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Old 3rd October 2021, 05:34 AM   #1
Green
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Default imitation ivory ?

I have this keris hilt that I suspect is made from imitation ivory. At first look, it seems like ivory, when I scraped bits from the inside of the peksi hole, it smelt like ivory but the whole part and the carvings look too "perfect". There are no old cracks and the color is uniform. There are striations (schreger lines) but are these imitation ? how can we distinguish between the genuine schreger lines with the imitation ones?

Can anyone here confirm my suspicion that this hilt is made from imitation ivory or other wise?

Thanks in advance for your comments.

nik
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Old 3rd October 2021, 09:56 AM   #2
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Hello Green,
It is not possible to ascertain from these pics, but unless the Retzius lines disappear or fade by very fine superficial sanding or filing (around the pesi hole not to be visible), it seems to me that the piece is made from elephant ivory and is very finely carved. The perfect look may be only because the piece is recent. Other opinions are welcome. The black spots at regular intervals are strange (marks from a selut?).
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Old 3rd October 2021, 10:00 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Green View Post
I have this keris hilt that I suspect is made from imitation ivory. At first look, it seems like ivory, when I scraped bits from the inside of the peksi hole, it smelt like ivory but the whole part and the carvings look too "perfect". There are no old cracks and the color is uniform. There are striations (schreger lines) but are these imitation ? how can we distinguish between the genuine schreger lines with the imitation ones?

Can anyone here confirm my suspicion that this hilt is made from imitation ivory or other wise?

Thanks in advance for your comments.

nik

Without prejudice, sometime judging something from photo and hand handling produces different opinions. I handled fake ivory before and the materials are produced from China with the person taught me how to see it.

So I tends to say it is fake after looking at the grain pattern but again, I might be incorrect.
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Old 3rd October 2021, 03:14 PM   #4
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My good friend who is an art teacher and also a keris collector told me that you can only give it a hot needle test. If fake ivory then it will melt orelse real ivory, will burn.
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Old 3rd October 2021, 03:46 PM   #5
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Photos are tricky, but i don't know how someone can fake such convincing Schreger Lines. If my only way to judge this was from photos i would likely accept that this is real elephant ivory. Of course my opinion could change with the hilt in hand, so just package it up and send it my way Nik. LOL!
The "perfect" carving should not make you too suspicious. There are hand always have been many master carvers in Indonesia. I suspect this is a recent piece, in spite if the colour of the ivory, which was likely added after the carving to give this hilt an slight aged look. As a modern piece it was likely carved with modern tools, helping add to the "perfect" look of the carving.
I would say if this is yours you have added a nice piece to your collection, though i am personally strongly opposed to collecting new ivory.
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Old 3rd October 2021, 04:32 PM   #6
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Jean;

I don't know what that black dots are... could well be markings from pendokok /selut as you suggested.

Anthony;

I did scrape from the inside of the hole and the powder smelt just like ivory. But did not try to burn it. The lines looked very much like the real thing if compared to the ones of imitation ivory that I saw on the internet but I am not sure as I have no experience in this .

David;

Like you I'm against the use of 'new' ivory. I hope this one is not that new (if it is real ivory).
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Old 3rd October 2021, 06:51 PM   #7
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Hello,
sometimes a simple clue can help:
what about it's weight ?
Is it heavy-massive ??
Ivory is a massive matter ( old billiard ball were made of )

most of plastic-resin are really lighter...
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Old 3rd October 2021, 08:14 PM   #8
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To me it is UNDOUBTEDLY ivory!

There are many extremely good imitation materials for ivory, but I am not aware of any capable of replicating the Schreger lines.

The hot needle test is literally stupid and useless. Stupid because it can damage an art object and useless because there are some Ivory imitations that would pass the test (I personally have some).

The black dots are equally distributed and almost certainly are markings from a crown- or flower-shaped pendok. Also most certainly they can be polished out easily.

It is a very beautiful hilt!
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Old 3rd October 2021, 11:48 PM   #9
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I must say that the shreger lines are so very clear and obvious, that it makes me suspicious.

Could you make some more pictures, also with daylight ?

The needle test is indeed outdated as Marius points out.

But if you take the scrapings from the peksi hole and burn it, this should give the smell of burned hair.
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Old 4th October 2021, 04:20 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Green View Post
Jean;

I don't know what that black dots are... could well be markings from pendokok /selut as you suggested.

Anthony;

I did scrape from the inside of the hole and the powder smelt just like ivory. But did not try to burn it. The lines looked very much like the real thing if compared to the ones of imitation ivory that I saw on the internet but I am not sure as I have no experience in this .

David;

Like you I'm against the use of 'new' ivory. I hope this one is not that new (if it is real ivory).
Hi, my good pal who has much experience told me that yours seem to be a real stuff. Happy for you
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Old 4th October 2021, 11:30 AM   #11
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As I was intrigued by this discussion I did a short internet research concerning ivory imitations and it turns out there are resins that imitate ivory quite well, including the Schreger lines.

Here is more information from the GIA website, for reference:

https://www.gia.edu/gems-gemology/fa...-with-a-pseudo

PS: However, upon more careful examination of the photos from the GIA website one can notice that the cris-cross pattern of the resin samples is less regular and without the optical interference effect of the genuine Schreger lines. Also, it is quite apparent that the difference in coloration is also visible sideways, along the length of samples (see for example the tusk-shaped sample).

So, I still am pretty sure the hilt in question is made of genuine ivory. Polishing out the black spots (or polishing the interior of the hole) may reveal the characteristic "dentist" smell resulted from burning the ivory.

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Old 4th October 2021, 02:33 PM   #12
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Very poor imitations!
I am also quite convinced that the hilt in question is made from genuine elephant ivory. The smell test by slightly drilling the pesi hole is a positive indication.
Francatolin, I own one hilt made from resin and it is as dense as ivory so this is not a reliable criteria.
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Old 4th October 2021, 03:46 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mariusgmioc View Post
As I was intrigued by this discussion I did a short internet research concerning ivory imitations and it turns out there are resins that imitate ivory quite well, including the Schreger lines.

Here is more information from the GIA website, for reference:

https://www.gia.edu/gems-gemology/fa...-with-a-pseudo

PS: However, upon more careful examination of the photos from the GIA website one can notice that the cris-cross pattern of the resin samples is less regular and without the optical interference effect of the genuine Schreger lines. Also, it is quite apparent that the difference in coloration is also visible sideways, along the length of samples (see for example the tusk-shaped sample).

So, I still am pretty sure the hilt in question is made of genuine ivory. Polishing out the black spots (or polishing the interior of the hole) may reveal the characteristic "dentist" smell resulted from burning the ivory.
I completely agree Marius. The imitation stuff looks interesting, but one can easily see the difference between the affect created there and actual Schreger lines. I am 9.99% sure that Nik's example is the real thing. Must always leave some room for doubt without having the hilt in hand.
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Old 4th October 2021, 07:07 PM   #14
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Looks like a nice authentic ivory piece. Old ivory can appear new depending on how it was stored and protected, it's very stable for a natural object.
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Old 5th October 2021, 09:42 AM   #15
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Thank you all for comments and suggestions.

Based on the discussion above I'll treat this item as genuine ivory (for now).
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Old 5th October 2021, 05:19 PM   #16
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One useful (but not full-proof) indicator is the price which you paid for this piece, after fierce bargaining of course.... (no figure given as forbidden by the law).
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Old 5th October 2021, 07:17 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jean View Post
One useful (but not full-proof) indicator is the price which you paid for this piece, after fierce bargaining of course.... (no figure given as forbidden by the law).
I beg to differ!

From my experience, price is the most misleading criteria possible.

On one hand the whole idea of selling fake ivory is to sell plastic at the price of ivory.

On the other hand I got so many genuine ivory objects (Japanese ivory inro and netsuke, ivory shibayama art, African ivory objects) literally dirt cheap.

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Old 6th October 2021, 07:01 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by mariusgmioc View Post
I beg to differ!


On the other hand I got so many genuine ivory objects (Japanese ivory inro and netsuke, ivory shibayama art, African ivory objects) literally dirt cheap.
This is true for most Asian and African ivory pieces because ivory trading is virtually banned in Europe, but not for kris hilts IMO and according to my recent experience at an international auction.
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Old 7th October 2021, 03:21 AM   #19
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Quote:
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This is true for most Asian and African ivory pieces because ivory trading is virtually banned in Europe, but not for kris hilts IMO and according to my recent experience at an international auction.
Regrettable not for Singapore as my dealer friend got spot check by cops and photographs taken. He cannot sell these keris unless no ivory.........
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Old 7th October 2021, 02:15 PM   #20
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Quote:
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One useful (but not full-proof) indicator is the price which you paid for this piece, after fierce bargaining of course.... (no figure given as forbidden by the law).
Pfew. I agree with Marius on this one.
How could the price be an indicator ?

Weirdest indicator ever for such an object.
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Old 7th October 2021, 06:13 PM   #21
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In my own less than educated opinion, I'd also say this is legit ivory.

Also, another relevant imitation ivory is "French ivory." This is an early cellulose/plastic material that does have layers that kind of, but not really, resemble the Schreger lines you'd find on actual ivory.

I'm including two images from an old auction, and a link to my own small gunong with a French ivory hilt, previously discussed on the Ethnographic side of the fence.

http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=24831

Have fun,
Leif
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