On one side of a circular, silver-dollar-sized piece of ivory, Lee Ann etches, for example, an image depicting ‘a partridge in a pear tree.’ On the flip side, she writes out the corresponding verse of the song accompanied by custom etchings of the client’s family, hobbies, and home.

a Nantucket Scrimshaw Artist

“It’s something I’ve been doing now since the 1980s,” she says, adding that she originally viewed the ornaments as a way to reel husbands in to purchase gifts for their wives. Papale hoped the spouses would return year after year to complete the set.

Sandy Taylor, a longtime customer of Lee Ann’s, has an entire set of the Christmas ornaments. “Lee Ann’s work is simply beautiful,” Sandy says. “It’s unique. It’s creative. What I love about her work is she tries to individualize each piece and that means a lot.”

A resident of the island who really enjoys Christmas and the holidays, Sandy says she first heard of Lee Ann’s ivory ornaments years ago. “It’s a big Nantucket thing,” she says. She has since bought ornaments for everyone in her family.

a Nantucket Scrimshaw Artist