Red or pink ivory - Prosono international

Red or pink ivory

Unique South African hardwood, in the Zulu Kingdom only the King could wear red ivory ornament.

In our capacity of leading supplier, we keep an exhaustive stock of bowl blanks and turning squares, for salad bowls, clock dials, cues, walking sticks, knives handles, cutlery, gun stocks, putters, etc. and sometimes planks for marquetry, fine joinery, chess pieces and inlays.

The supply of this wood is restricted and conditional to concession, annual cutting and transport permits. Availability is always small and decreasing by the year!

Trees are predominantly small and irregular in shape. The availability of large enough old logs is essential for many of the most popular applications.

For those Luthiers, aiming at exclusive classical guitars, we can supply on demand sets of back and sides of different sizes.

For the makers of woodwind instruments a unique colour for the promotion of your oboes, clarinets and flutes.

For the makers of exclusive chessboards, a unique distinctive value.

An early order is the best way for our customers to avoid the sold-out situations that occur almost every year. Indeed, this shall enable us to plan our production so that we satisfy standing orders from our distributors first and standard parts second!

Heartwood :

Heartwood ranges from light pink to a dark red colour. Sapwood is yellowish. The heart is very hard and heavy with a density of 1.1 t per m3 when air-dried.

Saw milling characteristics

The wood is hard and therefore cut in stages. In a first stage the logs are broken down in slabs on a band saw with a flexible thin blade. In a second stage into parts with tungsten tipped blades. The blades tend to clog. Good cleaning of blades is obtained i sugar soap baths.


It dries slowly and doesn’t slit easily. This is probably due to its oily content.

The standard parts we endeavour to keep in stock

Turning squares in mm
3/4 x 3/4 x 6 20 x 20 x 152
1 x 1 x 6 26 x 26 x 150
11/2 x 11/2 x 3 38 x 38 x 75
11/2 x 11/2 x 6 38 x 38 x 150
11/2 x 11/2 x 12 38 x 38 x 310
11/2 x 11/2 x 16 38 x 38 x 410
11/2 x 11/2 x 18 38 x 38 x 457
2 x 2 x 4 51 x 51 x 100
2 x 2 x 6 51 x 51 x 150
2 x 2 x 8 51 x 51 x 205
3 x 3 x 12 76 x 76 x 300
3 x 3 x 18 76 x 76 x 457
Bowl blanks  
4 x 4 x 2 100 x 100 x 50
5 x 5 x 2 125 x 125 x 50
6 x 6 x 2 150 x 150 x 50

Clients, Turners and carvers

Botanical name Berchimia zeyheri.
Family Rhamnaceae
Local name Rooi ivoor
English name Red or Pink Ivory
Distribution Native of Southern Africa, it is found from Zimbabwe in the North to the Eastern Cape in the South.
The tree Evergreen, up-to 15 meters tall with a dense and round crown. It grows in open woodland, rocky hillsides and along drainage lines. It is drought resistant and can take light frost. It is a protected tree in South Africa. Special permits are granted for harvesting.
The wood The heartwood ranges from light pink to a dark red colour, the sapwood is yellowish. The heart is very hard and heavy with a density of 1.1 t / m3, when it is air-dried.
Seasoning It dries slowly and doesn’t slit easily due to its oily content.
Workability It works well on the lathe and with the chisel.
Use Its attractive colouring makes it ideal for carving, turning of wooden bowls, walking sticks, cues and even putters. It is also used for musical instruments, for its decorative value, in drums, woodwinds and ornamentals.