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New!  Vintage Tim Reilly Chromatic Scrimshaw Solid Cow Bones, small

Tim Reilly Cow Rib Bones, small
Vintage Tim Reilly Bones (15 years old). From my personal collection.

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Vintage Tim Reilly Bones (15 years old). From my personal collection. Small size might be a challege to play. Order Now: When they're gone, they're gone.

Tim Reilly Small Handcrafted Solid Cow Bones
Great for small, medium or large hands.
  • Pictured sailing ship scrimshaw bones are the actual item you get.
  • Handcrafted in USA from happy free-range cows.
  • Fine hand sanded finish.
  • Durable Scrimshaw Artwork: Rattling the bones won't hurt it.
  • Each pair carefully matched for compatibility: Individual bones might vary from mate in length, width and thickness.
  • Priced per pair.
  • Extremely rare hard-to-find item: You won't find these at Amazon or your local music store.
Here's what you get:
One pair (2 individual bones, like in the photo). That's enough to rattle the bones in one hand.
Only $69.99 pair

Quantity in Stock:(Out of Stock)
Product Code: V-137-01-S

Description Technical Specs The Inside Story...
Vintage Tim Reilly Small Chromatic Scrimshaw Handcrafted Solid Cow Bones
Guaranteed to play well with sea music

Vintage Tim Reilly Bones (15 years old). From my personal collection. Note: unlike the rib bones described below, Tim made this pair from solid bone. The Tim Reilly scrimshaw bones are 4-7/8" and 5" in length. The short length and unusual shape make them challenging to play. I consider these a collector's item. Yes, they are playable (and I did try them out when I originally bought them from Tim). But in my view they are more in the realm of "presentation" bones. Order Now: When they're gone, they're gone.

Matched pairs of resonant, natural rib bones from free-range animals

Tim Reilly is a real-life sailor and professional ship's rigger who crafts musical bones just one pair at a time.

Using old-world maritime hand tools, the "old salt" transforms raw rib bones into rustic musical instruments.

Beginning with contented free-range farm animals, the bone-making process not only reflects Tim's compassionate nature, but also embraces the true Spirit of the Sea. Always in tune with seafaring customs and traditions, Tim carefully wet sands each musical instrument by hand - and weather permitting, TR logo groupyou might see him along the banks of the Mystic River where he dips them into the salty brine to create a nice sanded finish...which is why these matched pairs of musical rib bones, branded in scrimshaw with Tim's very own "TR with anchor" logo are "Guaranteed to play well with sea music!"

4 sizes

Choose from 4 Sizes

You can get Tim Reilly's natural rib bones in 4 convenient sizes:

1. Kid-Size
Kid-Size Bones measure only 4 or 5 inches in length. They are meant for teeny pre-teen hands.

2. Small
Small Bones are around 6 inches in length. They are relatively narrow and work fine for players with any size hands. These are the first choice for players who prefer smaller, relatively thin, or short bones.

3. Medium
Medium Bones run from around 6-1/2 to 7 inches in length. Their traditional size and shape work great for older kids and grownups with any size hands. Generally a little wider than the Small style, these Medium size bones are favored by players who want bones that pack a little extra power and punch.

4. Large
Large Bones are bulkier, clunkier and wider than the other styles. Lengths vary. Adventurous players with medium or large hands might find these bones both a joy and a challenge.

Standard Shapes
Tim produces his musical bones in all the standard shapes (flat; conical; semi-conical; humpy; honeycomb). The shapes available in each size are limited and vary from batch to batch. You can request a specific shape and I will try to accommodate you. But at this time I cannot promise that you will get the shape you want.

Rustic Seafaring Quality
Tim crafts his bones with hand tools only. "No machines," he proudly declares, "Like a whaleman would do."

How...exactly, does Tim produce these seaworthy instruments? First, he sources meatless "dog bones" from a long-time respected local supplier. The bones come from free-range farm animals. "The animals we process have always been free-range," says Salem Prime Cuts owner John Fusaro quoted in a news story published by The Hartford Courant.

Next, Tim lightly boils the ribs in water with salt and dish soap to degrease them. "Not too hot," Tim cautions. "They're done when the meat jacket pops off."

Then he drills tiny holes in the marrow ends so the fluid drains out. That makes them "almost hollow," Tim reveals - and rather resonant, I might add.

After the bones dry for a week or so, Tim wet sands them. He starts with 120 grit sandpaper, then 220, and finally 320. If the weather is good, Tim wet sands them in the Mystic River. "I sit on the dock right next to the river," he tells me. "The salt in the seawater helps dry the bones." Then, looking up slowly, with an old Tar's scowl and a twinkle in this gifted musician's eye Tim adds, "They are guaranteed to play along to sea music."

Honest-to-goodness Natural Products
Tim carefully matches each pair for compatibility. But each individual bone might vary from its mate in length, width and thickness. Not only is this your assurance that these bones are the real deal, but seasoned players know that's part of the charm of handcrafted cottage industry products.

Durable Scrimshaw Artwork
The scrimshaw logo is etched on the striking surface of the instrument. Tim has been making bones this way for many years and says not to worry about damaging the artwork. So don't fret about hurting or spiritually offending the logo. Just enjoy the bones and rattle them like you normally would.

Why Choose these Bones?
If you want a matched pair of rustic, traditionally crafted natural rib bones that deliver a solid resonant tone; and you prefer smaller, relatively thin, or short bones; and you have small, medium or large hands; and if you are enchanted by the mystical Spirit of the Sea, then Tim Reilly's Small Cow Rib Bones are for you.

Can't Decide Which Bones to Choose?
Check out this handy guide:
Bone FAQs
  • Fine 320 Grit Hand Sanded Finish: Provides secure grip.
  • All Natural: Free from harmful chemicals. Won't chafe or irritate your skin.
  • Crafted with Maritime Hand Tools: Rustic whaleman quality musical instruments.
  • Fluids Drained During Production Creates Hollow Chamber: Enables resonant tone.
  • Produces Broad Tonal Range: Play them soft or loud.
  • Made from Free-range Animals: Socially responsible product.
  • Scrimshawed Brand: Genuine Tim Reilly "TR with anchor" logo guarantees quality.
  • Embraces the Spirit of the Sea: Guaranteed to play well with sea music!

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