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Hippo Tusk Care

Discussion in 'Skulls and Skeletons' started by tex1, Oct 25, 2019.

  1. tex1

    tex1 Member

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    I received my hippo skull and tusks from Africa. I want to keep as a full skull mount. What kind of treatment if any should I do to the tusks to help them keep and look as natural as possible? Someone mentioned a coat of Vaseline on the ivory tusks to help keep them from drying out? Everything looks fine now but dry and fragile, which is okay if that is what it is going to be. thank you for your input !
     
  2. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    The walrus tusks and hippo tusks I have, wiped on a layer of Crisco. Let them sit for a few days and then wiped off most of it .. but not all of it. They have not cracked but they were all also in great shape. If they have been boiled to death and are fragile, I would consider soaking them in paraloid B72 for a few days and then letting them dry. This will stop any further flaking/chipping and will also seal them. If you do not want to purchase a kilo of this and make up your own solution to use (it's not horribly expensive) maybe someone on here that uses it can do it for you and send them back. It does sound like the less handling they have right now the better though. If you do make up your own solution, dissolve it in denatured alcohol. It's cheaper and easier to use than acetone though slower drying.

    You could also use this to brush on the skull and save it from more damage but you may need more of it. It will soak into the bone and solidify it and stop any further deterioration. It dries clear and will not yellow and, if you make it thin enough, soaks into the bone and does not leave a glossy coat on the surface.
     
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  3. tex1

    tex1 Member

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    thank you
     
  4. tex1

    tex1 Member

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    what about degreasing? any ideas?
     
  5. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    Tusks and teeth do not need to be degreased. They are solid ivory.
     
  6. tex1

    tex1 Member

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    yes, I understand this, I am concerned with soaking skull to degrease with some tusks in it .AS I do not wish to damage further. The skull is in very good solid shape but needs to be degreased badly. If all the tusks could be removed I would probably do the dawn and water method but I am concerned about re hydrating the tusks as it will need to soak for several months is my guess?? any ideas?
     
  7. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    I would not soak the skull if you can't get all the tusks out. They will crack even further and may split entirely. You could try soaking the skull for a week and see if the tusks can be pulled then but I would not soak them any longer. For a skull as large and dense as a hippo you are going to be soaking that for many months. As it was boiled to hell in Africa you may never really get a lot of the grease out as it has been cooked into the bone.
     
  8. tex1

    tex1 Member

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    Okay that confirms my thoughts and common sense, thank you. So now I have a skull that really cant be degreased unless I can like you said try to soften a little to get the remaining tusks out. That is why I was thinking of white gas? what are your thoughts with gas? I never have used as dawn seems to work great. I guess my other option is keep the skull as is, yellow with grease but intact ?
     
  9. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    White gas would probably help .. but ... to submerge a skull that size in it? That's going to cost a fortune.
     
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