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Vegetable ivory

Discussions, identification and analysis of the different types of vegetable and fruit used in Netsuke
JimLewis
Posts: 706
Joined: Sat Feb 10, 2007 6:25 pm
Location: Western N.C. (USA)

Postby JimLewis » Sun Feb 25, 2007 6:20 pm

At a Japanese cultural festival in Florida recently, a friend saw a booth selling carvings (unknown if they were netsuke) made from "vegetable ivory."

Has anyone come across this stuff?

See: http://waynesword.palomar.edu/pljan99.htm

and: http://www.vegetableivory.com/eng/vegetableivory.html

and for some netsuke made from it:
http://www.asianartmall.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=CTGY&Category_Code=nut

Some gemology info: http://www.bwsmigel.info/GEOL.115.ESSAYS/Gemology.Ivory.html

From the carvings shown at the second and third sites it appears that it might pass to the uninitiated eye as ivory.

Jim Lewis - lewisjk@alltel.net - Western NC - [font=8]People, when Columbus discovered this country, it was plumb full of nuts and berries. And I'm right here to tell you the berries are just about all gone. Uncle Dave Macon, old-time country musician[/font]

Bunjinboy
Posts: 173
Joined: Mon May 09, 2005 5:35 pm
Location: London
Contact:

Postby Bunjinboy » Sun Feb 25, 2007 9:34 pm


Hi

"vegetable ivory." is Tagua nut. A small white hard nut with a brown skin which is close to Ivory for carving. Many mass produced netsuke are made from this very cheap material.

Thanks

Andy


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