What makes it Special
Ebony is black, which for wood is quite rare. That is really the long and short of it. Originally it was also quite dangerous to get hold of because notoriously the black widow spider live there and given the similarity in colour, hard to spot too!
Also finding ebony takes an expert as although famed for its colour, it is covered in a rather normal looking mottled brown bark.
It also can be polished up, much to Steinway’s satisfaction, I presume.
Ebony doesn’t float but conversely surrounded by witchcraft folklore. So if she weighs the same as ebony, is she a witch? (better use a duck!)
5 Tips when buying Ebony Rhinos
1. If it is pitch black it’s probably not ebony or ebony covered in boot polish. Ebony is dark but rarely a consistent black colour. So be wary of ebony that is too black.
2. Ask them about the process, often this may reveal the quantity of shoe polish used to enhance the colour… bear in mind that it does actually enhance the colour and if this matters depends on if you are a purist or a realist. (see the hippo picture for a good example of shoe polished ebony vs the leopard for a more honest colour)
3. Take a knife or pointed metal object and carve a hole about 5mm deep in the underside of the black bit, if it is just painted wood this will reveal itself. If it is ebony it will remain black.
4. If you have a bucket of water, which I don’t usually casually carry around a market, but you can test if it floats.
5. Try and find a normally proportioned rhino and you have a job for life… Be calm and accept an eccentric rhino! 🙂