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Ivory Collection

"Ivory: A Tale of Elegance and Controversy" Ivory, a precious material with a rich history, has captivated civilizations for centuries

Background imageIvory Collection: An ivory mask from Benin, Nigeria worn by the Oba of Benin on ceremonial occasions

An ivory mask from Benin, Nigeria worn by the Oba of Benin on ceremonial occasions
This mask was worn by the Oba of Benin at the waist on ceremonial occasions. It represents an ancestor or predecessor

Background imageIvory Collection: Large African Elephant. Bull feeding along the edge of river

Large African Elephant. Bull feeding along the edge of river. Zambezi River in Mana Pools National Park, Zimbabwe
TOM-836 Large African Elephant - Bull feeding along the edge of river Zambezi River in Mana Pools National Park, Zimbabwe, Africa

Background imageIvory Collection: The ivory diptych of Stilicho (right) with his

The ivory diptych of Stilicho (right) with his

Background imageIvory Collection: Painted ivory plaque from the lid of a coffer showing Tutankhamun and Ankhesenamun in a garden

Painted ivory plaque from the lid of a coffer showing Tutankhamun and Ankhesenamun in a garden, the lower frieze shows young women plucking mandrakes, from the tomb of the pharaoh Tutankhamun

Background imageIvory Collection: Ancient Phoenician traders in port

Ancient Phoenician traders in port
Phoenician sailors trading goods in an ancient Mediterranean seaport. Hand-colored woodcut of a 19th-century illustration

Background imageIvory Collection: Three African elephants walking in line beside a river

Three African elephants walking in line beside a river

Background imageIvory Collection: Fire burns part of an estimated 105 tonnes of ivory and a tonne of rhino horn confiscated

Fire burns part of an estimated 105 tonnes of ivory and a tonne of rhino horn confiscated from smugglers and poachers at the Nairobi National Park near Nairobi, Kenya, April 30, 2016

Background imageIvory Collection: Beauty Revealed, 1828. Creator: Sarah Goodridge

Beauty Revealed, 1828. Creator: Sarah Goodridge
Beauty Revealed, 1828. According to descendants of the statesman Daniel Webster (1782-1852), this miniature is a self-portrait Goodridge made for him

Background imageIvory Collection: Christ, Holy Roman Emperor Otto II, and Empress Theophano. Ivory, 10th century

Christ, Holy Roman Emperor Otto II, and Empress Theophano. Ivory, 10th century
BYZANTINE ART. Christ, Holy Roman Emperor Otto II, and Empress Theophano. Ivory, 10th century

Background imageIvory Collection: Royal Wedding 1947 - bride and bridesmaid dresses

Royal Wedding 1947 - bride and bridesmaid dresses
A fairytale wedding gown by Norman Hartnell for Princess Elizabeth, in itself a tribute to British skill in design and workmanship

Background imageIvory Collection: Cased Colt Dragoon Model 1848 (1st issue) Revolver, England, 1848 / 68. Creator: Unknown

Cased Colt Dragoon Model 1848 (1st issue) Revolver, England, 1848 / 68. Creator: Unknown
Cased Colt Dragoon Model 1848 (1st issue) Revolver, England, 1848/68

Background imageIvory Collection: Detail of a leaf of a Byzantine ivory diptych showing men and bears at the circus

Detail of a leaf of a Byzantine ivory diptych showing men and bears at the circus
Detail of a leaf of a Byzantine ivory diptych from Constantinople, showing men and bears at the circus, watched by the court. From the Heritage Museum of St Petersburgs collection

Background imageIvory Collection: Acrobat. Minoian art

Acrobat. Minoian art
Acrobat. 16th c. BC. Minoan art / Cretan art. Sculpture on ivory. GREECE. CRETE. IRAKLION. Iraklion. Archaeological Museum. Proc: GREECE. CRETE. IRAKLION. Knossos. Knossos Palace

Background imageIvory Collection: Zanzibar - Tanzania - Large Ivory Tusks

Zanzibar - Tanzania - Large Ivory Tusks Date: circa 1910s

Background imageIvory Collection: Advert for Parkins and Gotto electrical novelties 1906

Advert for Parkins and Gotto electrical novelties 1906
Advertisement from 1906 for Parkins and Gotto, of Oxford Street, London, showing the wide range of electrical novelties, including a working model of the Metropolitan electric railway train with

Background imageIvory Collection: Trent Bridge, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire

Trent Bridge, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire. Interestingly, on the far right can be seen part of the main exhibition hall of the 1903 Nottingham Midlands Exhibition, known as the Ivory Tower

Background imageIvory Collection: Painted ivory diptych depicting circus games, Panel B

Painted ivory diptych depicting circus games, Panel B
Roman civilization, 5th century A.D. Painted ivory diptych depicting circus games. Panel B

Background imageIvory Collection: 22, 000 - 30, 000 years old Venus figures

22, 000 - 30, 000 years old Venus figures
Left to right. a) In fired clay from Moravia. b) In mammoth ivory from France. The Willendorf Venus c) In limestone from Austria. d) In mammoth ivory from Ukraine

Background imageIvory Collection: Upper Palaeolithic tools 18 - 30, 000 years old

Upper Palaeolithic tools 18 - 30, 000 years old
L-R: a) Bone used to make needle blanks. b) Bone needle. c & d) Harpoon head and Barbed Point carved from antler. e & f) Two heads carved in mammoth ivory

Background imageIvory Collection: Asprey Christmas presents, 1926

Asprey Christmas presents, 1926
Colour advertisement for Asprey of Bond Street displaying a wide variety of Christmas present ideas, including an attache case, a shagreen cigarette box, leather handbag, crocodile handbag pochette

Background imageIvory Collection: Coffer from the treasury, made from wood and ivory with applied gold and silver

Coffer from the treasury, made from wood and ivory with applied gold and silver, from the tomb of the pharaoh Tutankhamun, discovered in the Valley of the Kings, Thebes, Egypt, North Africa, Africa

Background imageIvory Collection: African elephant Bull. Being aggressive. Mana Pools National Park, Zimbabwe, Africa

African elephant Bull. Being aggressive. Mana Pools National Park, Zimbabwe, Africa
TOM-821 African elephant Bull. Being aggressive. Mana Pools National Park, Zimbabwe, Africa. Loxodonta africana Tom & Pat Leeson Please note that prints are for personal display purposes only

Background imageIvory Collection: Girl Reading, 1916 (oil on canvas)

Girl Reading, 1916 (oil on canvas)
656925 Girl Reading, 1916 (oil on canvas) by Jack, Richard (1866-1952); Private Collection; (add.info.: Girl Reading. Richard Jack (1866-1952). Oil on canvas. Signed and dated 1916

Background imageIvory Collection: Consular diptych of Boethius (ivory relief, 487)

Consular diptych of Boethius (ivory relief, 487)
LRI4671276 Consular diptych of Boethius (ivory relief, 487) by Italian School, (5th century); 24x18 cm; Museo di Santa Giulia, Brescia

Background imageIvory Collection: Openwork plaque with a striding sphinx, c. 9th-8th century B. C. (ivory)

Openwork plaque with a striding sphinx, c. 9th-8th century B. C. (ivory)
5054677 Openwork plaque with a striding sphinx, c.9th-8th century B.C. (ivory) by Neo-Assyrian, (9th century BC); 8.8x10.3 x2.1 cm; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Background imageIvory Collection: Quill pen and paper knife belonging to Claude Monet (1840-1926) 19th-20th century (photo)

Quill pen and paper knife belonging to Claude Monet (1840-1926) 19th-20th century (photo)
MMT223883 Quill pen and paper knife belonging to Claude Monet (1840-1926) 19th-20th century (photo) by French School; Musee Marmottan Monet, Paris, France; French, out of copyright

Background imageIvory Collection: Advert for Asprey selection of household items 1937

Advert for Asprey selection of household items 1937
Selection of items from Asprey, Bond Street: Glass luminous World lamp, gentlemans pigskin compactus case with ivory fittings, miniature reproduction clock in walnut, brocade evening bag

Background imageIvory Collection: Edmund Burke, 1774-1775. Artist: Edmund Burke

Edmund Burke, 1774-1775. Artist: Edmund Burke
Edmund Burke, 1774-1775. Found in the collection of the National Portrait Gallery, London

Background imageIvory Collection: Campephilus principalis, ivory-billed woodpecker

Campephilus principalis, ivory-billed woodpecker
Plate 16, hand coloured etching from The Natural History of Carolina, Florida and the Bahama islands (1731-43) Vol. 1 by Mark Catesby. Size: 380 x 255 mm

Background imageIvory Collection: Ivory Workshop

Ivory Workshop
A man prepares an ivory tusk in his workshop

Background imageIvory Collection: Dyptich, so called Queriniano, 5th century AD (ivory)

Dyptich, so called Queriniano, 5th century AD (ivory)
8620164 Dyptich, so called Queriniano, 5th century AD (ivory) by Italian School, (5th century); Museo di Santa Giulia, Museo della citta, Brescia, Italy; (add.info.: Dyptich, so called Queriniano)

Background imageIvory Collection: Dyptich, so called Queriniano, 5th century AD (ivory)

Dyptich, so called Queriniano, 5th century AD (ivory)
8620161 Dyptich, so called Queriniano, 5th century AD (ivory) by Italian School, (5th century); Museo di Santa Giulia, Museo della citta, Brescia, Italy; (add.info.: Dyptich, so called Queriniano)

Background imageIvory Collection: 7335623

7335623

Background imageIvory Collection: 7335622

7335622

Background imageIvory Collection: Representation of Charlemagne (742-814) (Charles the Great) victorious against the Barbarians

Representation of Charlemagne (742-814) (Charles the Great) victorious against the Barbarians
AIS5377054 Representation of Charlemagne (742-814) (Charles the Great) victorious against the Barbarians, Relief of the 9th century (ivory); Museo Nazionale del Bargello, Florence, Tuscany

Background imageIvory Collection: Chess set, Augsburg, c.1705-09 (silver inlay, tortoiseshell veneer, ivory & ebonised wood)

Chess set, Augsburg, c.1705-09 (silver inlay, tortoiseshell veneer, ivory & ebonised wood)
8812066 Chess set, Augsburg, c.1705-09 (silver inlay, tortoiseshell veneer, ivory & ebonised wood) by German School, (18th century); board: 56.5x56.5x11.5 cm; Private Collection; (add.info)

Background imageIvory Collection: Chess set, Augsburg, c.1705-09 (silver inlay, tortoiseshell veneer, ivory & ebonised wood)

Chess set, Augsburg, c.1705-09 (silver inlay, tortoiseshell veneer, ivory & ebonised wood)
8812077 Chess set, Augsburg, c.1705-09 (silver inlay, tortoiseshell veneer, ivory & ebonised wood) by German School, (18th century); board: 56.5x56.5x11.5 cm; Private Collection; (add.info)

Background imageIvory Collection: Chess set, Augsburg, c.1705-09 (silver inlay, tortoiseshell veneer, ivory & ebonised wood)

Chess set, Augsburg, c.1705-09 (silver inlay, tortoiseshell veneer, ivory & ebonised wood)
8812068 Chess set, Augsburg, c.1705-09 (silver inlay, tortoiseshell veneer, ivory & ebonised wood) by German School, (18th century); board: 56.5x56.5x11.5 cm; Private Collection; (add.info)

Background imageIvory Collection: Chess set, Augsburg, c.1705-09 (silver inlay, tortoiseshell veneer, ivory & ebonised wood)

Chess set, Augsburg, c.1705-09 (silver inlay, tortoiseshell veneer, ivory & ebonised wood)
8812079 Chess set, Augsburg, c.1705-09 (silver inlay, tortoiseshell veneer, ivory & ebonised wood) by German School, (18th century); board: 56.5x56.5x11.5 cm; Private Collection; (add.info)

Background imageIvory Collection: Celestial globe with table, supported by Hercules, c.1651 (ivory statuette and gilded copper)

Celestial globe with table, supported by Hercules, c.1651 (ivory statuette and gilded copper)
MMM5475237 Celestial globe with table, supported by Hercules, c.1651 (ivory statuette and gilded copper); National Maritime Museum, London, UK; (add.info.: Celestial globe with table)

Background imageIvory Collection: Commemorative box of Vice Admiral Horatio Nelson (1758-1805)

Commemorative box of Vice Admiral Horatio Nelson (1758-1805), with his portrait in uniform on the lid
MMM5475464 Commemorative box of Vice Admiral Horatio Nelson (1758-1805), with his portrait in uniform on the lid, 19th century (ivory and copper) by Devis

Background imageIvory Collection: Diptych sundial for 49° latitude, seen from the closed lid, in ivory, dated, c.1640-60 (ivory)

Diptych sundial for 49° latitude, seen from the closed lid, in ivory, dated, c.1640-60 (ivory)
MMM5475369 Diptych sundial for 49° latitude, seen from the closed lid, in ivory, dated, c.1640-60 (ivory); National Maritime Museum, London, UK; (add.info.: Diptych sundial for 49° latitude)

Background imageIvory Collection: Dieppe (France) compass for lifting the magnetic azimuth, seen from above

Dieppe (France) compass for lifting the magnetic azimuth, seen from above. Ivory instrument, c.1660 (ivory)
MMM5474076 Dieppe (France) compass for lifting the magnetic azimuth, seen from above. Ivory instrument, c.1660 (ivory); National Maritime Museum, London

Background imageIvory Collection: Compass - Dieppe (France) magnetic azimuth compass, open, for latitude 50 degrees

Compass - Dieppe (France) magnetic azimuth compass, open, for latitude 50 degrees. Ivory instrument, c.1660 (ivory)
MMM5474061 Compass - Dieppe (France) magnetic azimuth compass, open, for latitude 50 degrees. Ivory instrument, c.1660 (ivory); National Maritime Museum, London

Background imageIvory Collection: Diptych sundial (closed) for Latitude 48. Ivory instrument 1619, by Lienhart Miller ()

Diptych sundial (closed) for Latitude 48. Ivory instrument 1619, by Lienhart Miller (?), 1619 (ivory)
MMM5473341 Diptych sundial (closed) for Latitude 48. Ivory instrument 1619, by Lienhart Miller (?), 1619 (ivory); National Maritime Museum, London

Background imageIvory Collection: Diptych sundial (closed) for Latitude 49. Ivory instrument, first half of the 18th century (ivory)

Diptych sundial (closed) for Latitude 49. Ivory instrument, first half of the 18th century (ivory)
MMM5473296 Diptych sundial (closed) for Latitude 49. Ivory instrument, first half of the 18th century (ivory); National Maritime Museum, London

Background imageIvory Collection: holy chassis XII-13th century (wood, ivory and champleved enamels on golden copper)

holy chassis XII-13th century (wood, ivory and champleved enamels on golden copper)
7110419 holy chassis XII-13th century (wood, ivory and champleved enamels on golden copper); Cathedral of St. Etienne, Sens, France; (add.info.: holy chassis XII-XIII wood)




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"Ivory: A Tale of Elegance and Controversy" Ivory, a precious material with a rich history, has captivated civilizations for centuries. From the majestic ivory mask worn by the Oba of Benin during ceremonial occasions in Nigeria to the painted plaque depicting Tutankhamun and Ankhesenamun in an enchanting garden, it has been cherished as a symbol of beauty and power. In Africa's vast wilderness, a large African elephant gracefully feeds along the edge of the Zambezi River in Mana Pools National Park. Its magnificent tusks remind us of the allure that ivory holds. Walking beside this gentle giant are three more African elephants, forming an awe-inspiring line that echoes their ancient presence on this continent. The significance extends beyond its aesthetic appeal. Ancient Phoenician traders recognized its value and traded it across ports, connecting cultures through commerce. Even renowned artists like Sarah Goodridge immortalized its elegance in her masterpiece "Beauty Revealed, " showcasing how they are reveal true beauty. However, alongside admiration comes controversy. The burning fire consumes over 105 tonnes of confiscated ivory and one tonne of rhino horn—a powerful statement against illegal wildlife trade that threatens these magnificent creatures' existence. Yet amidst these conflicting narratives lies another tale from history—the intricate diptych featuring Stilicho on one side—an artifact crafted from exquisite ivory craftsmanship dating back centuries ago. Similarly, Ivory played a role even at royal weddings—like the iconic 1947 ceremony where bride and bridesmaid dresses exuded opulence fit for royalty. Beyond artistry and celebrations lie other intriguing uses for this remarkable material—a girl engrossed in reading while sitting before an oil painting titled "Girl Reading" showcases how even everyday objects can be transformed into works of art using delicate carved ivories as seen throughout history. Even firearms bear witness to the allure of ivory; such is evident in the cased Colt Dragoon Model 1848 revolver from England.