David Warther Carvings & Gift Shop

David Warther Carvings & Gift Shop

David Warther II, a fifth generation carver of Swiss heritage, is continuing his family's carving legacy in the center of Ohio's beautiful Amish country. The carvings created by David depict the "History of the Ship" from 1st Dynasty Egypt, circa 3000 B.C., to the present day, and collectively form an artistic and highly educational exhibit that culturally enriches not only the people of this community but all who view these extraordinary works of art. Visit the over 75 major pieces in his collection.


1775 State Route 39,
Sugarcreek, OH 44681


(330) 852-6096




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Hours (April - October)

Monday: 9am - 5pm
Tuesday: 9am - 5pm
Wednesday: 9am - 5pm
Thursday: 9am - 5pm
Friday: 9am - 5pm
Saturday: 9am - 5pm
Sunday: Closed

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A brief history

Born in 1959, David Warther II began carving from elephant tusk ivory at age three. By age six, David had carved his very first ship. Today, David has been carving ships for more than 50 years.
David’s fascination with ships came from the vessels’ graceful lines. By age 13, David had developed his signature technique of hand filing and sanding the ivory “string” for each ship’s rigging. These ivory threads are .007” in diameter, which is just twice the thickness of a human hair!
Carving was in David’s blood, some may say. Carvers have been in the Warther family for several generations, including his great-great-grandfather who was a cabinet-maker and woodcarver in Switzerland in the mid-1800’s. David’s grandfather was Ernest “Mooney” Warther, a renowned carver of steam engine models who also worked in wood and ivory. When David was young, his grandfather actively carved as David was learning, and was a great source of love and encouragement. David’s father was a skilled knife maker and taught closely held family carving techniques to his son.

Ivory carving

The non-profit museum at David Warther Carvings accepts donations of legal elephant ivory tusks; however, donating elephant tusks must be done from within the United States. David has become an expert surrounding the laws and regulations of buying, selling, and gifting of elephant tusks and ivory carvings in the United States. It is not uncommon for him to be consulted by professionals in the antique, musical instrument, and firearm worlds about the sale and transfer of tusks and carvings.
The particular type of ivory that David uses is considered pre-ban, antique ivory. This kind of ivory is old material that has been donated from other museums or from private collections within in the United States. David works side-by-side with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Authorities to document the legal origin of this antique material used for his art.
David is a lifelong advocate of wildlife conservation, particularly as it concerns elephants. He personally contributes to wildlife conservation efforts.
In his exhibit, you will see a natural history display that showcases the different types of ivory from various animals, including ancient woolly mammoth tusks, as well as fossil walrus tusks that date from 20,000 years ago.

Breitenbach Wine Cellars


Touted as being “worth the trip to Amish Country alone,” the exhibit at David Warther Carvings is truly stunning. The exhibit occupies five different rooms that are dedicated to specific eras of shipbuilding. It includes a Medieval room with Viking ships, as well as an Ancient room where Egyptian, Roman, Phonecian, and Greek ships are on display.
David Warther Carvings is a wonderful place to visit for families and tourists, year-round. The hilltop portico and clock tower pavilion with its' observation deck provide exceptional views and photo options of the neighboring Amish farms in Walnut Valley.
With its convenient location right on SR 39, David Warther Carvings is an easy stop during your next trip to Amish Country. It is located just a few minutes drive from other popular destinations of Walnut Creek, Sugarcreek, and Berlin, all of which feature terrific Amish Country dining, lodging, and shopping options.