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Subject: Dental instruments

Dental instruments

From: Alan Hawk <alan.hawk<-at->
Date: Friday, July 20, 2012
I have some dental instruments with either ivory handles or cameo
handles, possible trumpet shell.  They are of English or American
origin dating from late eighteenth to early twentieth century.  The
handles have an octagonal cross section of approximately 3/4 inch
diameter. They exhibit an irregular scalloping of a burnt orange
color, when you see a burnt orange 'grooves'.

I can provide images that display the condition better than I can
describe.

Are these handles ivory or cameo?  Do they represent deterioration,
a natural condition or heat damage?  Are there any
handling/preservation issues I need to be aware of?

Any clues as that would narrow down the age range of the instruments.

Alan Hawk
Collections Manager, Historical Collections
National Museum of Health and Medicine
Medical Research and Materiel Command
2460 Linden La.
Silver Spring, MD 20910
301-319-0382, DSN 319-0382
Fax: 301-319-3373
DSN 319-3373


                                  ***
                  Conservation DistList Instance 26:9
                  Distributed: Saturday, July 21, 2012
                        Message Id: cdl-26-9-016
                                  ***
Received on Friday, 20 July, 2012

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