Description: We are very proud to offer one of this world’s finest antique Sino-Tibetan carved Ivory table screens. The screen measures 24 inches x 14 inches & sits in a carved huanghuali wood base. The screen is divided into three sections. The middle section shows the Deity Avalokitesvara with her nine multi-arms sitting upon a lotus blossom. The outer panels show other heavenly Deities. The top shows Imperial five-toed writhing dragons, among heavenly clouds. The screen has black lines to accent carved outer edges. The back is even carved with Deities. The screen is in original and excellent condition for dating to late Qing (1849-1911), and it is probably from the 19th century, or even earlier. It has tiny age cracks at bottoms of panels. See photo. Sino refers to China & Tibetan to Tibet. The countries share a tangled history for centuries. The word Sino-Tibet was coined in 1931 by Alfred Kroeber of U. C. Berkeley, California. Relations between China & Tibet have over-lapped & been quarrelsome for centuries, dating further back than the Ming Dynasty. The countries boundaries have over-lapped & cultures merged & blurred for hundreds of years. Sino-Tibetan as a noun refers to a family of languages that includes most of China as well as Tibet. The Sino-Tibetan war in this century began in 1930 over disputed boundaries between Tibet & The Republic of China. China has long wanted to make Tibet part of China. The Tibetan Plateau is very rich in mineral deposits of gold, copper, & lead, worth as much as 120 billion dollars. But, Tibet kept its independence until 1950, when Tibet was annexed by The Peoples Republic of China in 1950. Tibet became the Tibet Automous Region of China, according to China. China built a rail-way, an air-port, roads, homes, etc. Yet, mostly Tibet is a part of China geographically, but culturally not so much. But this overlapping of nations & cultures gives great insight into the religious images on our wonderful ivory screen. The Avalokitesvara Tibetan Deity surfaced during the Ming Dynasty in China. It was adopted as the Quanyin in China. Tibetans consider India's “Hindu” Gods to be the source of Buddhistic culture. Tibet borders India to the South & Tibet was influenced by the India Hindu Gods. This Avalokitesvara has many arms representing compassion (Tibetan/Hindu influence) and the Chinese lotus pedestal (upon which she sits) represents the Chinese supreme authority. This is an example of the hybrid influences in the Ming religious influence, which continues to this day. The screen’s multi-arms each represent a symbol for each arm of the Hindu Deity. These signs or “mudras” symbolize the individual God’s powers and distinguish it from other Deities. For example, fingers pointing downward = God of charitable disposition. Or, fingers pointing upward = God of protection and blessing. This extremely rare Sino-Tibetan Ivory Screen would have been made for an Imperial family, or a Monastery, or a very wealthy Scholar. This amazing screen would have probably been used as some type of “family” altar. In keeping with Chinese feng shui, these screens should be placed in the Northwest sector of the home’s living room, near the door, in order to keep “heaven” near the door! It tends to keep ones spiritual life in the fore-front as it is seen the minute you walk into your home. That's where it is in our home. So here is a chance to own a fantastic antique that also safeguards one’s soul. It is so beautiful and so exceedingly scarce. It is magnificent! We cannot ship Ivory to Calif or New York. Ivory will soon be impossible to sell, so buy Ivory while it is still legal. We will consider an offer.