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{{Other uses}}File:Our Lady of Manaoag 1.JPG|thumb|The solid ivory image of Our Lady of Manaoag in her imperial regalia. Genuine ivory is held more valuable than gold among Santero artisans. PangasinanPangasinanFile:Horn Louvre OA4069.jpg|thumb|11th-century Italian carved elephant tusk, LouvreLouvreIvory is a hard, white material from the tusks (traditionally elephants') and teeth of animals, that consists mainly of dentine, one of the physical structures of teeth and tusks. 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.WEB,weblink Identification Guide for Ivory and Ivory Substitutes, Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), PDF, 30 April 2013, It has been valued since ancient times in art or manufacturing for making a range of items from ivory carvings to false teeth, piano keys, fans, dominoesNEWS,weblink George Washington's false teeth not wooden, Associated Press, 2017-11-03, and joint tubes.WEB,weblink Joint Tubes, Google Image Search, Elephant ivory is the most important source, but ivory from mammoth, walrus, hippopotamus, sperm whale, killer whale, narwhal and wart hog are used as well.BOOK, Espinoza, E. O., M. J. Mann, 1991, Identification guide for ivory and ivory substitutes, Baltimore, World Wildlife Fund and Conservation Foundation, WEB,weblink Ivory Identification Guide – U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Forensics Laboratory, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Forensics Lab,, 2017-11-03, Elk also have two ivory teeth, which are believed to be the remnants of tusks from their ancestors.WEB,weblink Elk Facts,, 2017-11-03, yes,weblink" title="">weblink 2015-09-29, The national and international trade in ivory of threatened species such as African and Asian elephants is illegal.Singh, R. R., Goyal, S. P., Khanna, P. P., Mukherjee, P. K., & Sukumar, R. (2006). Using morphometric and analytical techniques to characterize elephant ivory. Forensic Science International 162 (1): 144–151. The word ivory ultimately derives from the ancient Egyptian âb, âbu ("elephant"), through the Latin ebor- or ebur.The New Shorter Oxford English Dictionary (Oxford 1993), entry for "ivory."


File:Vierge a l'Enfant debout.jpg|thumb|A depiction of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Child JesusChild JesusFile:Ivory tabernacle Louvre OA2587.jpg|thumb|An ivory tabernacletabernacleBoth the Greek and Roman civilizations practiced ivory carving to make large quantities of high value works of art, precious religious objects, and decorative boxes for costly objects. Ivory was often used to form the white of the eyes of statues.There is some evidence of either whale or walrus ivory used by the ancient Irish. Solinus, a Roman writer in the 3rd century claimed that the Celtic peoples in Ireland would decorate their sword-hilts with the 'teeth of beasts that swim in the sea'. Adomnan of Iona wrote a story about St Columba giving a sword decorated with carved ivory as a gift that a penitent would bring to his master so he could redeem himself from slavery.Adomnan of Iona. Life of St Columba. Penguin books, 1995The Syrian and North African elephant populations were reduced to extinction, probably due to the demand for ivory in the Classical world.Revello, Manuela, “Orientalising ivories from Italy”, in BAR, British Archaeological Reports, Proceedings of International Symposium of Mediterranean Archaeology, February 24–26, 2005, Università degli Studi di Chieti, 111–118.The Chinese have long valued ivory for both art and utilitarian objects. Early reference to the Chinese export of ivory is recorded after the Chinese explorer Zhang Qian ventured to the west to form alliances to enable the eventual free movement of Chinese goods to the west; as early as the first century BC, ivory was moved along the Northern Silk Road for consumption by western nations.WEB, Hogan, C. M.,weblink Silk Road, North China,, 2007, 2017-11-03, Southeast Asian kingdoms included tusks of the Indian elephant in their annual tribute caravans to China. Chinese craftsmen carved ivory to make everything from images of deities to the pipe stems and end pieces of opium pipes.Martin, S. (2007). The Art of Opium Antiques. Silkworm Books, Chiang MaiThe Buddhist cultures of Southeast Asia, including Myanmar, Thailand, Laos and Cambodia, traditionally harvested ivory from their domesticated elephants. Ivory was prized for containers due to its ability to keep an airtight seal. It was also commonly carved into elaborate seals utilized by officials to "sign" documents and decrees by stamping them with their unique official seal.WEB,weblink, Daniel Stiles, Ivory Carving in Thailand, 2017-11-03, In Southeast Asian countries, where Muslim Malay peoples live, such as Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines, ivory was the material of choice for making the handles of kris daggers. In the Philippines, ivory was also used to craft the faces and hands of Catholic icons and images of saints prevalent in the Santero culture.Tooth and tusk ivory can be carved into a vast variety of shapes and objects. Examples of modern carved ivory objects are okimono, netsukes, jewelry, flatware handles, furniture inlays, and piano keys. Additionally, warthog tusks, and teeth from sperm whales, orcas and hippos can also be scrimshawed or superficially carved, thus retaining their morphologically recognizable shapes.Ivory usage in the last thirty years has moved towards mass production of souvenirs and jewelry. In Japan, the increase in wealth sparked consumption of solid ivory hanko – name seals – which before this time had been made of wood. These hanko can be carved out in a matter of seconds using machinery and were partly responsible for massive African elephant decline in the 1980s, when the African elephant population went from 1.3 million to around 600,000 in ten years.EIA (1989). "A System of Extinction – the African Elephant Disaster". Environmental Investigation Agency, London.

Consumption before plastics

File:Decorated ivory.JPG|thumb|An elaborately carved ivory tusk in Sa'dabad PalaceSa'dabad PalacePrior 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;{{Shamos 1999}}{{rp|17}} the piano industry abandoned ivory as a key covering material in the 1970s.Ivory can be taken from dead animals â€“ however, most ivory came from elephants that were killed for their tusks. For example, in 1930 to acquire 40 tons of ivory required the killing of approximately 700 elephants.JOURNAL,weblink Ivory Tusks by the Ton, Popular Science, November 1930, 45, Other animals which are now endangered were also preyed upon, for example, hippos, which have very hard white ivory prized for making artificial teeth.BOOK, Tomlinson, C., ed., Tomlinson's Cyclopaedia of Useful Arts, 1866, Virtue & Co, London, Vol I, pages 929–930. In the first half of the 20th century, Kenyan elephant herds were devastated because of demand for ivory, to be used for piano keys.JOURNAL,weblink Piano Keys From Elephant Tusk, January 1937, Popular Science, During the Art Deco era from 1912 to 1940, dozens (if not hundreds) of European artists used ivory in the production of chryselephantine statues. Two of the most frequent users of ivory in their sculptured artworks were Ferdinand Preiss and Claire Colinet.BOOK, Catley, Bryan, Art Deco and Other Figures, 1978, Antique Collectors' Club Ltd., Woodbridge, England, 978-1-85149-382-1, 112–123, 1st,


File:Ivory trade.jpg|thumb|upright|220px|Men with ivory tusks, 1900}}Owing to the rapid decline in the populations of the animals that produce it, the importation and sale of ivory in many countries is banned or severely restricted. In the ten years preceding a decision in 1989 by CITES to ban international trade in African elephant ivory, the population of African elephants declined from 1.3 million to around 600,000. It was found by investigators from the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) that CITES sales of stockpiles from Singapore and Burundi (270 tonnes and 89.5 tonnes respectively) had created a system that increased the value of ivory on the international market, thus rewarding international smugglers and giving them the ability to control the trade and continue smuggling new ivory.Since the ivory ban, some Southern African countries have claimed their elephant populations are stable or increasing, and argued that ivory sales would support their conservation efforts. Other African countries oppose this position, stating that renewed ivory trading puts their own elephant populations under greater threat from poachers reacting to demand. CITES allowed the sale of 49 tonnes of ivory from Zimbabwe, Namibia and Botswana in 1997 to Japan.WEB,weblink PDF, HSI Ivory trade timeline,, 2017-11-03, "Living Proof", Dave Currey & Helen Moore, A report by Environmental Investigation Agency Sept 1994In 2007, under pressure from the International Fund for Animal Welfare, eBay banned all international sales of elephant-ivory products. The decision came after several mass slaughters of African elephants, most notably the 2006 Zakouma elephant slaughter in Chad. The IFAW found that up to 90% of the elephant-ivory transactions on eBay violated their own wildlife policies and could potentially be illegal. In October 2008, eBay expanded the ban, disallowing any sales of ivory on eBay.A more recent sale in 2008 of 108 tonnes from the three countries and South Africa took place to Japan and China.JOURNAL, The Economist, Campaigners fear for elephants and their own credibility, July 2008,weblink CITES summary record of Standing Committee 57 2008 The inclusion of China as an "approved" importing country created enormous controversy, despite being supported by CITES, the World Wide Fund for Nature and Traffic.WEB,weblink Ivory sales, Traffic, 2008-10-28, 2017-11-03, They argued that China had controls in place and the sale might depress prices. However, the price of ivory in China has skyrocketed.NEWS,weblink Ivory Trade threatens African Elephant, Jason, Strazjuso, Michael, Caesy, William, Foreman, MSNBC, 2010-05-15, 2017-11-03, Some believe this may be due to deliberate price fixing by those who bought the stockpile, echoing the warnings from the Japan Wildlife Conservation Society on price-fixing after sales to Japan in 1997,WEB, Elephant poaching? None of our business' Influence of Japanese ivory market on illegal transboundary ivory trade, Japan Tiger and Elephant Fund (JTEF), March 2010,weblink PDF, and monopoly given to traders who bought stockpiles from Burundi and Singapore in the 1980s.Despite arguments prevailing on the ivory trade for the last thirty years through CITES, there is one fact upon which virtually all informed parties now agree – poaching of African elephants for ivory is now seriously on the increase.NEWS, China fuels East African Poaching, Epoch Times, Damian Robin, 2010-03-30,weblink 2017-11-03, WEB, Elephant Ivory Sales Denied to Halt Worldwide Poaching Crisis,, 2010-03-23,weblink 2017-11-03, WEB, Massive surge in elephant poaching,, 2010-03-23,weblink 2017-11-03, yes,weblink" title="">weblink 2010-12-17, The debate surrounding ivory trade has often been depicted as Africa vs the West. However, in reality the southern Africans have always been in a minority within the African elephant range states. To reiterate this point, 19 African countries signed the "Accra Declaration" in 2006 calling for a total ivory trade ban, and 20 range states attended a meeting in Kenya calling for a 20-year moratorium in 2007.WEB, African countries set to lock horns over ivory, 2007-05-31,weblink, 2017-11-03, yes,weblink" title="">weblink 2016-08-21,

Controversy and conservation issues

The use and trade of elephant ivory have become controversial because they have contributed to seriously declining elephant populations in many countries. It is estimated that consumption in Great Britain alone in 1831 amounted to the deaths of nearly 4,000 elephants. In 1975, the Asian elephant was placed on Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), which prevents international trade between member states of species that are threatened by trade. The African elephant was placed on Appendix I in January 1990. Since then, some southern African countries have had their populations of elephants "downlisted" to Appendix II, allowing the domestic trade of non-ivory items; there have also been two "one off" sales of ivory stockpiles."To Save An Elephant" by Allan Thornton & Dave Currey, Doubleday 1991 {{ISBN|0-385-40111-6}}WEB,weblink Asian Elephant,, 2017-11-02, NEWS,weblink Increased Demand for Ivory Threatens Elephant Survival, Washington Post, 2007-02-27, 2017-11-03, Marc, Kaufman, WEB,weblink Lifting the Ivory Ban Called Premature, NPR, 2002-10-31, 2013-06-24, WEB,weblink WWF Wildlife Trade – elephant ivory FAQs, World Wildlife Fund, 2017-11-03, In June 2015, more than a ton of confiscated ivory was crushed in New York's Times Square by the Wildlife Conservation Society to send a message that the illegal trade will not be tolerated. The ivory, confiscated in New York and Philadelphia, was sent up a conveyor belt into a rock crusher. The Wildlife Conservation Society has pointed out that the global ivory trade leads to the slaughter of up to 35,000 elephants a year in Africa. In June 2018, Conservative MEPs’ Deputy Leader Jacqueline Foster MEP urged the EU to follow the UK's lead and introduce a tougher ivory ban across Europe.NEWS, Foster, McClarkin, Flack: "4 things we've done to improve animal welfare",weblink Conservatives in the European Parliament, 18 July 2018, Jacqueline Foster, Emma McClarkin, John Flack, China was the biggest market for poached ivory but announced they would phase out the legal domestic manufacture and sale of ivory products in May 2015, months later in September of the same year, China and the U.S. "said they would enact a nearly complete ban on the import and export of ivory."WEB, Ryan, F.,weblink China and US agree on ivory ban in bid to end illegal trade globally, 26 September 2015, 2 November 2017, The Chinese market has a high degree of influence on the elephant population.NEWS,weblink 事实上,大象已经濒临灭绝, Elephants on the Path of Extinction: The facts, The Guardian,, zh, 8 September 2016, 3 November 2017, NEWS,weblink Isabel Hilton, Why the Guardian is publishing its elephant reporting in Chinese,, 9 September 2016, 3 November 2017,

Alternative sources

Trade in the ivory from the tusks of dead woolly mammoths frozen in the tundra has occurred for 300 years and continues to be legal. Mammoth ivory is used today to make handcrafted knives and similar implements. Mammoth ivory is rare and costly because mammoths have been extinct for millennia, and scientists are hesitant to sell museum-worthy specimens in pieces.NEWS,weblink Trade in mammoth ivory, helped by global thaw, flourishes in Russia, New York Times, 2008-03-25, 2017-11-03, Andrew E., Kramer, Some estimates suggest that 10 million mammoths are still buried in Siberia.BOOK, Mammoths: giants of the ice age, Lister, Adrian, Paul G., Bahn, 2007, University of California Press, 978-0-520-25319-3, A species of hard nut is gaining popularity as a replacement for ivory, although its size limits its usability. It is sometimes called vegetable ivory, or tagua, and is the seed endosperm of the ivory nut palm commonly found in coastal rainforests of Ecuador, Peru and Colombia.NEWS,weblink Lara Farrar, CNN, Could plant ivory save elephants?, 2005-04-26, 2017-11-03, Fossil walrus ivory from animals that died before 1972 is legal to buy and sell or possess in the United States, unlike many other types of ivory.{{citation|title=Walrus ivory dos and don'ts|publisher=US Fish and Wildlife Service|type=pamphlet|url=}}


File:The Bull Leaper Knossos 1500BC.jpg|The Bull Leaper, an ivory figurine from the palace of Knossos, Crete, 15th century BCFile:AGMA Ivory Pyxis with Griffins Attacking Stags.jpg|Ancient Greek ivory pyxis with griffins attacking stags. Late 15th century BC.File:Porphyrogenetus.jpg|Ivory has always been a highly valuable material for carving.File:Ivory cover of the Lorsch Gospels, c. 810, Carolingian, Victoria and Albert Museum.jpg|Ivory cover of the Codex Aureus of Lorsch, c. 810, Carolingian dynasty, Victoria and Albert MuseumFile:BigUnTusks6184w.jpg|Pig tusksFile:Elhafen Battle of Hannibal and Scipio.jpg|Battle of Hannibal and Scipio (Alexander's victory over Poros), by Ignaz Elhafen, ca. 1700, Warsaw Royal CastleFile:Mammoth ivory hg.jpg|Section through the ivory tusk of a mammothFile:Casket ivory Louvre UCAD4417.jpg|Casket, ivory and silver, Muslim Spain, 966File:Morgan Casket MET DP100742.jpg|The Morgan Casket, an 11th-century ivory casket attributed to Southern Italy. Currently in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

See also



External links

{{commons category|Ivory}} {{Elephants}}{{Jewellery}}{{Authority control}}

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