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Source For Imitation Ivory?

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I am having a Bb/F Linota model made and want to have the palmrests done up with the upper end of the handstrap anchored at the thumb-end of the handrest with an imitation ivory piece to simulate the style used on a number of the high-end Linotas of the period. On Internet searches I have seen a number of places listing different premade pieces in imitation ivory but found no sellers of small blocks. I will also need to locate a source for the metal strap adjuster pieces that go at the other end of the palmrest.


Can anyone help me to quickly narrow my search for these two items? Your help will be greatly appreciated.


Ross Schlabach

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On Internet searches I have seen a number of places listing different premade pieces in imitation ivory but found no sellers of small blocks.

A quick google on various combinations that I thought would be likely turned up mainly sources for knives and guns with imitation ivory (I think "ivoroid" is this most common version) handles. Tantalizing hints that maybe I should be looking for gemstone suppliers, woodworking suppliers, or sculptors supplies. But I did turn up emails of an artist and a woodworker who apparently use imitation ivory in their work. I won't post the addresses publicly, but I'll send them to you, so that if you want you can email them and ask where they get their supplies.

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It would be worth trying makers of bagpipes. Certainly Northumbrian pipes were often made with some ivory parts and they now use artificial ivory, and I suspect highland pipes also.


Another easy source wold be an old knife handle. You should be able to get any amount from your local car boot sale. I doubt you will find real ivory, but there is plenty of imitation stuff.



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I may be wrong, but I think a common replacement for ivory is the tagua nut.

In my browsing I found that there are a couple of kinds of "vegetable ivory", and I guess the tagua nut is one. And bone is also used as a substitute for ivory. But the "grain" of bone is different from that of ivory, while the "vegetable ivories" are said to have no grain at all.


I believe I've seen ivoroid (plastic) scrimshaw that did have ivory-like grain, though, so I would guess it's made by a process that carefully controls layering. But that leads me to wonder if there aren't different grades of ivoroid, since it would probably be difficult to match the layering of a whale's tooth (e.g.), as opposed to simple uniform layering.

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Hi Ross,


Not sure where you are from.....member profile is a little 'sparse'


For anyone in the UK you could try:-




Material is cast polyester and can be stained by soaking in tannic acid or dyed with Dylon dyes

Round rods 1.5m long 20mm – 75mm

Rectangular bars 1.5m long 25 x 35mm, 33 x 45mm, 45 x 75 mm

Sheets 40cm x 48cm x 3.5mm thick in following finishes:

Grained ivory, White & Oyster

Dark Abalone

Mother of Pearl


Horn and tortoiseshell in rod, bar and sheet form


Units 3 and 3A

Hambrook Business Centre


West Sussex

PO18 8XP

Tel (01243) 574444


If you have one in the area, try an organ repairer/restorer Old organ stops were often Ivory; or perhaps chose a cheaper and easier to obtain substitute such as staghorn. You will earn your crust for the day cutting and shaping that!





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