What Does Mammoth Ivory 18 Louhan Monks Set Signify?

The 18 Louhan monks or arhats are part of the Buddhist Mahayana sect and are considered to be the original monks who followed the Buddhist teachings. They attained all 4 stages of enlightenment as they followed the Eightfold Path of Buddha. Considered to have attained nirvana, they are given the duty of waiting for a reincarnation of Buddha to appear on the earth as Maitreya, a prophesied Buddha.

Due to the close religious symbolism associated with the 18 Louhan monks, these are extremely popular as a subject in art in China and Japan. Today these set of 18 mammoth ivory Louhans have become a popular collectible set which is much coveted world over. The earliest mention of the Louhan in art is traced to891 AD in a painting by a monk, Guan Xiu in China. It is said that the 18 Louhan monks appeared to him in a dream and he painted them accordingly. They feature large eyes, bushy eyebrows and high noses apart from looking as vagabonds, which is a symbolic representation of renouncing worldly desires.

Today the collection of 18 Louhan set is a coveted collection especially the ones carved in pure mammoth tusk ivory. These delicate yet intrinsically carved monks are each sculpted in a different position and action, adding variety to the figurines. If you have been searching for exquisitely carved mammoth tusk ivory 18 Louhan set, you need to check out the variety available at http://www.mammothivory.info

How To Identify Fake Mammoth Ivory?

The intensely high demand for ivory and high prices has created a niche market for fake ivory. However, even though most people pay exorbitant prices to purchase ivory, most of the time they are unable to differentiate between real mammoth ivory and fake sculptures which mimic all of the nuances of real ivory to a layman. Here are some non-invasive methods to identify fakes and real ivory:

•    Using a jeweler’s magnifying glass to studying the ivory sculpture, start looking for pores or little streaks of brown and if you find it, it is not ivory but bone.

•    Another good method is listening to the sound by tapping on the sculpture. Plastic, bone and ivory make different sounds when tapped.

•    The older the ivory is the more yellow hues it has. Take the saliva test. Lick your finger and rub it over the ‘antique ivory’ sculpture. If you find yellow or brown color on your finger, you can be sure that the ivory or any other material has been colored to make it look older than it really is. As saliva has a variety of chemicals, this test only works with it.

•    The hot-pin test. Heat a pin and put it at the bottom of the sculpture. Plastic and other synthetic materials will get a dent but genuine ivory will not have any mark.

•    You can take a look at inherent cross hatch pattern of mammoth ivory which is clearly visible at the bottom or at a point where it is smooth. These are known as Schreger Lines.

•    Look for air-bubbles or tiny craters. If there are any visible, you can know that it is fake ivory made out of synthetic material that has been poured.

What Is The Sale Price Of Carved Mammoth Ivory?

For ivory artists, mammoth ivory that has been buried under the permafrost since the last 10,000 to 12,000 years forms the basis of the artworks. Though it is not petrified, which means that the organic material has not become like a fossil or been replaced with minerals, the soft organic ivory can be carved using wood carvers tools. The fact that it didn’t turn to fossil is due to the fact that it was buried at extremely low temperatures. The mineral streaks are visible in many of the tusks that are excavated as a result of the gold mining in the Siberian and Arctic regions.

As mammoth ivory cannot be collected from public lands, it is usually procured from mining companies that unearthed heaps of permafrost to access and mine gold deep down in the earth. Within the permafrost hundreds of tusk are discovered each year and sold by the miners, as it is legal ivory. Most of the ivory carvers are in China and Hong Kong, some of them come from family of sculptors, apprenticed as wood carvers and only the best get a chance to carve ivory.

The price of the mammoth ivory is high considering other materials due to the difficulty in procuring it. Additionally the carved sculpture includes the charges of the skilled artists as only a select few artists can work on ivory. The prices range from $500 to thousands of dollars’ worth of sculpture on full tusks and pieces of tusks. If you are looking at investing in ivory, you can check out the collection at http://www.mammothivory.info

 

 

Is It Illegal To Sell Ivory?

Well, it is a very pertinent question and we get a host of queries from people all over the world asking whether the sale of ivory is illegal. However, I’ll like to clarify that ONLY elephant ivory is illegal for trade/sale/purchase while mammoth tusk ivory is the only LEGAL ivory in the world.

In the last few weeks, there have been changes in the U.S regulations of elephant ivory trade, banning it completely. Thus, if you are trying to sell old, pre-1989 elephant ivory, it would still be illegal to do so. But if you have mammoth ivory art pieces or even in raw form, you can sell it with ease.

The major reason for this demarcation is that elephants are still being illegally killed for ivory and by actively banning its sale and purchase including old ivory products; maybe elephant tusks would lose their charm.

On the other hand, when mammoth tusk ivory is readily available with the same luster and shine, add to it the historic value, why even bother about elephant ivory? By legal ivory, enjoy it, sell it or pass it down the generations as heirlooms.

Quick Information on Fossil Ivory Art

mammothFossil ivory is the only source of legal ivory used in trade worldwide and there are only two sources of it namely mammoth ivory and ancient walrus ivory. Though mammoth ivory is excavated in the tundra regions of Arctic and Siberia, fossil walrus ivory is excavated from the village sites of Eskimo and is usually dated to be 200 to 2000 years old.

There are various hues in the fossil ivory ranging from black streaks to orange and brown shades. The colored ivory depends on soil minerals that lead to the streaking. Ivory buried in iron rich soil has a rust orange and brown shade while natural dark colored soil leads to a range of shades from grey to black in the ivory.

Ancient Eskimo used a lot of ivory from excavated mammoth tusks to walrus ivory due to the lack of trees in the region. Today all of this ivory is expensive but they used it for the holding up their tents, as skis and more. Another aspect of fossil ivory is beach ivory. Old walrus ivory is known to be collected from beaches as walrus perished in the seas or were harvested from the ancient Eskimo villages that are now below the ocean and wash up the shores after storms.

Some of the beach ivory has higher mineralization due to the constant contact with salt water and are fossilized more, making it harder and easier to carve than fresh ivory. However, artists prefer less stress on ivory irrespective of whether it is mammoth tusks or walrus ivory. If you are looking to invest in high quality mammoth tusk ivory, check out a range of collectible art pieces at http://www.mammothivory.info

Why Is Mammoth Ivory Colored?

If you have seen mammoth ivory sculptures with hues of blue, grey or brown, you might be wondering about the authenticity of the ivory. No, it is not a fake. Mammoth ivory is sourced from the skeletal remains of wooly mammoths that lay buried in the Tundra permafrost ever since the last Ice Age ended. Most of the tusks found in Siberia date around 10,000 to 40,000 years ago and as the mammoths are an extinct species, it is perfectly legal to trade in it unlike elephant ivory.

Mammoth ivory is harder than elephant ivory and most of it comes with a slight brown discoloration due to being buried in the mineral rich permafrost for centuries. The bark or the external layer of ivory absorbed the minerals in the soil and has a range of distinctive coloration depending upon the particular minerals in the soil where the mammoth tusks lay buried. That is the reason that there are different hues available in mammoth ivory. A versatile range of colored mammoth ivory is used as knife handles, pistol handles and mammoth ivory beads.

Although pure white ivory tusks commands a higher price but colored mammoth tusk ivory is not fake or painted. Most of the commonly available pieces of tusks have an outer bark which is brown. Some artists like to leave the tusks with the brown exterior on the sides and at the bottom, while carving through the layers of ivory in the middle, bringing to the forefront the rich luster of delicate workmanship and polished ivory. Browse a large range of sculpted mammoth tusk and carvings at http://www.mammothivory.info

 

Magnificent Art in Mammoth Tusk Ivory

If you are looking to buy mammoth ivory tusk, it is one of the best investments in today’s time. The rich creamy white ivory is not just used to sculpt and carve magnificent sculptures but is rarer than oil and gold because only a few thousand of wooly mammoths roamed the earth when they died and were buried in ice. Constant exploration and harvesting of huge tusks have yielded precious ivory that has replaced the demand for elephant ivory.

From craving tiny figurines, netsuke and using flakes a blade handles, the larger pieces and full tusks measuring 10 feet to over 14 feet are auctioned for thousands of dollars each year.

Each of the raw tusks is then given to Oriental artists for carving beautiful scenes, sculptures and figurines. Though the harvesting and excavations are only done during the short Arctic summers, the traders work in harsh and tough climates, working through the melting permafrost to cater to the needs of people looking to invest in ivory for generations, passing on the priceless carvings as heirlooms.

When you are looking to invest in mammoth ivory, which is the only legal ivory traded worldwide, you need to be sure that the sculpture that you have bought is genuine mammoth ivory. If you are new to mammoth ivory purchase and collection, it is good to take on the services of a professional connoisseur for consultation and evaluation. Another factor that can be considered is only to buy from reputed mammoth ivory dealers that have excellent eBay reviews. This assures customers that others who have bought mammoth ivory products are happy with the sculptures, netsuke and carvings. You may look up a wide range of mammoth tusk ivory carvings on sale at http://www.mammothivory.info

Did You Buy Real or Fake Ivory?

Ivory consists of dentine which is present in the tusks and teeth of animals and cross-section of different ivories gives you a different look into the inherent patterns. But though there are reputed dealers selling 100% original and legal ivory, an equal number of scammers sell fake ivory. So did you buy real or fake ivory artifacts?

There are numerous subtle differences that are visible to even untrained eyes,  as many fake ivory products are crafted from reconstructed animal bone powder, but the color, texture and weight of the sculpture is very different. Dentine has little collagen and large amount of calcium phosphate which shows wear and tear over time. And ivory is sourced from wooly mammoths, elephants (now banned) as tusks while the teeth of wild boar, hippo, whales, and walrus are also considered as ivory. Some specific features that are consistent with natural ivory include high gloss with silky feel, inherent inter-sectional arches that are visible when holding it lengthwise and variations when you look down into it.

While plastic, bone powder, antlers and bone sculptures have a different weight and feel. To start with there are no Schreger lines. Bones have small channels as nerves and blood vessels go through it. It may not be visible to all but if you put light behind it, they appear as dots and dashes. While antlers have a darker color with honeycomb patterns all through the center, plastics on the other hand are lighter with an artificial look. However, you need to be conversant with ivory before you can make out the difference so it is bets to buy from top ivory traders and dealers as they provide you with authentic material at affordable prices. Check out genuine mammoth ivory art at http://www.mammothivory.info/

How to cut and store ivory for scrimshaws and knife handles?

Just like wood, ivory can be cut with the same tools. From hacksaw with rough and course teeth to delicate jewelers saw and in case you need slabs; a band saw might be the right tool. For smooth cuts, it is best to have tools with more teeth and that requires low amount of sanding.

When you cut large tusk into sections, it is important to seal the ivory pores to prevent the ivory from cracking and drying out quickly. Most of the sculptors use white glue to seal the ends while the use of varnish and hot wax is not uncommon.

While cutting tusk sections, ensure that you don’t run the saw too fast through the ivory as it makes wavy cuts. Use a light hand with steady grip and speed to cut through ivory as it is very dense. After the ivory is cut, it needs to be maintained in good condition to be crafted in different forms, including sculptures, knife handles, scrimshaws and more.

The most important aspect is to retain the humidity within the ivory and carvers use mineral oil to prevent cracks and shrinkage. But this only works on thin slabs and sheets. The slabs and thin pieces are polished with mineral oil and then wiped with soft cotton cloth and zipped in plastic bags till further use. This ensures that no moisture escapes even after the ivory piece is sanded and polished, reducing the chances of cracks and shrinking.

As the lost moisture is replaced by oil and the luster is maintained as required. The key for storing ivory is about maintaining the moisture. Traditional Russian fossil ivory hunters soak the excavated tusks in water to help maintain the moisture before it is transported to carvers. See some of the most exquisite mammoth ivory carvings at http://www.mammothivory.info/

 

 

 

Legally Ethical Mammoth Tusk Ivory Jewelry and Artifacts

Carved Mammoth Ivory tusk - Tweleve Zodiac Animals - 3D Big TuskAs per the latest figures by the International Union for Nature Conservation, mining of mammoth ivory tusks is a large scale business in Russia and Serbia. The tusks of extinct mammoths are pure enamel which is the reason that ivory has been able to survive the permafrost and harsh climatic changes.

However the fact that no animal is poached or killed to procure the mammoth ivory makes it an ethical material for use. It has gained prominence especially after the worldwide ban on elephant ivory and today, a huge range of complete tusk sculptures, jewelry, artifacts and sculptures are crafted.

From Hollywood stars to celebrities including Michelle Obama have seen sporting mammoth ivory jewelry at different occasions. The scarcity of the mammoth ivory tusks due to the mammoths being extinct has increased the pressure on the Russian antique ivory traders. Additionally, with limited ivory available for artists, the demand for fashionable mammoth ivory carvings is fast catching up all over the world but that is exactly the reason for the high prices. The process of locating and excavating a carcass of wooly mammoth in such extreme weather of Siberia is expensive. An average sculptor cannot work on mammoth ivory but requires precise skill and experience to work on fragile ivory. All of this compounds into the cost of the finished artifacts.

From pure ivory pieces, necklaces and jewellery to netsuke, tusk carvings, statues and scrimshaws, there is a wide range of legal ivory art pieces to collect and enjoy. Learn more about netsuke, carved tusks and intricately sculpted artifacts at www.mammothivory.info