In the pre-plastic era everything was made from natural materials, often by skilled craftsmen. The materials that they used are now often rare and easily misidentified. Are they made from bone, ivory, horn, tortoiseshell shell, skin or scales, or some other now forgotten exotic material? This technical book will help collectors, antique dealers, museum conservationists, and frequenters of flea markets to know more about the vast array of those artifacts, their biology, rarity, value, and how to conserve and restore them. Included in this comprehensive guide are hundreds of images of actual collectibles ranging from knives to buttons.
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Michael Locke is a biologist known internationally for his work on insect biology, and as a lapidary, antiquarian, and morphologist. His studies on bone and ivory led to this book on natural materials, an important part of human history before plastics.
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