Burmese Carved Ivory Tusk, ca. 1900
Appraised Value: $5,000
IMAGE: 1 of 4
Appraisal Video: (16:40)
GUEST: It's been in the family since the 1920s. There was some documentation of an appraisal back in 1922 of $80.
GUEST: It belonged to my great-great-aunt, and her husband, he did a lot of world travel. He went to Africa, I believe he went to China.
APPRAISER: It's actually from Burma. So on that trip, maybe between China and Africa, he might have stopped in Burma on the way. It's ivory, and it's all carved with Buddhas all over it-- beautifully carved, and it's basically the last period of time where they were doing really wonderful carving in Burma. It probably dates between, like, 1880 and maybe right about the period of time they bought it, like the 1920s. With this quality of carving, it all of a sudden diminished after the 1920s, and then there was this lull for a long period of time, but craftsmanship is flourishing, and they're producing even more wonderful things today than they produced then, at a fraction of the cost. It's such an immense piece and intricately carved. The material that this is made out of is an Asian elephant. Mostly, particularly in Southeast Asia at the period of time this was made, they basically cut the end of a tusk off the elephant. They didn't kill them. But whereas in African ivory, they couldn't get close enough to them. In terms of the law or the salability of this piece, this piece was made in the late 19th, very early 20th century, and the cutoff date for selling Asian elephant ivory objects is actually in the '70s, so this is 100% legal. Did you have any idea what the value of an object like this was?
GUEST: No, sir, I sure don't.
APPRAISER: Probably worth around $5,000.
APPRAISER: You know, and that's a solid wholesale value.
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