Ivory black

Current name

Information from the Getty AAT

ivory black

High-grade, fine-grain, dense black pigment originally made by burning pure ivory. It is perhaps the most widely used black pigment in the artist's palette. Current formulations of ivory black usually contain a fine grade of bone black with some Prussian blue.


Ivory black is a coke, and refers to a black pigment often created from bone components, although properly it was made from ivory 

Eastaugh, Nicholas, Valentine Walsh, Tracey Chaplin, Ruth Siddall, “Ivory Black” in Pigment Compendium: A Dictionary of Historical Pigments, (Oxford: Elsevier, 2008), 210.

Historical names