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Ivory


To clarify certain terms, the following may be useful. Ivory, the natural substance which is under discussion , does not always come from elephants, it can include other many animals or mammal’s with: horns, tusks and teeth even our teeth are classed as ivory! It is complicated, when the bone is inside the head of the animal it is classed as bone but becomes ivory when it comes out of the animal’s head. The material called Vegetable Ivory is in reality the Corozo nut , often used in imitation of ivory, it looks a little ‘soapy’ in comparison. The description of Bone covers the use of the skeletons of most animals. Ham bones were always used to carve lace bobbins, but often called ivory. Whale bones sometimes are known as ‘ivory tusks’ when carved by sailors in a black drawn decoration called ‘Scrimshaw’. Prisoners of war work was often done working with bones from animals having been eaten for dinner. But some ivory was used from left overs from bigger Dieppe carvings brought by the French prisoners of the Napoleonic wars.

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