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How does one identify ivory pieces?

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Asian Antiques4511 of 4883rare japanese vaseEstate sale  Both for $50.oo
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Posted 4 years ago


(3 items)

All I know of these is that they are (obviously) Asian and they both stand 7 inches tall, including the ebony stands.
Age is unknown. The ivory has yellowed, particularly on the male figure's back.
There are no marks anywhere on either. I know that sometimes the character portrayed can give some clues - does anyone know of any references?


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  1. imander imander, 4 years ago
    thay are very nice looking, but i have my doubts on wether they are ivory, a lot of this sort of ware is produced in ox bone and resin, a hot needle test would be a help. Find an area that is hidden and heat up the end of a needle, if it pushes in easily then it probably is resin, if it wont go in it could be bone or ivory, a close look under a strong magnifier should show tell tale lines that naturally occur in ivory and bone. hope that helps a bit
  2. murthog, 4 years ago
    Thanks for the good advice. I examined them under a 4X loupe and I do see the lines. Just to make sure I will try that needle test later.
    If both have lines, how does one tell bone from ivory?
  3. ATTWOOD ATTWOOD, 3 years ago
    They are lovely pieces-Do you know their age?
    Cheers Rose

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