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Are You Caring Enough About Your Mamoth Ivory Sculpture?

It does not matter the kind of ivory that you may be collecting, all ivory is easily affected from any form of environmental exposure. Ivory will crack and shrink in relatively low humidity, while the relatively high humidity will cause your ivory artworks to swell and warp. If your ivory is exposed to major fluctuating heat changes, there will also be ivory shrinkage and expansion. The darkening features of ivory are a natural part of the aging, which is caused by the organic matters within the ivory. Ivory is a delicate material that easily stains, while also being of a porous nature. When handling your ivory artwork, it is best to avoid touching with your bare hands.

There are several different variations of animals that ivory may come from, but no matter if it is from the mammoth, whale, walrus, or the elephant, ivory is from the same areas when it comes to the distinguished parts. It is the largest two teeth and the tusks of certain animals and mammals that gives us the elegantly exquisite beauty of ivory artwork. There is a slight density variation between the different kinds of ivory, depending on the animal or mammal the ivory originates from, and these differences are composed of organic and inorganic matters that gives overall strength, and it is naturally repairable, along with the growth capabilities.

It does not matter the kind of ivory that you may be collecting, all ivory is easily affected from any form of environmental exposure. When ivory is light exposed, there is a bleaching in the color, but it is when temperature or humidity gets to the ivory that real damage occurs. Ivory will crack and shrink in relatively low humidity, while the relatively high humidity will cause your ivory artworks to swell and warp. If your ivory is exposed to major fluctuating heat changes, there will also be ivory shrinkage and expansion. These are issues most often associated with the thinner miniature objects formations.

The darkening features of ivory are a natural part of the aging, which is caused by the organic matters within the ivory. Ivory is a delicate material that easily stains, while also being of a porous nature. Ivory is highly susceptible to darkening from our direct touch due to the skin's natural oils, and it will easily stain if touched for long periods of time by certain colored materials or metals that are corroded.

When handling your ivory artwork, it is best to avoid touching with your bare hands. Gloves that are made of white cotton are recommended, but if you have to touch the ivory with no gloves, you must thoroughly wash your hands with warm water and a good soap, so to fully remove all dirt and natural oils. You must make sure and completely dry your hands, because water will damage your ivory. Damage will also occur from any kind of cleaning products too, so every precautionary measure should be taken.

The best way to protect your ivory art investment is to encase the object in an air tight display casing or keep it safe by wrapping the ivory object up, and putting it in a small storage box or drawer. These are the two best ways for full environmental protection of your ivory artwork, so to have as few damaging changes as possible happen over time.

Submitted by:

Anita Satin Choudhary

Anita Satin Choudhary writes for Ivory and Art Gallery. Browse the gallery for unique collection of artifacts ranging from Mammoth Ivory to Netsuke and Silver Judaica.




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