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Turkish Oilstone

Hi all!

I bought this stone yesterday in a salvage / antique shop, because from the feel of it I thought it might be an old Ark. Though it was fairly grimy / oily so a bit difficult to tell.

Having cleaned it up, and flattened the side that needed flattening, I don't think it is a Black Ark... I'm 99% sure it's an old Pierre du Levant / Turkish Oilstone. Everything about the look, feel, and behaviour exactly matches descriptions and pics here and elsewhere. Though if anyone thinks otherwise do say - I'm not a novaculite expert by any means. It's marginally softer than an old Norton Translucent I have, and almost as fine, but noticeably quicker cutting: a really excellent stone.

I've read a bit about these stones on threads here, but I was wondering if any experts could tell me more about them, or point me in the direction of some information, as there's not a huge amount out there afaics. For instance I've not been able to establish if and how old stones differ from the Cretan ones available today? I've only used it with water and soap so far, should I be using oil? Or is it a matter of preference? And just any thoughts and opinions would be good to hear... Cheers!

The pics below show: When I got and gave a wipe down. Then during proper cleaning. And lastly as it is now after cleaning, flattening etc. (It's 6x2x1" btw).



Also - is there anything in particular I should be doing to help the slight crack things you can see in the final picture? The stone already has a chip out of one corner (bottom right in 2nd pic), and it'd be a shame to lose any more if they're as fragile as people say...

(And it's probably a bit browner than those pics suggest btw, or at least parts of it are.)
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