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Fossil ivory or wood silver snuffbox ID


agman

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I'm trying to identify the polished fossil material in this Georgian English snuffbox, circa 1760 to 1820. Is it mammoth ivory? Walrus? Wood? Something else?

 

The material is set in unhallmarked sterling silver.

 

Thanks in advance for your suggestions.

 

Adam 

fossil snuffbox 1.jpg

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fossil snuffbox 7.jpg

fossil snuffbox 8.jpg

Edited by agman
correction
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Welcome to TFF.

Sorry but that is not ivory.

I think it is a fern wood. (petrified)

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No, but others here may know.

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Thank you. So the blob-like structures would be the cross sections of fern roots? What would the more uniform material with the dark flecks in it be?

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7 minutes ago, Rockwood said:

You might want to check out this post. Link

I like the possible similarities. :)

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Consider fossilized palm wood as well. Do an internet image search for the word "Palmoxylon" and you'll find images similar to this:

 

Cheers.

 

-Ken

 

P.S: I'll give you $2.58 for it. :P

 

ad61381e2b549bb4d9a258179578b937.png

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It's a neat and beautiful piece of history--combining both antique craftsmanship with fossil material. Glad you found your way to the forum and glad we were able to help.

 

Cheers.

 

-Ken

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A beautiful item.:)

Hello, and and a very warm welcome to TFF from Morocco.

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29 minutes ago, RJB said:

 Looks very much like palm wood. 

 

RB

I thought the same thing when I first saw it. 

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What is very special about this piece of palm is that it shows part of the trunk, the small vascular bundles, and part of the roots, the bigger double circles.

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  • 2 years later...
Gemslice

Good Day from Kauai!

This is a slab of petrified palm trunk, at the base of trunk, where some of the root structure is also petrified.

this is full replacement by SiO2 (silicon dioxide; quartz).

 

I have sliced many slabs of this material, and the palm trunk looks like small cellulose fibers when cut across the grain, and long stripes when cut with the grain.

The root structure are larger looking tubular structures that go every which way, they look circular or oval when cut. all takes a fine polish with Cerium Oxide on damp hard felt wheel.

it does get so silicified that the slabs cut ring like glass or fine porcelain when lightly struck with a jewelers file. do not recommend this test in a finished piece.

The rough is highly prized by rockhounders in these fine states; Calif, Nevada, Arizona, Texas, Louisiana, Florida. This is a wonderful specimen (AAA) and the highlight to the piece in question.

 

Blessings, Crimson

 

 

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