Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Chrysocolla covered with quartz

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Prior to the introduction of plastics, ivory had many ornamental and practical uses, mainly because of the white color it presents when processed. It was formerly used to make cutlery handles, billiard balls, piano keys, Scottish bagpipes, buttons and a wide range of ornamental items.

Synthetic substitutes for ivory in the use of most of these items have been developed since 1800: the billiard industry challenged inventors to come up with an alternative material that could be manufactured; the piano industry abandoned ivory as a key covering material in the 1970s.

Vintage Scottish ivory bagpipes

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