DUE TO RECENTLY ANNOUNCED CHANGES, AND FURTHER PROPOSED CHANGES THAT HAVE NOT YET BEEN FULLY IMPLEMENTED OR PROMULGATED BY THE US GOVERNMENT, IT IS NOT CLEAR TO US AND MOST ANTIQUE IVORY DEALERS, EXACTLY WHERE (WHAT JURISDICTIONS), TO WHOM, UNDER WHAT CIRCUMSTANCES, AND WHAT TYPE OF NEW PERMITS MIGHT BE REQUIRED FOR US TO CONTINUE MARKETING ANY OF OUR ANTIQUE IVORY PIECES FOR SALE. PLEASE CHECK BACK WITH US IN JULY OR AUGUST AFTER THE NEW RULES AND GUIDELINES ARE SUPPOSED TO HAVE BEEN MORE FULLY SET FORTH, SO WE CAN MAKE A PROPER DETERMINATION WHETHER ANY OF OUR ANTIQUE IVORY PRODUCTS MAY LEGALLY BE SOLD INTO YOUR JURISDICTION OR NOT
From our Chinese Monochrome Collection, a massive and very fine pair of ivory tusk carvings, late 19th - early 20th century. The first carving depicts Guanyin, Goddess of Compassion and Mercy, very crisply detailed with a wonderfully serene and pensive countenance. Her hair sports a tall, well-coiffed chignon, and she stands upon a lotus form base holding a rosary in her left hand, and lotus flowers in her right. The back is mostly plain except for the subtle flow and folds of her robes. The second figure depicts a bearded male immortal gazing intently into an open book, which is supported by his left hand while also holding a suspended basket of peaches. In his right hand, he carries a staff of gnarled wood, and by his feet sits a crane. The back here is mostly plain again with just a skilled but subtle depiction of the flow and fold of his robes. Overall, the workmanship here is especially fine for this genre of ivory carving.
For a comparable pair of ivory carvings very similar in quality, execution style, and size, see Bonhams' upcoming November Sale # 20580, Fine Chinese Art, London, Lot 96, auction estimate 24,000 - 32,000 US dollars.
Size and Condition: 22 1/4 inches tall. Each tusk has substantial heft and weighs approximately 10 pounds apiece. Condition is nearly perfect with only some insignificant shallow age fissures here and there. Each carving has a mellow, cream colored patina slightly darker than the pictures depict.
UPDATE NOVEMBER 7th, 2013: BONHAMS LOT 96 MENTIONED ABOVE (A VERY SIMILAR IVORY PAIR) SOLD THIS MORNING AT AUCTION FOR 37,500 GBP, OR APPROXIMATELY 60,000 US DOLLARS.