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Subject: Ivory

Ivory

From: Mary-Lou Florian <mflorian>
Date: Wednesday, October 3, 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?

I have seen  a natural purple pink discoloration in a mammoth tusk.
It has been suggested to due to amino acid changes.  Thymol is a
phenolic material and phenols are used to develop color in amino
acids for chromatographic identification.  Theoretically the thymol
has caused the color change. The range of colors is from  pink
through blues to purple for individual amino acids, a mixture of a
small concentration could look pink.

Mary-Lou Florian, Conservation Scientist
Research Associate, Royal B.C. Museum


                                  ***
                  Conservation DistList Instance 15:29
                  Distributed: Monday, October 8, 2001
                       Message Id: cdl-15-29-002
                                  ***
Received on Wednesday, 3 October, 2001

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