Late 17th-Century Amber Angel Figure
I purchased it in London in 1992, and it was my understanding that it was tortoise shell.
The carving is exquisite. For tortoise shell it would be thick. We've determined that it's indeed amber. Amber originates in Russia, for the most part. Stylistically, I'm going to put it in around the late 17th century. There was a lot of amber carving going on-- Imperial amber carving in Gdansk and Königsberg, which are now Poland and Russia. They were mainly German carvers.
The Dresden Museum has a special amber room that has examples very similar to this, as does the Victoria & Albert Museum in London.
It is not original, the base. The base would probably be amber decorated as well and slightly more ornate. This was probably a 19th century marriage. The amber is a nice dark rich amber. The amber market is quite hot today. I think a piece like this at auction today we'd be looking at $5,000 to $7,000.
What a pleasant surprise! Well, thank you very much.
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