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[African_Art] Need help to identify some ivory sculpture

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  • RPearsonpe@aol.com
    Another intel of note is there is a lot of fake ivory, mostly a high quality plastic carved and dyed with tea to look like old ivory. You need someone
    Message 1 of 6 , Jun 10, 2011
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      Another intel of note is there is a lot of 'fake' ivory, mostly a high quality plastic carved and dyed with tea to look like old ivory. You need someone knowledgeable in the 'pattern' that actual ivory tusks have to take a look at them.
       Old pre-1989 ivory is shunned by most serious collectors as illegal and hard on the elephant, same for rhinoceros horn, but there is still some carving done on other 'tusks' and horns. Individuals need to make their own decisions on owning or collecting; I personally have several pieces of old ivory bracelets that are pre ban. The natives did make jewelry and art of tusks.
      In a message dated 6/10/2011 9:32:46 A.M. Mountain Daylight Time, leerubinstein@... writes:


      Because of the ethical (and related legal) issues pertaining to ivory, I tend to avoid ivory objects;  it should be noted as well, however, that many smaller objects purported to be ivory are often carved in bone.  Someone with greater expertise in assessment of these materials may be helpful in this regard.  As a general reference on ivory art, trade and other related issues in African contexts, see Doran H. Ross, ed., Elephant:  The Animal and Its Ivory in African Culture, Los Angeles:  Fowler Museum of Cultural History, UCLA, 1992).  

      In terms of general identification of objects presented...

      "Collection Ivoire 001"  appears to be inspired by the famous Queen Mother Pendant Mask ;  other carvings presented seem to be essentially decorative and based upon such inspirations -- as tentatively Ivoirian (or possibly broadly generically "African") in the case of "018".  "067" is clearly a representation of a Senufo kpelie mask; 59, 60 and 68 (the last in ebony) are fairly generic, decorative African carvings. "019" -- with its abdominal scarification -- is likely inspired by figures of the Kongo-related Bembe (western Congolese Bembe or Beembe as opposed to the eastern C ongolese Bembe).  I would classify "001" -- the bronze mask -- as "Tikar" or Grasslands-style and likely a relatively modern production from Cameroon.  "017" may well be stained -- as opposed to aged -- and looks to me stylistically as if it may also be the product of a Cameroon workshop, as it resembles wood figures I have seen from this region.


      On Jun 9, 2011, at 11:43 AM, joseph anderson wrote:


      Your pieces are obviously made for market carvings.


      International trade in ivory was banned in 1989 by through the international treaty known as the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). 

      Illegal ivory trade

      Poaching elephants for their ivory is profitable because the price of ivory has risen from about $50 per kilo to nearly $300 per kilo. Around 94% of all the ivory being traded internationally if from poached elephants. Around 20% of ivory in "legal" when it leaves Africa because governments legalize poached ivory when it is confiscated. The remaining 80% in laundered into the "legal" ivory system so that by the time carved ivory reaches the streets of Hong Kong legal and illegal ivory are indistinguishable.

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