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    Late 19th-Century Chinese Ivory Wrist Rests

    Appraised Value:

    $5,000 - $7,000

    Appraised on: July 12, 2008

    Appraised in: Wichita, Kansas

    Appraised by: James Callahan

    Category: Asian Arts

    Episode Info: Wichita, Hour 2 (#1308)

    Originally Aired: February 23, 2009

    slideshow IMAGE: 1 of 3 Next 

    More Like This:

    Form: Tool
    Material: Ivory
    Period / Style: 19th Century
    Value Range: $5,000 - $7,000

    Related Links:

    Article: An Overview of Current Ivory Law
    ROADSHOW has worked with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to create this summary of current law governing the import and sale of elephant ivory.

    Understanding Our Appraisals
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    Appraisal Video: (1:35)


    Appraised By:

    James Callahan
    Asian Arts

    Appraisal Transcript:

    GUEST: I got them from my ex-father-in-law, who has since passed away. And he was in the Navy for 38 years and got those in the Far East.

    APPRAISER: They were made in China, probably in Canton, and they probably date from the late 19th century, probably about 1880, 1890. And do you know what they are?

    GUEST: No, not really, just ivory carvings.

    APPRAISER: They're actually wrist rests for calligraphy. They used to be laid flat like that. You'd be holding a writing brush, and it was like this for your wrists so you could write. They're scholars' items. And beautifully carved. Really detailed carving. Also, the two of them are mirror images of each other. Really very, very finely carved. And even the backs are carved and have considerable toning due to age. One thing is, these ivories are absolutely legitimate to buy and sell. These things were made 70, 80 years ago. A long time ago. So they're entirely legitimate.

    GUEST: Uh-huh.

    APPRAISER: To own, to sell, to transport across state lines. These are the kind of things that, in terms of value, even five years ago, were $800 to $1,200. Today the Chinese market is so strong that these would be conservatively estimated at auction at $5,000 to $7,000.

    GUEST: Are you kidding me?

    APPRAISER: Oh... And might even sell more than that.

    GUEST: Oh, my, I can't believe it. I'm so happy about it! (choking up): It was so nice of him to give them to me.

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