Mid-18th Century Indo-Portugese Ivory Doctors Figures
I brought some human figures that have been in my family for about 20 years. They were given to my father-in-law, who's a physician, by one of his patients kind of as a thank-you for all the years of service. And then he has then passed them on to my husband and myself. And my husband is also a physician.
They are what we like to refer to as doctors' figures, simply because they were anatomically correct, or as correct as possible. They are from Goa, which is on the west coast of India when it was a Portuguese colony. So they're what's called Indo-Portuguese from around about 1750. And there's even some speculation, based upon the carving of the eyes and the hairline, that they may have actually been carved by a Chinese artisan who was based in Goa. And what's very interesting about them, if I just slowly lift her arms up, she looks like a damsel in distress at this stage. And we remove the body here. You can see we have this stained ivory interior, which has, as far as they knew, all the most important parts. And then what's even more interesting is that we have an unborn child as well. Which is really quite unusual. You also have here the figure lacking some of the more important pieces. They are carved of ivory. And what's really nice to see is the coloring, and the staining's still intact. They're really in quite good condition for their age. One of the reasons that they're in such good condition is that they've been mounted onto these boards, which they were probably always mounted on. We have this wonderful backing, which has got this traditional Indian, almost sort of cut card work and pierced backing. And what's interesting about ivory is that you see it's taken on that yellow surface. That's oxidization, but that's also the natural oils from your hand. And these don't really have much yellowing because they're mounted on board. So people don't really touch the actually figures. And you don't have to keep them buried in a closet, just out of direct sunlight. They're really nicely carved. There are two of them, but these figures were never made to be a pair. However, I would suggest if they were to be sold at auction, to sell them as two. And I would expect to see them to have an estimate, for the two, of about $8,000 to $12,000.
Thank you very much.
Executive producer Marsha Bemko shares her tips for getting the most out of ANTIQUES ROADSHOW.
Value can change: The value of an item is dependent upon many things, including the condition of the object itself, trends in the market for that kind of object, and the location where the item will be sold. These are just some of the reasons why the answer to the question "What's it worth?" is so often "It depends."
Note the date: Take note of the date the appraisal was recorded. This information appears in the upper left corner of the page, with the label "Appraised On." Values change over time according to market forces, so the current value of the item could be higher, lower, or the same as when our expert first appraised it.
Context is key: Listen carefully. Most of our experts will give appraisal values in context. For example, you'll often hear them say what an item is worth "at auction," or "retail," or "for insurance purposes" (replacement value). Retail prices are different from wholesale prices. Often an auctioneer will talk about what she knows best: the auction market. A shop owner will usually talk about what he knows best: the retail price he'd place on the object in his shop. And though there are no hard and fast rules, an object's auction price can often be half its retail value; yet for other objects, an auction price could be higher than retail. As a rule, however, retail and insurance/replacement values are about the same.
Verbal approximations: The values given by the experts on ANTIQUES ROADSHOW are considered "verbal approximations of value." Technically, an "appraisal" is a legal document, generally for insurance purposes, written by a qualified expert and paid for by the owner of the item. An appraisal usually involves an extensive amount of research to establish authenticity, provenance, composition, method of construction, and other important attributes of a particular object.
Opinion of value: As with all appraisals, the verbal approximations of value given at ROADSHOW events are our experts' opinions formed from their knowledge of antiques and collectibles, market trends, and other factors. Although our valuations are based on research and experience, opinions can, and sometimes do, vary among experts.
Appraiser affiliations: Finally, the affiliation of the appraiser may have changed since the appraisal was recorded. To see current contact information for an appraiser in the ROADSHOW Archive, click on the link below the appraiser's picture. Our Appraiser Index also contains a complete list of active ROADSHOW appraisers and their contact details and biographies.
Last Tango in Halifax
Enjoy the third season of this award-winning series that celebrates life and love