Mokume gane was developed in the 1600s in Japan, allegedly by an Akita prefecture metalsmith named Denbei Shoami (1651 to 1728). He used the mokume gane technique to dress up samurai swords.
The mokume gane technique involves fusing several layers of different metals, and artistically exposing sections of lower layers. The metal is often made to display a pattern that mimics wood grain. A variety of metals can be used to give different arrays of coloration.
Layers of metal are pressed together and fused with heat. The forged layers are carved to expose lower layers and are then pressed again. The carving and pressing is repeated to develop the pattern.
Today, some of the finest mokume in the world is made here in the USA, and William Henry is proud to offer a range of this material on our collections. Our mokume is generally made with copper, brass, and nickel silver in either a 45 or 89 layer billet, forged and patterned by hand.
FOSSIL MAMMOTH TUSK
Literally the ring section of the fossil tusk of a Woolly Mammoth that walked the Earth at least 10,000 years ago.
Modern humans coexisted with woolly mammoths during the Upper Paleolithic period when they entered Europe from Africa between 30,000 and 40,000 years ago. Prior to this, Neanderthals had coexisted with mammoths during the Middle Paleolithic and up to that time. Woolly mammoths were very important to Ice Age humans, and their survival may have depended on these animals in some areas.
The woolly mammoth is the next most depicted animal in Ice Age art after horses and bisons, and these images were produced between 35 and 11.500 years ago. Today, more than five hundred depictions of woolly mammoths are known, in media ranging from carvings and cave paintings located in 46 caves in Russia, France and Spain, to sculptures and engravings made from different materials.
William Henry’s fossil Mammoth tusk is harvested in Alaska and Siberia, often from underwater. It is a rare and mesmerizing material, a living testimony of the dawn of Mankind.
Natural spinel is a gemstone that has become a great favorite with gem dealers and gem collectors; one might even say that spinel is for gemstone connoisseurs only.
It is a hard glassy mineral occurring as octahedral crystals of variable color and consisting chiefly of magnesium and aluminum oxides. Some spinels are among the most famous gemstones in the world: among them are the Black Prince’s Ruby and the “Timur ruby” in the British Crown Jewels, and the “Côte de Bretagne”, formerly from the French Crown jewels.