Ethnographic Arms & Armour
 

Go Back   Ethnographic Arms & Armour > Discussion Forums > Ethnographic Weapons
User Name
Password
FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 12th October 2020, 02:28 PM   #1
tanaruz
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2020
Posts: 129
Default IVORY FOR POMMEL

Hello,

This is supposed to be a sperm whale tooth. Purchased from a seller who informed us that it came from tawi-tawi, from way way back.

My plan, if indeed this is sperm whale tooth, is to use it as a pommel to an old barung or kris (which has no pommel).

I've done some reading and this specimen conforms (in my unexpert opinion) to ivory. The ff are some things I have read on ivory's characteristics:

a) ivory always has parallel grain, like rings on a tree or crosshatch pattern called Schreger lines. On closer inspection, this tooth has both parallel and crosshatch patters.

b) in contrast to bone, ivory has a smooth feel.

Thanks in advance for you inputs.

Regards

Yves
Attached Images
  
tanaruz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12th October 2020, 07:12 PM   #2
thomas hauschild
Member
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: Germany
Posts: 109
Default

Please show a pic of the root-hole. This will make it a little bit more clear.
thomas hauschild is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12th October 2020, 07:17 PM   #3
thomas hauschild
Member
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: Germany
Posts: 109
Default

Sperm whale real and fake/resin
Attached Images
  
thomas hauschild is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12th October 2020, 07:19 PM   #4
thomas hauschild
Member
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: Germany
Posts: 109
Default

Walrus real and fake/resin
Attached Images
  
thomas hauschild is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13th October 2020, 02:50 AM   #5
tanaruz
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2020
Posts: 129
Default IVORY FOR POMMEL

Hello,

Many thanks for the initial info. Here are some more pics.

Thanks in advace.

Yves
Attached Images
   
tanaruz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13th October 2020, 06:50 AM   #6
mariusgmioc
Member
 
mariusgmioc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 1,528
Default

Very difficult to judge from photos alone, but from what I see, it looks like resin.

You can easily test it ether trying to burn a tiny piece of it or by simply polishing it and you'll see how it behaves. If it melts and smells like plastic is resin, if it smells like "dentist" it is ivory.
mariusgmioc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13th October 2020, 08:11 AM   #7
xasterix
Member
 
xasterix's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Posts: 238
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by mariusgmioc
Very difficult to judge from photos alone, but from what I see, it looks like resin.

You can easily test it ether trying to burn a tiny piece of it or by simply polishing it and you'll see how it behaves. If it melts and smells like plastic is resin, if it smells like "dentist" it is ivory.


Greetings sir Marius, this thread has aroused my interest. Can you assess my piece as well? I'll try to sand off a portion of the break in the pommel and burn it for verificiation, but for the meantime here's a picture.
Attached Images
 
xasterix is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13th October 2020, 08:39 AM   #8
tanaruz
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2020
Posts: 129
Default ivory for pommel

Quote:
Originally Posted by mariusgmioc
Very difficult to judge from photos alone, but from what I see, it looks like resin.

You can easily test it ether trying to burn a tiny piece of it or by simply polishing it and you'll see how it behaves. If it melts and smells like plastic is resin, if it smells like "dentist" it is ivory.


Hi Sir,

Can you expound on the statement 'how it behaves'? what would be best to use for polishing?

Thanks

Yves
tanaruz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13th October 2020, 08:38 PM   #9
mariusgmioc
Member
 
mariusgmioc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 1,528
Default

How it behaves: if it melts is plastic; if it smells like "dentist" is ivory.

For polishing you can use sandpaper, 600-800 grit and give it a few rapid rubs. If it is ivory will smell like "dentist."
For final shiny polish you need to go to higher grit (3000-7000).

Quote:
Originally Posted by xasterix
Greetings sir Marius, this thread has aroused my interest. Can you assess my piece as well? I'll try to sand off a portion of the break in the pommel and burn it for verificiation, but for the meantime here's a picture.


One photo from the side is not enough. You should post more close-up photos. Generally this type of hilts are made from elephant ivory. You should check for the Schreger lines.

I do not advise polishing/fire testing any finished product. For a raw piece of material is another story.

Last edited by mariusgmioc : 13th October 2020 at 08:49 PM.
mariusgmioc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14th October 2020, 01:50 AM   #10
xasterix
Member
 
xasterix's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Posts: 238
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by mariusgmioc
How it behaves: if it melts is plastic; if it smells like "dentist" is ivory.

For polishing you can use sandpaper, 600-800 grit and give it a few rapid rubs. If it is ivory will smell like "dentist."
For final shiny polish you need to go to higher grit (3000-7000).



One photo from the side is not enough. You should post more close-up photos. Generally this type of hilts are made from elephant ivory. You should check for the Schreger lines.

I do not advise polishing/fire testing any finished product. For a raw piece of material is another story.


Hullo, here are more pics of the pommel.
Attached Images
    
xasterix is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14th October 2020, 03:12 AM   #11
Rafngard
Member
 
Rafngard's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Minneapolis,MN
Posts: 261
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by xasterix
Hullo, here are more pics of the pommel.


I'm sure members with more experience than I will chime in, but to my eye it looks like elephant ivory, and overall, a really beautiful specimen.
Rafngard is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14th October 2020, 05:51 AM   #12
xasterix
Member
 
xasterix's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Posts: 238
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rafngard
I'm sure members with more experience than I will chime in, but to my eye it looks like elephant ivory, and overall, a really beautiful specimen.


Thanks Leif! Additionally, if it's not much of a hassle, may I ask everyone to assess my friend's piece, of similar build as mine.
Attached Images
    
xasterix is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14th October 2020, 06:08 AM   #13
tanaruz
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2020
Posts: 129
Default IVORY FOR POMMEL

Quote:
Originally Posted by mariusgmioc
Very difficult to judge from photos alone, but from what I see, it looks like resin.

You can easily test it ether trying to burn a tiny piece of it or by simply polishing it and you'll see how it behaves. If it melts and smells like plastic is resin, if it smells like "dentist" it is ivory.


Hi,

Did some 'polishing'- and it smells like burned 'enamel.' must be the 'dentist' smell.

I did contact an expert on this things. Sent her some pictures. Initially, there's the presence of Schreger lines + crosshatch pattern on the tooth.

And I was advised to bring the item to her for a visual verification.

Thanks and regards,

Yves
tanaruz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14th October 2020, 06:20 AM   #14
tanaruz
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2020
Posts: 129
Default IVORY FOR POMMEL

Hi again,

forgot to include another test which I did (upon the instruction of the jeweller).

I got a needle, had it red hot on the fire and tried to pierce the tooth. - and voila, it did not went into the tooth.

Best

Yves
tanaruz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14th October 2020, 03:09 PM   #15
mariusgmioc
Member
 
mariusgmioc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 1,528
Default

The geometry of the cracks is consistent with ivory.

From all I know there are some ivorine resins that crack, but without round/circular cracks. Round/circular cracks are specific to ivory as they follow the growth rings.
mariusgmioc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14th October 2020, 03:53 PM   #16
xasterix
Member
 
xasterix's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Posts: 238
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by mariusgmioc
The geometry of the cracks is consistent with ivory.

From all I know there are some ivorine resins that crack, but without round/circular cracks. Round/circular cracks are specific to ivory as they follow the growth rings.


Thanks very much sir!
xasterix is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14th October 2020, 08:44 PM   #17
Sajen
Member
 
Sajen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Germany, Dortmund
Posts: 7,107
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by mariusgmioc
Very difficult to judge from photos alone, but from what I see, it looks like resin.


Hi Marius,

Disagree again with you, soory! The sperm whale tooth look real to my eyes but agree with you that's difficult to judge from a picture alone.

Regards,
Detlef
Sajen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14th October 2020, 08:48 PM   #18
Sajen
Member
 
Sajen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Germany, Dortmund
Posts: 7,107
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by tanaruz
I did contact an expert on this things. Sent her some pictures. Initially, there's the presence of Schreger lines + crosshatch pattern on the tooth.

And I was advised to bring the item to her for a visual verification.


Hi Yves,

Sperm whale tooth shows no Schreger lines so far I know, only elephant ivory shows this lines.

Regards,
Detlef
Sajen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14th October 2020, 08:49 PM   #19
Sajen
Member
 
Sajen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Germany, Dortmund
Posts: 7,107
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by xasterix
Hullo, here are more pics of the pommel.


Elephant ivory!
Sajen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14th October 2020, 08:50 PM   #20
Sajen
Member
 
Sajen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Germany, Dortmund
Posts: 7,107
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by xasterix
Thanks Leif! Additionally, if it's not much of a hassle, may I ask everyone to assess my friend's piece, of similar build as mine.


Also elephant ivory.
Sajen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15th October 2020, 02:02 AM   #21
xasterix
Member
 
xasterix's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Posts: 238
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sajen
Also elephant ivory.


Dear Detlef:

Thanks very much for the assessment!
xasterix is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15th October 2020, 02:45 AM   #22
xasterix
Member
 
xasterix's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Posts: 238
Default

Here are other samples, from another friend's collection. The one with the reddish hilt intrigues me, as it's a standout from the other ivory-looking samples. One of the hilts is also unique, having a string of hawk bells tied from the base of the pommel up to the gangya as a makeshift guard.

TIA for anyone who'll assess! Much appreciated.
Attached Images
      
xasterix is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15th October 2020, 02:59 AM   #23
Battara
EAAF Staff
 
Battara's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Louisville, KY
Posts: 6,602
Default

Xasterix, the Maguindanao pommel looks like aged Mother-of-Pearl in silver frames to me. I have seen it darken like this.

The other pommels are ivory. The red coloration is the result of the presence of sulfur which oxidizes the ivory from red to a dark reddish brown or a honey-is brown.

I find the T'boli bells interesting.
Battara is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15th October 2020, 03:15 AM   #24
xasterix
Member
 
xasterix's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Posts: 238
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Battara
Xasterix, the Maguindanao pommel looks like aged Mother-of-Pearl in silver frames to me. I have seen it darken like this.

The other pommels are ivory. The red coloration is the result of the presence of sulfur which oxidizes the ivory from red to a dark reddish brown or a honey-is brown.

I find the T'boli bells interesting.


Thanks sir! Here are "raw" pre-restoration pics of the hawkbell-guard kris.
Attached Images
  
xasterix is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15th October 2020, 09:49 AM   #25
LJ
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 91
Default

A non-destructive test is to use an ultra-violet light (I bought one of these fairly cheaply at a local shop that sells electronics). Ivory has a distinctive blue sheen, which resin does not have: I recommend a bit of practice, shining the lamp on plastic, bone, etc. so you can see the effect.

Incidentally, horn shines light brown when lit by ultra-violet light. Which is a useful test if you can't decide whether something is made from horn or wood.
LJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16th October 2020, 03:35 AM   #26
Rafngard
Member
 
Rafngard's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Minneapolis,MN
Posts: 261
Default

You should definitely take Sajen's word over mine on everything!
Rafngard is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16th October 2020, 03:36 AM   #27
Rafngard
Member
 
Rafngard's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Minneapolis,MN
Posts: 261
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by xasterix
Thanks sir! Here are "raw" pre-restoration pics of the hawkbell-guard kris.



That is a really interesting piece. I don't think I've ever seen anything like it.
Rafngard is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17th October 2020, 06:21 AM   #28
Battara
EAAF Staff
 
Battara's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Louisville, KY
Posts: 6,602
Default

This again proves a lot of trade between Philippine groups. Fascinating isn't it?
Battara is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump



All times are GMT. The time now is 12:00 PM.


Powered by: vBulletin Version 3.0.3
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Posts are regarded as being copyrighted by their authors and the act of posting material is deemed to be a granting of an irrevocable nonexclusive license for display here.