Carving With Mammoth Tusk Ivory

If you are wondering about the beautiful status that you saw online with intricate details on pure mammoth ivory and how it was done. Here is a brief about carving antique ivory. You need to know that it is not done by amateur sculptors but only some of the very best sculptors in the world are capable of working on the precious mammoth tusk ivory.

The old techniques used adz, ax and chisel to remove the outer bark of the tusk while the bow saw is needed to cut the tusk into smaller sections. From gauges, hand chisels to fretsaws have been used to crave the mammoth ivory tusks. The changes came with the introduction of electric rotary saws of different sizes that cut and peeled away the tough bark of the ivory and dental drills are used for intricate carvings.

It is not easy to carve mammoth tusk ivory as it is solid yet delicate and easy to break due to the erosion of moisture under the permafrost. Some of the mammoth tusks have traces of minerals that are exhibited as blue and green pigmentation. Most of the artists use the coloring to their advantage by carving the design such that it highlights the beauty of the sculpture. If you are looking for expertly crafted mammoth ivory sculptures, figurines and artwork, check out the available collection at

More About Mammoth Ivory Seven Lucky Gods

The Seven Gods of Luck and Good Fortune, Shichi Fukujin are originally a part of Japanese tradition. They represent Dignity, Honesty, Amiability, Longevity, Fortune, Happiness and Wisdom. An amalgamation of Buddhist, Taoist, Hinduism and Shinto saints which became an integral part of the folklore of Japanese, the Gods were grouped around 17th century as Seven Lucky Gods.

As per the traditional representation of the legend as found in historical documents, the Seven Lucky Gods travel in a ship, Takarabune which was filled with precious gems and treasures, coming up from the sea, spreading happiness and good fortune to everyone. It is considered that if you put a picture of Shichi Fukujin under your pillow at night on 31st December for a better fortune in the New Year. The Seven Lucky Gods has Ebisu, Daikokuten, Bishamonten, Benzaiten, Hotei, Jurōjin, and Fukurokuju.

Laughing Buddha or Hotei is the God of Happiness and is known to be generous with gifts for people as is known as Japanese Santa.  While Jyuroujin (God of Longevity) is represented as old man with staff and has a few animals accompanying him.  Fukurokujuzin (God of happiness, wealth and longevity) is a vagabond and philosopher who survive without eating.

Bishimon (God of warriors) holding a pagoda and spear in each hand, symbolizes gifts and guards the treasures. While there is one Goddess, Benzai or Benten which means flowing water, she personifies art, beauty and charm. The God of fishermen and traders, Ebisu has a large belly and is usually happy and laughing. He carries a fishing rod and fish. And the last God in the pantheon is Daikoku. He is the God of the House especially the kitchen. This is considered the center of wealth and is seen carrying a mallet.   Check out the beautiful mammoth tusk ivory Lucky 7 Gods at

What Products Are Crafted From Mammoth Tusk Ivory?

Have you seen that beautiful antique wooden table with the delicate paisley designs in ivory, with the Oriental touch? Well, that is just one of the examples of what mammoth ivory produces.  The solid material which is soft enough to be carved in delicate designs, ivory is not restricted to just mammoth ivory but elephant ivory, fossil ivory like walrus and whale teeth have been used since time immemorial. Archeologists have found needles and crude sculptures made from ivory.

Today there are a plethora of objects that are carved from solid mammoth ivory including sculptures, netsuke, jewelry, scrimshaw, snuff bottles, religious symbols, knife handles, chess sets, hair sticks, guitar picks and even miniature dollhouses. High quality large tusks are sold raw or carved completely by highly skilled artists. These are sold for thousands of dollars while the tiny pieces are used as knife handles and piano keys. Nothing is wasted.

The centers for ivory carving remain in China and Hong Kong where traditional skilled ivory carvers have passed down these skills through the family. The impact of the Oriental themes is prevalent throughout the range of different sculptures. Today if you buy mammoth ivory products which are legal worldwide as the woolly mammoths are extinct, you are investing in an heirloom. This is due to the fact that mammoth ivory is a limited resource.

You can just walk into a jewelry store with contemporary designs and it is easy to spot the precious mammoth ivory beads. Or just look online and you’ll be amazed at the vast collection of mammoth ivory products and sculptures at

How To Date Colored Mammoth Ivory?

Intense studies and lab research has shown that mammoth tusks that were frozen in clear waters resulted in white ivory even after polishing and cutting has been done. The large crosshatch pattern or Schreger lines are clearly visible in mammoth ivory as compared to the inherent patterns on elephant ivory.

For minerals colors to seep in from the soil to the ivory takes at least 10,000 years and when you see a dark piece of ivory or hues of colors on the outer mammoth tusk, know that it has been there for a long, long time. The darker the color and penetration to the inner layers means that it has been buried in mineral rich permafrost for the longest number of years.

Another way to date mammoth ivory is by the hardness levels. Considering that mammoth ivory is not fossilized due to the fact that the core element still remains ivory and have not been replaced by minerals that lead to petrification, it can be carved. With the minerals of the soil in which the ivory is buried work up the ivory a few millimeters over thousands of years, dating colored ivory is easier than before. But if the permafrost melts and the mammoth tusks are exposed, the ivory dries up quickly and becomes useless and flaky. This is due to the exposure to direct sunlight which robs the ivory of its inherent moisture and temperature difference leads sudden brittleness. Usually ivory is dried very slowly and that stops it from crumbling.

Christian Art Mammoth Ivory Sculptures

Ivory has always been a preferred material for royalty and nobility since time immemorial and some of the beautiful statutes and sculptures in medieval churches have been carved in ivory. From crosses, rosaries and figurines, there is a vast and assorted variety of classic Greek and Roam art and later Christian art that is crafted from pure ivory. Going by the traditional cravings and sculptures, even today, the demand for crosses, religious jewelry and artifacts, is high. Though you’ll find most of these items in ivory, the only difference is that today legal mammoth ivory is used to carve them.

Ivory panels, crosses and religious bookmarks since early 4 to 8 century were embellished with gems and metalwork. Usually the carvings of angels, apostles and saints were sculpted on them. Ivory covers were crafted as bindings for manuscripts and ivory plaques were in use. Most of them are spread out through different museums due to its antique value and relevance.

After elephant ivory was banned, mammoth ivory procured from extinct wooly mammoths has become the base for all ivory carvings which are legal for trade worldwide. Though there are numerous replicas of original work, each of them has been crafted with fine details, handcrafted by expert Master artists. You might be interested in looking through some of the most exquisite workmanship and artistic caliber of the artists before adding to your collection. If you are looking for Christian religious art products in mammoth ivory, you’re in luck. Check out a wide range of beautiful products online at