 1973 can be legally sold and shipped within the U.S. However, new legislation taking effect in 2016 restricts pre-ban African Ivory from being shipped interstate. It can only legally be shipped intrastate, (within the state). All of our pre-ban ivory is located with our associate in the state of Ohio. It can be purchased directly from our website and shipped only to an address within the state of Ohio. If one has a relative, trusted friend or business associate within the state of Ohio, we can ship to that specified address in order to comply with the new Federal legislation. The scrimshaw can then be forwarded it to you and everyone complies with the law. Any questions email or call us.

In stock

Additional information




5 1/4"L x 2 3/8"D x 3"H


Pre-Ban African Ivory

Ivory Size:

3 1/2"W x 2 7/8"H


Bubinga, Mammoth Ivory and Abalone