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Korean Ivory Chess Set

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Chess Sets134 of 139Vintage Ivory chess set  seeking infoold chess set
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Posted 6 years ago


(1 item)

Was told by previous owner he bought this in Korea in late 1940's. Made of ivory. Hand carved very intricate. Excellent condition. No board. No IDs. How do you tell if it's real ivory. Anything you can share would be appreciated. THANKS!

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  1. Ty Kroll, 6 years ago
    It should be very easy to tell the material by looking for the grain. If you look especially at the bottom of a piece, but really any flat surface in good light you should see a grain that runs in two directions interlocking itself. It should resemble crossing circles, arcs, or crossing lines of different shades of off white. It's very hard to fake this grain and it only comes from elephant or mammoth ivory. The thing about Asian sets, though, is they try to use every part of the tusk and not throw anything away. If the pieces are thin they may have come from an area where you're not going to see the schreger lines. My opinion is it's probably ivory, because these kinds of sets are made of ivory as far as I know, but some of them could be bone. I'm not big on these sets and don't know much about them. You're going to have a hard time if you can't find schreger lines. (If you see any short dashes or specs of dark color all in the same direction or a texture in an area that looks pitted at all they're bone, but I imagine if this set is bone its too new to be showing those signs.) Anyway it's 20th century "bad ivory" if it is ivory, not a set that can get a cites license for and transport out of the country, but you're certainly not making the elephant any deader by owning it and it's a nice set if it pleases you. If you can get a hold of Floyd Sarisohn or really anyone in CCI you can probably find a lot more info about this set. I'm sure it's a very well known set. I've seen quite a few similar sets; I'm just not big on figural stuff so I didn't pay much attention.

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