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-   -   IVORY FOR POMMEL (http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=26381)

tanaruz 12th October 2020 02:28 PM

IVORY FOR POMMEL
 
2 Attachment(s)
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

thomas hauschild 12th October 2020 07:12 PM

Please show a pic of the root-hole. This will make it a little bit more clear.

thomas hauschild 12th October 2020 07:17 PM

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Sperm whale real and fake/resin

thomas hauschild 12th October 2020 07:19 PM

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Walrus real and fake/resin

tanaruz 13th October 2020 02:50 AM

IVORY FOR POMMEL
 
3 Attachment(s)
Hello,

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

Thanks in advace.

Yves

mariusgmioc 13th October 2020 06:50 AM

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.

xasterix 13th October 2020 08:11 AM

1 Attachment(s)
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.

tanaruz 13th October 2020 08:39 AM

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

mariusgmioc 13th October 2020 08:38 PM

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.

xasterix 14th October 2020 01:50 AM

4 Attachment(s)
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.

Rafngard 14th October 2020 03:12 AM

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.

xasterix 14th October 2020 05:51 AM

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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.

tanaruz 14th October 2020 06:08 AM

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 14th October 2020 06:20 AM

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

mariusgmioc 14th October 2020 03:09 PM

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.

xasterix 14th October 2020 03:53 PM

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!

Sajen 14th October 2020 08:44 PM

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! ;) :D 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 14th October 2020 08:48 PM

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 14th October 2020 08:49 PM

Quote:

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

Elephant ivory!

Sajen 14th October 2020 08:50 PM

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.

xasterix 15th October 2020 02:02 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sajen
Also elephant ivory.

Dear Detlef:

Thanks very much for the assessment!

xasterix 15th October 2020 02:45 AM

6 Attachment(s)
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.

Battara 15th October 2020 02:59 AM

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.

xasterix 15th October 2020 03:15 AM

2 Attachment(s)
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.

LJ 15th October 2020 09:49 AM

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.

Rafngard 16th October 2020 03:35 AM

You should definitely take Sajen's word over mine on everything!

Rafngard 16th October 2020 03:36 AM

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.

Battara 17th October 2020 06:21 AM

This again proves a lot of trade between Philippine groups. Fascinating isn't it?

xasterix 13th May 2021 08:21 AM

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Hello everyone...would like to ask your opinions on this pommel. I'm still in the process of restoring the rest of the kris, but I suspect this is ivory. Would appreciate your inputs, thanks!

Athanase 13th May 2021 10:44 AM

It's clearly Elephant ivory. Very nice patina.


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