Yesterday i started experimenting with some small ivory pieces i had left over. first of all i replicated the stain which had occurred on the sewing box and worked from that. After Karins comment on staining ivory i tried some various stains none of which i was really happy with. Next i tried applying a black stain over the top of the original stain and sanded it back which gave a kind of marble effect, this said i felt a little apprehensive doing this all over the sewing box but in the end i decided it was the only solution which i felt happy with. I have also incorporated some permanently stained black areas and started etching patterns into them similar to the photograph below but not quite as decorative.
If this had been my original idea from the start then i would have spent more time on the decoration but being as this is my first attempt I'm keeping it quite straightforward and simple as some of the black bands i have started to incorporate with it compliment the design.
Hopefully by next week i should have enough completed to post some images of how its progressed.
Thanks again for the help full tip karin and to everyone else who left a comment.
Have a great week Tony.