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Subject: Ivory


From: Barbara Appelbaum <aandh>
Date: Thursday, September 27, 2001
James Tapley <jthandbook [at] aol__com> writes

>Several recently carved pieces of Siberian mammoth ivory have been
>accidentally stained with a red dye of unknown origin. The pieces
>were carved and damaged in St. Petersburg, Russia. Can anyone direct
>me to recent studies concerning the morphology and conservation of
>Siberian fossil ivory?

The treatment of this piece should be done by a trained objects
conservator.  Answers to questions about finding an optimal
treatment will not be found in the literature on mammoth ivory.  I
dare say that strategies for removing the material causing the
stains or bleaching out its color have little or anything to do with
the morphology of the substrate, although the chemistry of the
material will determine the safety of any proposed treatment.

Conservation treatments have two fundamental criteria: efficacy and
safety. The job is to find a treatment that will produce the desired
results while not adversely affecting the object.  In this case, one
basic question is whether the staining material itself is having an
adverse affect on the material of the objects.  Another requirement
in this case would be to revisit the judgement that the stains are
accidental just to make sure.

B. Appelbaum

                  Conservation DistList Instance 15:27
               Distributed: Thursday, September 27, 2001
                       Message Id: cdl-15-27-003
Received on Thursday, 27 September, 2001

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