The ivory David uses for his carvings is classified as antique ivory. This ivory is antique material purchased or donated from other museums and from private collections, all within the United States.
The African elephant tusks pictured here are from just one of many old collections in America dating back to the early 1900's. David works closely with U.S. Fish & Wildlife authorities to document the legal origin of this antique material used in his artwork. He purchases pre-ban elephant ivory tusks from within the United States for his work and in recent years most of the ivory for his carving project has been donated from other museums and collections.
David's carvings serve as a testimony to how an artisan, by working in a responsible manner, can utilize this beautiful material without harming or affecting current wildlife populations. David is a lifelong advocate of wildlife conservation, especially as it pertains to elephants, and personally contributes to wildlife conservation efforts regularly.
Included in the exhibit is a natural history display showing the various types of ivory from different animals including ancient wooly mammoth tusks and fossil walrus tusks that date back 20,000 years. The ship exhibit itself conveys information about the ivory trade in history from the Bronze Age through to modern times.