InMiller Gaffney found a carved wood rooster to meet the target round challenge of Asian smalls. The rooster stood less than two feet tall and faced forward with carved eyes and a red-painted beak. It was small and from Asia, but Miller's opponents questioned whether it was legal to buy or sell. Was this rooster an ordinary fowl, or a foul play?
The dealer said he purchased the rooster in Mandalay more than 20 years ago. Mandalay is a large city and former royal capital in Burma/Myanmar. (Military authorities re-named this large South Asian country Myanmar in 1989, but the US government maintains an official policy of calling it Burma.) In 2003, the US Congress passed a law banning imports from Myanmar, with the aim of putting pressure on its military leaders.
Antique objects can be caught in this crossfire, and buyers might want to consider provenance when shopping. Questions to ask include: When did this object leave the country? Who bought it? Did they have permission to bring it into the country where it's being offered for sale?