Ivory has been held in the highest esteem for millennia. This comprehensive and authoritative study of this beautiful and versatile material provides a global history of ivory – from the myths and beliefs held by prehistoric man, through its utilitarian uses in the Arctic and the beautiful carvings in medieval Europe, to its links with war, the slave trade, and religion.
Covering in detail its composition and unique properties, its sources in the animal kingdom and their conservation status, the book demonstrates how ageing and the different types of ivory and its imitations can be tested for and identified with confidence.
Ivory also explores how it has been worked by craftsmen and used over the years, from carving and marquetry to the manufacture of black paint, as well as the methods employed. Sound advice and useful tips are provided on caring for ivory, with examples, covering specific areas, including stains, scratches, cracks, cleaning and repair.
Lavishly illustrated throughout with colour photographs, Ivory is an invaluable guide for collectors, antique dealers, curators, gemmologists, conservationists and frequenters of flea markets, as well as those who simply love this attractive material.