IVORY

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IVORY; the substance of the tusk of the elephant. Ivory is esteemed for its beautiful cream color, the fineness of its grain, and the high polish it is capable of re o ceiving. That of India is apt to lose its color, and turn yellow ; but the ivory of Achem and Ceylon is not chargeable with this defect. Ivory is used as a material for toys, and as panels for miniaturepaintings. To prepare it for the latter purpose,it is to be washed with the juice of gailic, or some other absorbent composition, to remove its oily particles. The shavings of ivory may be reduced into a jelly, of a nature similar to that of hartshorn ; or, by burning in a crucible, they may be converted into a black powder, which is used in painting, under the name of ivoryblack. Ivory may be stained or dyed : a black color is given it by a solution of brass and a decoction of logwood ; a green one, by a solution of verdigris ; and a red, by being boiled with Brazilwood, in limewater. The use of ivory was well known in very early ages. We find it employed for arms, girdles, sceptres, harnesses of horses, swordhilts, &c. The ancients were also acquainted with the art of (sculpturing in ivory, of dyeing and encrusting it. Homer refers to the extreme whiteness of ivory. The coffer of Cypselus was doubtless the most ancient monument of this kind in bassorelievo, and we meet with similar instances in the temple of Juno at Olympius, in the time of Pausamas ; that is to say, 700 years after it had been built. The ancients had numerous statues of ivory, particularly in the temples of Jupiter and of Juno, at Olympius. In these statues, there was very frequently a mixture 6f gold. The most celebrated are stated to have been the Olympian Jupiter and the Minerva of Phidias : the former was covered with a golden drapery, and seated on a throne formed of gold, of ivoiy and cedar wood, and enriched with precious stones. In his hand the god held a figure of Victory, also of ivory and gold. The Minerva was erected in the Parthenon at Athens during the first year of the 87th Olympiad the year which commenced the Peloponnesian war. Pausamas likewise makes mention of an ivory statue of Juno on her throne, of remarkable magnificence, by Polycletes, together with numerous others.