Bobby Mann with the center nerve from a Narwhal TuskWilliam R. Mann, a collector of unusual Ivories, provides a fact-filled 1-day Hands-ON workshop about natural Ivories.

His workshop about Ivory and Ivory substitutes reflects his great enthusiasm  and passion for Ivory and everything related to it.

As a co-founder of the International Ivory Society his knowledge and passion about the subject  is always on full display as his workshops are filled with numerous fun facts and anecdotes about the animal tusks. Bobby’s presentation includes a lecture, slide show and lots of samples passed around that detail Ivory Identification characteristics.


Ivory ID Workshop Group

The workshop covers everything from Elephant to Boar tusks and shared various ways to identity look-alike ivories from the real ones.

Narwhal and Sperm Whale Teeth

Narwhal and Sperm Whale Teeth

Along with instruction on how to separate look-alike from natural ivories, Bobby is also a master in identifying manufactured ivory substitutes. Using Ivory Identification Comparison kits along with  a brief slide presentation with a written guide, Bobby showed the diagnostic characteristics of the various selected natural ivories as well as natural and manufactured substitutes.

Workshop Whale Baleen

Workshop Whale Baleen

Students had an oppotunity to touch, feel and evaluate all the different types of ivories including natural Elephant Tusk, Mammoth Tusk, Walrus Tusk,  Hippopotamus Teeth, Sperm Whale Teeth, Narwhal Tusk, Wart Hog Tusk, and Boar Tusk, mixed with their
natural ivory substitutes – Bone, Antler, Vegetable Ivory, Hornbill Ivory, Shell, Coral, Meerschaum, displayed together with the manufactured ivory substitutes – such as celluloid and polymer-plastic.

Workshop Bone

Carved Bone over a wood tusk frame

Analyzing the ivory specimens under LWUV, and 10x magnification, the entire group of students were able to view all the specimens, ask questions and learn how to identify the different ivories.

Workshop LWUV

Workshop LWUV

Identifying all the ivories, natural substitutes and imitations was made easy with the imparted knowledge from Bobby’s wealth of knowledge.

Hands-ON with Ears and Wrist optional

Hands-ON with Ears and Wrist optional

Stay Tuned for the release of a 20 Page Booklet “Ivory Identification a Photographic Reference Guide” being written and published by Booby Mann. Soon to be available!

This booklet is the first in 3 books Bobby is planning to release:
“Ivory Identification a Photographic Reference Guide” – 20 Page Reference Booklet
“Ivory Identification a Photographic Companion”  – 90 Page indepth book covering all his workshop information.
“The Complete Ivory Identification Book” – 300+ Page tome on evrything ivory and many fringe items from the same mammals.

Summary by Charlie Marts

Photos by Theresa McGowan

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