A massive carved ivory tusk 19th Century
Lot 225Y
A massive carved ivory tusk
19th Century
Sold for £ 45,600 (US$ 58,999) inc. premium

Fine Asian Art

7 Nov 2005, 10:30 GMT

London, New Bond Street

Lot Details
A massive carved ivory tusk
19th Century
Carved in unusually elaborate and delicate detail up the entire length of the tusk on both sides with groups of figures in a variety of domestic scenes including scholars making music and playing weiqi, mythical figures escorting a dragon , a dignitary greeting an elderly sage on a pine terrace, a group of figures on a sampan, and others gathered conversing in tightly clustered pavilions and pine groves, pierced through and undercut in excellent detail (minor surface chips), 125cm.(49in.) long; set on a large dark hardwood base probably contemporanous to the tusk, carved on both side with groups of scholars and dignitaries conversing and playing music (minor surface wear),
overall 101cm. (39in.) wide ((2)).

Footnotes

  • Provenance:

    Thomas Mercer

    Exhibited:

    The Potter's Museum, Cornwall, during recent decades.

    Thomas Mercer was a tea buyer employed by the Empire Trading Company (now known as Jardine Matheson) in Hong Kong during the mid/late 19th Century. According to family tradition he made frequent trips up the Pearl River up to the trading points around Canton, and on one of these trips he acquired this splendid memento of the finest Cantonese Export quality ivory carving. It has descended in the family since its return. For an example of a tusk of a similar size see C.L. Crossman, The Decorative Arts of the China Trade p. 305, pl. 105, which belongs to the Peabody Essex Museum. The Peabody tusk was brought from China circa 1850 by A.A. Low of New York and is attributed possibly to Hoaching, one of the major carving workshops because of the quality of carving and workmanship. Very few names of the makers of ivory are known as these objects were made for export.
Activities
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Lot symbols
Y CITES

Subject to CITES regulations when exporting items outside of the EU, see clause 13.

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