Ichneumon hair

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Fur from a large mongoose (Herpestes ichneumon) native to Africa and southern Europe. Ichneumon was considered a sacred animal in Egypt. It has a golden or gray coat with a long tufted black tail. Ichneumon hair from the tail is longer and stiffer than sable. It has been used in artist brushes for heavy bodied paint (Pinney 1999).

Synonyms and Related Terms

mongoose hair; meloncillo hair; Egyptian mongoose (Herpestes ichneumon); Indian gray mongoose (Herpestes edwardsii) ; Mangusten (Deut.); mangosta (Esp>); herpestidae (Fr.)

Other Properties

Dark brown fibers with white tip. Excellent body and elasticity. Not very durable.

Sources Checked for Data in Record

  • Zora Sweet Pinney, 'A Handle on the Terms used for Artists' Brushes', unpublished glossary, 1999
  • The American Heritage Dictionary or Encarta, via Microsoft Bookshelf 98, Microsoft Corp., 1998