I have been looking at netsukes on eBay recently and find that many say 'faux' ivory....I am told that some people will list real ivory as 'faux' to get around eBay's ban on ivory. Could someone please tell me if this is true, or if faux ivory listing are all really either bone or plastic? I just don't get listing an item that is real ivory as fake, it makes no sense and can really cause problems if the item is purchased thinking they really mean real ivory and you get the item and it is actually fake and you want to return it, you have no recourse even if you paid 'real' ivory prices...
Any information on how ivory listings work on eBay in the antiques category would be helpful.
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Yes, it's true (at least in jewelry). The listings I've seen do it include pictures that make it clear the piece is ivory (for anyone who knows ivory).
My recommendation would be that if you can't tell from looking at it, assume it's not real and bid accordingly.
Yes, if the photo can't give you enough to make an informed decision.....pass it by !
Check ox bone ....as an alternative to Faux ivory...
Many people will show a good close up of the grain in the item. You as the buyer are expected to be able to tell the difference between faux ivory, ox bone, and real ivory when you see the close up.
French Ivory can be considered 'faux' ivory. It was created at the turn of the last century for folks who couldn't afford real ivory. Look up some pieces made of French Ivory and you'll see what I mean. It's a type of early plastic.
"French ivory" is celluloid. Or most of it is. You can also run into "vegetable ivory" which is another substitute. It's usually used in small pieces and often made of tagua nut. I've seen "fossil material" used for mammoth or fossil walrus ivory too, just to add to the confusion.
"Vegetable ivory" not only sounds like an oxymoron, it conjures up a picture of something the color and consistency of overcooked spinach...
My experience is that vegetable ivory is a completely different color, usually toffee color and the grain in French, faux celluloid ivory is also very not like ivory at all. Google "identify ivory" it will get you a chart showing close up photos of ivory so you can get a better grip on the grain.