Curious devices, forbidden artifacts, mysterious creatures, and intriguing documents.
The back story for the figure is quite nice and I really like the asymmetry and alieness of the piece. The present finish gives a very eroded look consistent with long-buried and decayed dental material or bone. Also, the faux human teeth are well made and have a good finish, although the leather could be a bit nastier. The only difficulty with a whale tooth or narwhale horn (tooth) prop, is that it would be very difficult to carve the tiny tendrils and have them remain intact. Even an attempt at such as carve would suggest the culture would have access to metal. Whale teeth, when fresh harvested, has a kind of skin over it, which is peeled off. The undersurface is somewhat soft (I can’t give you the Mohs Scale of Hardness) but easily scored with a sharp nail (as in scrimshaw). Eventually over the course of long months and years, the tooth hardens to what we know as a fully seasoned scrimshaw tooth. By the way, faux whale teeth are available on the market specifically made to carve or scrim for the artisan and there are no legal problems with those.Real whale teeth finally set up and season to the point that they become brittle. The test for dating a real whale tooth as to when it was scrimmed, is based on the fact that an engraving on a “fresh” taken tooth leaves a smooth score line due to the softness of the material at the time. An indication that a tooth has been engraved after it has fully seasoned, is that a score mark, even done with a very sharp instrument, leaves a microscopic tear that is easily seen with a 10X optical loup. There is a lot of fraud around and fakers can use a real antique tooth and put bogus dates and images on a genuinely 100 plus year old blank tooth. I’d really like to see a somebody do a rendition of a late Ice Age carving in faux mastodon or deer horn of a Cthulhu fetish: The Lascaux Horror.
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