Ivory Made of Fish BoneBy Mark Chervenka
Ivory Made of Fish Bone
Since the late 1980s, reproduction manufacturers have used fish bones as an ivory substitute. Larger bones are carved; smaller bones are ground up and cast in molds. Bones of fish and other animals (water buffalo, cattle, etc.) are attractive to reproduction manufacturers because all bone looks very similar to genuine ivory under black light.
This 4" reproduction inro (a box hung from a kimono sash) is made of fish bone. Apparently very fresh fish bones because the fish smell is unbearably strong. The grain pattern of true ivory is also missing. Don't overlook this "sniff "test on suspect pieces.