Hornbill ivory

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An ivory-like, carvable material obtained from the horny protuberance at the base of the large upper bill on the helmeted hornbill bird (Rhinoplax vigil). The hornbill bird is native to southern Asia, Indonesia and Africa. The protuberance, called the casque, can be up to 15 x 10 x 5 inches (6 x 4 x 2 cm) in size. It is usually a creamy white to pale orange in color. Hornbill ivory is grainless and softer than elephant ivory (Untracht 1985).

Synonyms and Related Terms

ivory substitute; casque

Resources and Citations

  • Oppi Untracht, Jewelry Concepts and Technology, Doubleday & Co., Inc., New York, 1985.
  • Schuyler Cammann, "The Story of Hornbill Ivory" Pennsylvania University Museum Bulletin, 15, 1950.
  • The Dictionary of Art, Grove's Dictionaries Inc., New York, 1996 Comment: F.Minney, "Ivory"