Thread: hilt material ?
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Old 29th December 2009, 05:28 PM   #11
VANDOO
(deceased)
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: OKLAHOMA, USA
Posts: 3,140
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I HAVE SEEN SEVERAL HILTS SIMULAR TO THIS ONE. THEY HAVE ALL BEEN SMALLER THIN HILTS ,I HAVE NEVER SEEN A LARGE ROBUST ONE IN THIS EXACT FORM. I HAVE SEEN LARGER MORE ROBUST ONES CARVED FROM THE ENTIRE LARGE TOOTH BUT SIZE IS LIMITED USING WHALE TEETH AS THEY ARE MUCH SMALLER THAN ELEPHANT, HIPPO OR WALRUS IVORY. I SUSPECT THEY ARE MADE FROM ONE HALF OF A LARGE SPERM WHALE TOOTH. AS MENTIONED IVORY WAS NOT EASILY COME BY IN THESE AREAS SO MAKEING TWO HULU FROM ONE TOOTH WOULD HAVE BEEN VERY DESIRABLE FROM AN ECONOMIC REASON. OF MARINE IVORY THE TWO LARGEST ARE WALRUS AND SPERM WHALE ALL THE OTHER MARINE MAMMALS TEETH WOULD NOT BE LARGE ENOUGH TO MAKE SUCH A HILT EVEN FROM THE ENTIRE TOOTH (I DON'T CONSIDER HIPPO AS MARINE IVORY).
THE SPERM WHALE TOOTH IS HOLLOW AT THE BASE AND MOSTLY SOLID TOWARDS THE TIP, MANY HAVE A LARGE BLUNT TIP OFTEN LARGER THAN THE ROOT. THE TOOTH GROWS IN CONCENTRIC RINGS LIKE A TREE DOES AND WOULD NOT HAVE THE CROSS HATCHING FOUND IN ELEPHANT TEETH OR THE CENTER HONEY COMB LOOK OF WALRUS IVORY. BONE DOES NOT HAVE CONCENTRIC RINGS LIKE YOUR HULU.
IVORY WILL CHANGE COLOR IF BURIED ON LAND OR SEA, THERE ARE PLACES WHERE WHALE TEETH ARE FOUND ON THE SEA BOTTOM OR BURRIED ON BEACHES THAT HAVE CHANGED TO A COLOR SIMULAR TO YOUR EXAMPLE. THOSE TAKEN FROM LIVING ANIMALS DURING WHALEING ARE PURE WHITE BUT WOULD GRADUALLY CHANGE COLOR OVER THE YEARS AS A KERIS HANDLE WOULD ESPECIALLY IF USED AND HANDLED A LOT.
ON THE SIDE OF YOUR HILT YOU SEE THE BULLSEYE WHICH LOOKS LIKE THE GROWTH RINGS FOUND IN SPERM WHALE TEETH AND FROM THE ORIENTATION THAT IS WHAT LEADS ME TO THINK IT WAS MADE FROM HALF A TOOTH. THE WEAR ON THE CARVEING AND THE COLOR LEADS ME TO AGREE THE HILT IS VERY LIKELY AN OLD ONE THAT WAS CARRIED AND HANDLED OVER A LONG PERIOD OF TIME. OFTEN WHALE TEETH WERE REFERRED TO AS FISH TEETH IN OLDER MORE SIMPLE TIMES. I HAVE SUCH A HILT BUT UNFORTUNATELY NO WAY TO TAKE PICTURES TO POST AT THIS TIME. I HOPE THIS HELPS AND THAT MY OBSERVATIONS ARE CORRECT. CONGRADULATIONS ON A NICE KERIS. SEARCH THE ARCHIVES FOR POSTS ON IVORY WITH REFRENCES AND FURTHER INFO.
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