What is French Ivory?

I've been around Antiques, most of my life.  My parent's house is chalked full of generations of items from Furniture to trinkets.  My grandparent's published Unitt's Price Guide all through my childhood. 

Although collecting is all about the individual's taste and what it is about a piece or type of style that intrigues a person, it is sometimes helpful to know some information about what you are looking at.

So what is French Ivory?

It's actually not really ivory at all.  I've looked around and the best description I could find was located on a web-site www.infobloom.com.  They wrote what follows here:

"French ivory is an early manmade material created to resemble expensive natural ivory. This faux ivory is made from celluloid, a cellulose and camphor thermoplastic dating to the 1860s, and widely used until the middle of the 20th century. It can be differentiated from natural ivory by its parallel lines rather than the crosshatched lines found in genuine ivory and by its lighter weight. French ivory can be molded easily, making it an ideal substance for a wide variety of items, including decorative dresser sets, handles for flatware, hair accessories and gaming pieces. Although it has some drawbacks and requires thoughtful storage and care, many antique and vintage items made from this early plastic are highly collectible."

We are featuring a dresser set in our store and like many antiques, this has passed through many hands and has it's nicks and marks.  Take a look and see what you think!


French ivory

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