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 large and superbly carved Chinese elephant ivory masterpiece, late 19th century and most likely Cantonese, depicting a procession of figures carved with supreme skill and realism. There are 22 individual adult figures, one small baby, and two horses, all of which are carved in high relief against a background of trees, foliage and buildings. All the carving is executed with extraordinary detail, depth, and perspective. The figures are not "add-ons," they are all carved in high relief from this one very large piece of ivory. A magnificent example of antique Chinese workmanship.
For a comparably sized (20 inches) ivory carving of similar quality, see Lot 167, Sotheby's Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art, March 20th 2012, which sold for $ 116,500 US dollars.
For another similar quality and style piece but a smaller example, see Lot 540, Skinners, June 2nd Asian Arts Auction, 2011, which recently sold for $ 77,000 US dollars.
Size and condition: The tusk is 23 inches wide, 5 inches tall, and a hefty 1 1/8 inch thick at its maximum dimensions. It is framed in a deep shadow box lined with red velvet that is 34 1/2 inches wide and 21 inches tall. Nearly perfect condition, there is a very small loss to one of the infant's hands, so insignificant that we had probably scrutinized this piece over 20 times before we ever noticed it. There is also some adhesive residue on the back from helping secure the piece within its frame.