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Subject: Ivory


From: Gwen M. Tauber <g.tauber>
Date: Monday, October 1, 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?

Although as a paintings conservator myself, I can offer no advice,
your request did bring to mind a small ivory statue which turned a
pinkish-red tinge all over when exposed to thymol crystals in a
closed glass vitrine. The thymol had been added to prevent the
development of mold in the event of dampness. The changed color may
have been due to the reddish stain used to dye a wooden block which
acted as the base for the sculpture. The color would have presumably
wicked in by capillary action. No attempt has ever been made to
reverse the effect in this case and I have never come across a
similar problem.

                  Conservation DistList Instance 15:28
                 Distributed: Tuesday, October 2, 2001
                       Message Id: cdl-15-28-001
Received on Monday, 1 October, 2001

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