This superb ivory carving is 12 inches tall (including base) and 3 inches wide. The statue presents a legendary Chinese character who is a member of the eight immortals. According to legend, one day he told his follower that his spirit was going to travel far away. He asked the young follower to watch his body for seven days while he was away. If he did not come back after the seventh day, the young man must burn his body. Everything went well, the young man kept his promise and the spirit enjoyed the trip. But on the last day, the young man discovered his mother was very sick and that he needed to go home. So, the young man burned the body and left. It was a big shock when the tired spirit returned home from his trip and to find no ¡°place¡± to go. So, desperate and hopeless, he had to settle for a body of a recently deceased beggar. This is the later image of ¡°Tie Guai Li¡± (or Li Tie Guai), a crippled man who wore a filthy robe and carried an iron staff. All the other immortals are handsome, young, noble and wise. Still, Tie Guai Li is still the favorite immortal. The workmanship of this mid 19th century ivory statue is great; the carving, the polishing and design really make this piece remarkable. The fitted base is made of hard wood and cloisonn¨¦. This piece is in excellent condition except it is missing the tip of the index finger on the left hand.