Archive for the Mammoth ivory Category
Considering the excavation of mammoth ivory in Canada, Siberia and the Arctic regions, prehistoric mammoth ivory along with fossil ivory is one of the limited resources that connect mankind to the ancient eras. A piece of history preserved by time, best describes mammoth tusk ivory. Sometimes the tusks are unearthed during gold mining while other fossil ivory tusks have been found while archeologists were sifting through ancient Eskimo villages. Most of the tusks have been preserved well in permafrost, ash and soil.
Buried during the last ice age, wooly mammoths perished and became an extinct species while the carcasses that are dug up are prized for huge tusks that sell for high prices. Most of the mammoth ivory that is recovered from the permafrost has lay buried for over 11,000-12,000 years and is generally termed as fossil ivory even though the organic material is still soft to carve.
The colored bark of the ivory is due to the minerals in the soil and ice permeating into the ivory. Some of these are calcite, iron, quartz, silica and pyrite which start the process of recrystallization. Although these darkish brown old tusks look old, they are prized world over due to the quantity of legal ivory each has. These are prized and rare commodities that ivory carvers and collectors demand but even then the constant supply falls short as investment in mammoth ivory is lucrative as it is a limited resource. Whether you are looking to invest in a carved mammoth ivory or just a small netsuke made from pure legal ivory, you can browse a huge and authentic hand carved collection at http://www.mammothivory.org
An interesting term that is widely interpolated, Doctor’s Lady has a very simple explanation. It was a small mammoth ivory sculpture of a reclining semi-nude or nude lady which the traditional Chinese doctors carried with them. It was used when diagnosing female patients the specific location of the pain or discomfort when then pointed out on the sculpture instead of showing it on he own body. Though it was practical figurine which was used for diagnosis of female illnesses and discomforts, today it is more of a collectible. It was not just carved from mammoth ivory but resin, soapstone and even semi-precious stones were used to carve it. The typical figurine is about 12 cm to 25 cm and is portrayed as reclining on a bed or couch.
The repressive Chinese society made it impossible for the doctors to physically check the location of discomfort and based on the symptoms and pinpointed location of the pain on the Doctor’s Lady, the ailments were diagnosed and medicines prescribed. Usually, mention of the Doctor’s Lady and numerous excavated figurines can be seen during the Qing and Ming rule which had the highest social repressiveness.
Though different materials were used to carve the figure, mammoth ivory or elephant ivory was the preferred material as it was solid yet soft material which could be carved to show intricate details. While the gloss, luster and color was unmatched with any other material. Over time and the demand for erotic mammoth ivory carvings has led to artists carving the Doctor’s lady as netsuke and amulets. No longer does it serve any practical function yet the allure of traditional symbols of grandeur and modesty remain firmly etched in the minds of the collectors.
Though mammoth ivory is usually associated with raw and carved tusks, there is a huge market for tiny lockets, earrings, necklaces and more crafted from the shards and waste ivory. This not only creative but helps to utilize each piece of limited and rare mammoth ivory. Most of the artists and jewelry makers buy smaller pieces of ivory and then carve it as needed. From delicate flowers to animals, geometrical designs, beads and more, the jewelry designers pair mammoth tusk ivory with a variety of semi-precious stones using gold and silver to give jewelry a definite form. High quality unblemished ivory is used to make bracelets and bangles. However, lower quality and small pieces of ivory suffice when it comes to bead making and other smaller pieces of jewelry.
Steps of working with ivory
First the ivory is cleaned, then using tiny tools, the artist starts with etching the design and then uses small chisels, files, fret saw and blades, jeweler drills, lathes, gravers and numerous other small sized tools, depending upon the size of the ivory piece. As mammoth ivory is hard and brittle due to the exposure to extreme cold for eons, it is needs to be stored in slightly humidified room, so that there are no further breaks or cracks. After the carving si completed, further embellishments are added to the gold or silver frame that holds the jewelry together. Tiny mammoth ivory beads are polished and accentuate the jewelry piece such as bracelets and necklaces.
Is colored ivory is genuine mammoth tusk ivory?
Not only is mammoth ivory jewelry rare but a unique piece as the resources are extremely limited. There are many pieces that come with highlights in grey, brown, green and even black but don’t fret. It is natural and genuine mammoth ivory which absorbed the minerals in the rich soil and that gives such highlights.
Most of the jewelry designers working with mammoth ivory are artists and skilled carvers which make it easy for them to carve bangles, necklaces, beads and even rings and earrings. But it is best to ensure that you only buy from a reputed designer or website as there are numerous companies that sell fake ivory products. Look for Schreger lines which are easily visible even on smaller pieces or ensure that the seller is reputed online. You may have to get it insured while in transit so that your jewelry arrives in pristine condition.
From hand crated Chinese dragons and zodiac animals to the 18 Lohans, Three Star Gods and the Foo dogs, Feng Shui symbolism is deeply rooted in the objects that artists carve in mammoth ivory. And Feng Shui is about balance and Chi energy movements, which flow through the body and all over the Universe. Harmony and positive flow of energy in your immediate environment enhances your well-being and positivity. Today people are accepting the age-old traditions and like to have beautifully carved sculptures of the different symbols of Feng Shui dotting the offices and home to bring in prosperity, peace and harmony.
The luster, purity of organic mammoth ivory cannot be seen in any other material and given the limited resources available, mammoth ivory, the only legal ivory in the world is getting more expensive by the day. With a host of high-quality mammoth tusk ivory artifacts and Feng Shui products being carved by the artists of high caliber, the demand has risen in the last few years. Most of the artists located in Hong Kong and China, Feng Shui are close to their beliefs. From delicate Three Star Gods to zodiac animals, the sculptures range from mammoth ivory netsuke to large scale full tusks carved with the Feng Shui symbolism. If you are looking for aesthetically pleasing carvings and sculptures in legal ivory, check out the range of unique handcrafted mammoth tusk ivory pieces at http://www.mammothivory.info