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Old 5th August 2007, 09:55 PM   #31
rand
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Default Dagger

hey Jens,

I see Indian work written all over this dagger. Look at the wootz, its dense and grey, a flambouyant armor piercing blade, the chisel work on the bird with triangular edges.

You will find this type dagger categorized many times as Indian and not so often as Persian. Although I do believe there are Persian exaamples too. The Persian asthetics are more refined and less opulant.

This in no way is to take away from this dagger, its a very desirable item.


Correct me if I am wrong, but doesn't this dagger have Indian elephant ivory for the grip scales? If it does that would be another indication of Mughal taste.

Oh Jen, have found more examples of that chevron design similar to your tulwar on armor, most of it 16th -17th century. There is also some sumptuous Russian armor with the chevron designs. Persia lost Armenia and the Caucasus to Russia in the 19th century so you can see how it becomes harder and harder to say something is from somewhere.

Brian...are you reading this? Whats your opinion?

The simple designs tend to be early and the Persian work a less is more attitude, where as Mughal work can tend to be more is better. Can be a reflection of the need and desire for individualism.

Hope you find a treasure during you travels Jen,

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Old 5th August 2007, 11:18 PM   #32
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Default IVORY? WHAT TYPE?

Rand, Jens:
More great information coming from you folks
Rand you think it may be Elephant Ivory on the dagger? Can you or Jens or anyone else,tell me what to look for in trying to determine just what kind of Ivory it is. Could it be bone even? I may be able to take a close up of the "wings" if that would help.
Gene
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Old 6th August 2007, 01:06 PM   #33
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Gene, yes I believe the grip scales to be elephant ivory, and not walrus ivory like they mostly used for these knives. One thing which you must remember, if you buy anything of ivory abroad, and that is to ask the seller to get a CITES certificate. If you dont have such a certificate you can be in deep trouble and risk to get the item confiscated.

Rand, the scales sure look like ivory to me does not make the dagger ant worse.
Maybe we should discuss the zigzag/chevron thing in PMs or maybe on another thread, not to muddy the waters too much.
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Old 7th August 2007, 06:52 AM   #34
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Default Ivory

Indian elephant ivory stays white, fine grained

African elephant ivory turns yellow then brown, fine grained

Walrus ivory (shirmani) turns yellow then brown, mottled or granular

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Old 7th August 2007, 01:41 PM   #35
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Here in an example, and yes, they did import ivory from Africa.
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Old 7th August 2007, 02:08 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew
That article contains some terms I am unfamiliar with: "Yesodic entities", "the Darks", "Briahtic structures".


Andrew, these are Qabalistic terms, though i don't quite grasp how or why he is using these in this article as i have merely skimmed it for the terms. Briah refers to one of the 4 Qabalistic worlds, the world of creation. Yesod is one of the 10 (or 11 ) spheres on the Tree of Life, the 9th sphere, one level up from our material world of Malkuth.
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Old 7th August 2007, 10:08 PM   #37
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Rand, the information on the different types of Ivory is much appreciated.

Jens would you please tell me what I am looking at/for, in your last picture? Which one is which?

David much needed information, now I am a little (very little) less confused.

Folks I am going to take the dagger to an handle material expert tomorrow.
I will let you know what I find out from them. These folks sell all types of handle material to the knife trade including ivory. There business is located only a few miles away. Stay tuned!
Gene
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Old 7th August 2007, 10:17 PM   #38
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Default grip scales ivory

Hey Gene,


I lean towards thinking the grip scales are Indian elephant ivory because they are staying white...

rand


PS...nice daggers posted there Jens
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Old 8th August 2007, 12:15 AM   #39
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Rand, i have read much knowledge & wisdom in your posts but I must say the colour of ivory is based on enviroment & food during the elephants life, Africa is a big place, with lots of variations, large grain, small grain, many colours & tones from each area, jungle or dry region, food a plenty or famine. The same is true on a lesser scale in India & Burma

The regional variation are more accurate than the continental as used to be shown by the prices realised for the old Liverpool & Antwerp ivory auctions.

But far beyond that each tusk was from a living breathing animal with its own life history that far outways the usual antique dealers generalitys one sees trotted out when it comes to fineness of grain, colour & more importantly texture & resiliance , which of course is what the carvers were looking for.

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Old 8th August 2007, 02:30 AM   #40
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Default Bowing to a more informed opinion

Hey Spiral,

I yield to a more informed opinion and would like to hear more about the color of ivory as it relates directly as part of a puzzle wher you add the sum of all the parts to determine what the whole is. My knowledge of ivory is more general from a collecting and study perspective of arms n' armor and not from a study of ivory. This is an area I would certainly like to know more. Maybe a seperate posting as not to deviate from the course of this thread.

The use ivory is seen particularly from the late 16th century on in Islamic countries. Also on a similar topic would be bone, different bones were also used and they had a couple hundred grades of it from what I have read.

Stag horn was more popular in the 16th century and seems to be one the the earlier forms material used for grip scales.

Am sure trade routes were a cause and effect and as Empires changed habds so did the trade routes and the tax base gleened from that.

Thanks again Spiral,

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Old 8th August 2007, 03:00 PM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jens Nordlunde
Here in an example, and yes, they did import ivory from Africa.


Is it Walrus on the left and African elephant on the right?
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Old 8th August 2007, 05:11 PM   #42
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Thank you for your answer, but I have never seen walrus ivory look like this before, so I will try to get it checked by a specialist.
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Old 8th August 2007, 06:23 PM   #43
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Default Jens ivory handled daggers

Hey Jens,

From my perspective the dagger on the left would be African elephant ivory and the dagger on the right Indian elephant ivory. would agree they are not walrus ivory as the do no have that "crystaline" appearance at all. Rather a smooth "woodlike' on the dagger grip scales to the left and a milk white appearance to the dagger grip scales on the right.

The use of walrus ivory is very much to the Persian taste. Then, there are exceptions to every rule...

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Old 8th August 2007, 09:02 PM   #44
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If only I knew enough to make a seperate thread worthwhile Rand. I am just a student myself...

Much ivory coloring is just surface patina or induced through, age & dirt & sweat, tea, smoke ,chicory were often used to colour items or the Chinese favorite for turning it yellow is nose sweat!

Hard heavy white ivory of good quality came from Guinea, cameroons ,Gabon & the Congo. It is what many antique dealers refer to as Indian as it has the same percieved look and qualities of jungle dwelling Elephants of India & Burma. It is the favorite of Oriental carvers as it will polish like glass.

Soft ivory is sometimes veined with darker streaks & used to mainly come from Senegal,Ethiopia, Egypt, Sudan & Kenya. It was popular for Billiard balls & piano keys as it was easy to work.

ill have a look through my libary & notes & see what else I can find on the subject.

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Old 8th August 2007, 09:44 PM   #45
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Spiral, I have not as yet been able to ask someone about the ivory, but I have examined it myself, and i am sure that it is elephant ivory. You only had the picture. I have the item, and that makes a difference when it comes to judging the hilt. Any new things you can come up with about the ivory will be most appreciated, as I think what you have come up with yet is great.

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Old 8th August 2007, 11:13 PM   #46
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I made no comment about yours nice looking knives Jen, Just about ivory in general.


I can see the one on the top of the left one is probably Elephant, I cant see enough detail of one on the right to be sure but I think your probably correct. I couldnt be certan from those pix, so I passed no comment.

The end grain should show intersecting diagonaly curved lines under a lens if Elephant or mammoth.

And changing stripes of refraced light on the long gain if turned fore & aft in sunlight.

cheers,

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Old 8th August 2007, 11:28 PM   #47
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Default Elephant Ivory

Hi all, just got back from the dealer in hilt material ( Mother of Pearl Company ) and the dagger was inspected by two of the folks there, and was told it was Elephant Ivory. The folks there could not tell me as to what country the Ivory came from but was in their their judgment Elephant Ivory' they showed me the fine cross hatch grain in the "wings of the hilt..

What makes all of this so interesting to me is that Rand, and Jens told me what it was and did not have the dagger to hold/look at. Could of saved a trip
Gene
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Old 9th August 2007, 12:03 AM   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mare Rosu
What makes all of this so interesting to me is that Rand, and Jens told me what it was and did not have the dagger to hold/look at. Could of saved a trip
Gene


Of course other than Elephant or Mamoth ivory the only other thing it could be is plastic! Which is common on old European knives but not Indo/persian etc. {Well till the fakers start doing that!]


The alternate grain is visible in your picture here.



http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/attac...tid=22217&stc=1

I am sure between that & the cross hatching you will always identify it yourself in futre, rather than accepting what others say.

So your trip was worthwhile i think? knowledge is a great resource!

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Old 9th August 2007, 01:04 PM   #49
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Spiral, it is interesting that you mention mammoth ivory. Is there any difference between elephant and mammoth ivory, or are the both equal hard and with the same structure? Not that I think many of us will ever see a mammoth ivory hilted dagger, but just for the record.

Gene, I am sure you needed to come away from you computer for a while, and, like Spiral said, you learned something too.
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Old 9th August 2007, 03:11 PM   #50
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Its identifiably different Jens by the angles of intersection of the cross hatching. {Schreger lines.}

Usualy Elephant is nearer 90 degrees & mammoth nearer 115 degrees in the outer areas of tusk.

But if several angle measuments are taken of any ivory piece in questian all elephant samples have averages above 100 degrees, and all the extinct proboscideans or {mammoths}have angle averages below 100 degrees.

Also Siberian Mamoth ivory is heavier & harder than Elephant ivory. i dont know about other sources of mammoth but they I am aware they are not usualy of the high quality of the Siberian material.

I think Mammoth ivory has been used on South East Asian pieces before & there was also a big market in Europe in it pre. 1900 with parcels of up to 20 tons auctioned at a time in Liverpool ,Antwerp & London. So I expect it could turn up anywhere.

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Old 9th August 2007, 03:59 PM   #51
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Thank you for the answer, the amount of mammoth ivory sold on auction surprised me a lot, so you are right maybe, with a lot of luck, I will one day hold a mammoth ivory hilted dagger in my hand the problem is, that I may not know it. Imagine how old that ivory is. It is also interesting to know that the Siberian mammoth ivory is harder and heavier than the elephant ivory. The mammoth ivory used in India and what was shipped to Europe for sale, could well have come from Siberia. Where else did/do you find so many mammoths?
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Old 9th August 2007, 05:34 PM   #52
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Sorry for my lack of clarity Jens, The lots auctioned in Europe came from Siberia.

I havent seen it on Indian weapons but have heard of it used in the Malayan archipeligo. But others here would know more about that, I am sure.

i think lots is found in the North sea when drilling for oil etc but it is badly damaged, & discoloured some is found through out northen & eastern europe, & Alsaka as well. Others places to I expect.

But the good stuff is Siberian. it weights 20% to 30% more on average than Elephant.

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Old 9th August 2007, 11:02 PM   #53
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Thumbs up Knowledge

Spiral:
Sir, you are most correct, knowledge is a great power and you have supplied me with a lot of power from your excellent postings on Ivory. I did learn a lot from the hands on inspection from the handle material folks, but your posting were far more informative and technical. Showing me a picture I took and explaining what was in the picture. Information that I did not know was there, until you pointed it out, hard to believe!

Rand;
Thank you, as well, for the information about the material on my dagger handle, your "leaning" was right on. Do you think we could get Spiral to start a thread on his ivory knowledge, as you suggested? He said he is just learning about ivory, fine, I will take anything he offers. How about it Spiral, PLEASE!

Jens:
I do need to get out of the house occasionally ( not just to the doctors office! )
Again you have helped me in my never ending quest for knowledge.
I have acquired the name of my dagger, how the little balls were placed in the hilt, and what they were for, what the handle material is, also where it was probably made. Not bad, not bad at all.
Only thing still unknown to me is what was the "smiley" for?

I think I/we have "beat" this dagger to death with all the information from all the good folks, posting, on this forum. It is always amazing, to me, the collective knowledge/power that is shown by the forum folks. It has been a great "ride" for me and I thank you one and all for it.
Gene.
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Old 11th August 2007, 12:19 AM   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mare Rosu
Rand;
Thank you, as well, for the information about the material on my dagger handle, your "leaning" was right on. Do you think we could get Spiral to start a thread on his ivory knowledge, as you suggested? He said he is just learning about ivory, fine, I will take anything he offers. How about it Spiral, PLEASE!

.


Glad it was of some use Gene!

I think the total of my ivory knowledge is just about exhausted though., as I said I am just a mere student, 6 years ago I couldnt tell bone from Ivory. so I set out to learn a little more than the often reapeted antique dealers old wives tales I kept hearing, that are sometimes so misleading. So I both read & also more importantly spoke to instrument makers who buy & use the various types every working day of there lives.

But thankyou for asking.I am flattered.

But sure after a little more research on my part perhaps I can add more of substance at a later date.

Spiral
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Old 12th August 2007, 07:35 PM   #55
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There is one other note for the coloring of ivory. As Spiral says it depends on environment and one environmental factor is the amount of exposure to sulfur.

Sulfur is mostly what colors ivories. For example elephant ivories in the presence of sulfur will turn yellow to orange to brown. IT is always in the air, but heat will accelerate the chemical reaction as the ivories "breath" in the sulfur already in the air.

By the way, Jens I always love your pictures - and am insanely jealous.
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Old 12th August 2007, 07:49 PM   #56
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This is well handled white African ivory. Mangbetu/Zande - South Soudan, North East Congo.

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Old 12th August 2007, 08:41 PM   #57
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I have a vague remembrance about that the Moguls used Sulphur in the water to cool it (Beriner?) did they?
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Old 12th August 2007, 09:10 PM   #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Battara
There is one other note for the coloring of ivory. As Spiral says it depends on environment and one environmental factor is the amount of exposure to sulfur.

Sulfur is mostly what colors ivories. For example elephant ivories in the presence of sulfur will turn yellow to orange to brown. IT is always in the air, but heat will accelerate the chemical reaction as the ivories "breath" in the sulfur already in the air.

By the way, Jens I always love your pictures - and am insanely jealous.


Battara; Great information about Sulfur changing ivory yellow.
I know for a fact, unfortunately, that rubber bands have a lot of sulfur in them, and I assume all rubber products also has sulfur in them. The rubber bands were stored in a box with some of my old Silver coins and the coins turn black
Question, Battara, on this dagger as well as others daggers/knives that I have with ivory handles I use Renaissance Wax on them, will that protect them from the effects of ambient sulfur?
Gene
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Old 12th August 2007, 10:02 PM   #59
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Here is some info on identifying ivory types.

http://www.asianartmall.com/schreger-lines.htm
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Old 14th August 2007, 12:51 AM   #60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mare Rosu
Battara; Great information about Sulfur changing ivory yellow.
I know for a fact, unfortunately, that rubber bands have a lot of sulfur in them, and I assume all rubber products also has sulfur in them. The rubber bands were stored in a box with some of my old Silver coins and the coins turn black
Question, Battara, on this dagger as well as others daggers/knives that I have with ivory handles I use Renaissance Wax on them, will that protect them from the effects of ambient sulfur?
Gene

First: Sorry about your coins. Sulfur also reacts with silver to make sulfur oxide on the silver - also known as tarnish. This also happens on copper to produce copper oxide which is green (and poisonous) (lots of copper in brass and bronze).

Second: Renaissance Wax will protect them since it seals the ivory (also wood, steel, etc.). A very good question.
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