Ivory is a term for dentine, which constitutes the bulk of the teeth and tusks of animals, when used as a material for art or manufacturing. It has been important since ancient times for making a range of items, from ivory carvings to false teeth, fans, dominoes, joint tubes, piano keys and billiard balls. Elephant ivory has been the most important source, but ivory from many species including the hippopotamus, walrus, pig, mammoth, sperm whale, and narwhal has been used. The word ultimately derives from the Ancient Egyptian âb, âbu "elephant", through the Latin ebor- or ebur.
The use and trade of elephant ivory have become controversial, because they have contributed to seriously declining elephant populations in many countries. In 1975, the Asian elephant was placed on Appendix One of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), which prevents international trade between member countries. The African elephant was placed on Appendix One in January 1990. Since then, some southern African countries have had their populations of elephants "downlisted" to Appendix Two, allowing sale of some stockpiles.
Ivory has many ornamental and practical uses. Prior to the introduction of plastics, it was used for billiard balls, piano keys, Scottish bagpipes, buttons and a wide range of ornamental items. Synthetic substitutes for ivory have been developed. Plastics have been viewed by piano purists as an inferior ivory substitute on piano keys, although other recently developed materials more closely resemble the feel of real ivory.
The chemical structure of the teeth and tusks of mammals is the same, regardless of the species of origin. The trade in certain teeth and tusks other than elephant is well established and widespread; therefore, "ivory" can correctly be used to describe any mammalian teeth or tusks of commercial interest which are large enough to be carved or scrimshawed (crocodile teeth are also used).
Other articles related to "ivory":
... The premise of Solid Ivory is similar to The Coo Coo Bird in that Woody winds up losing nearly every confrontation in the short (he does win one near the end) ... The title Solid Ivory is a play on the slang term "solid ivory", coined by Tad Dorgan, which meant someone who was thick-headed, an ignoramus ...
... Why plant a tree in Ivory ? Who planted it ? It was completely unmarked and unknown until a passing visitor told the local 'Tourist Board' the story and the tree was ring fenced and its history recorded ...
... Ivory grew up 140 miles from Division I-AA (now known as Division I FCS) powerhouse Georgia Southern, which did not recruit him ... In 2000, Ivory recorded 2,079 rushing yards and 16 touchdowns on 286 carries ... In his senior year, Ivory rushed for 1,719 yards and 19 touchdowns on 289 carries ...
... Ancient Egypt imported ivory, gold, incense, hardwood, and ostrich feather ... Nubia exported gold, cotton/cotton cloth, ostrich feathers, leopard skins, ivory, ebony, and iron/iron weapons ... Aksum exported ivory, glass crystal, brass, copper, myrrh, and frinkincense ...
... The Archangel ivory is the largest surviving Byzantine ivory panel, now in the British Museum ...
Famous quotes containing the word ivory:
“Its wonderful how I jog
on four-honed-down ivory toes
my massive buttocks slipping
like oiled parts with each light step.”
—Philip Levine (b. 1928)
“And ivory and bright gold,
polished and lustrous grow faint
beside that wondrous flesh
and print of her foot-hold.”
—Hilda Doolittle (18861961)
“The only refuge left to us was the poets ivory tower, which we climbed, ever higher, to isolate ourselves from the mob.”
—Gérard De Nerval (18081855)