Tagua Nut Chess Sets - Plant Ivory
Tagua trees grow in the upper Amazonas, where the nuts are harvested when soft, and easily carved. When they dry , they harden to fine brittle consistency similar to ivory, and have therefore been used for similar decorative turning and carving purposes. A lot of the nuts go to China - the sets here seem to be made in Ecuador though, where they constitute part of the souvenir offer. They are all made in sections - which provide an idea of the size of the nuts - and then joined on a central axle- Production therefore must be on a workshop basis, with separated tasks, down to the final colouring.