Appraisal - Valuation

Waardebepaling - Schätzung

affensymbol3                   Appraisal: 150-318-1

Name: Van Heldorf

Country: USA

Date: March 18, 2015

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 image002 The other day I acquired at a thrift shop what appears to be a solid, 1-piece ivory 3 monkeys.
These pics are not the best but are about 95% correct as to detail and color.
The base is wood covered with thin coat of urushi which has some chips at the edges while looking like it has oxidized with age.
The ivory viewed topside is curved befitting be taken from the base of the tusk. It is one piece, 1-5/8"hx1-3/4"wx1/2"d. The base 2-1/8"lx5/8"hx trapezoid 1"-3/4"d; ie, being hand-made.
The monkeys are anchored at each end with a peg into the base.
The only significant damage appears to be the right eyebrow of the no-hear monkey is chipped off.
with regards, van


Many thanks for the pictures. This is a quite well-known design from the Hong Kong souvenir industry. Usually figurines of this design were mass-produced from bone or other similar inexpensive materials. It is very difficult to judge from photographs whether your item is made of ivory. It may be possible though. But ivory is a costly material, usually only given in the hands of skillful carvers. In the case of the item we discuss, we are under the impression, that the carver of these monkeys still was in the very early stages of his professional career.

We hope that this information is useful to you.


image002 I am not surprised by your comments. My monkeys don't look antique. My thought was WWII + or -. I had put the quality at 8 out of 10.

Cannot tell if there are rings partly due to inscribing of hair lines. The areas exposed to touch are silky smooth, not like bone, glass or many plastics. The other recessed areas are not smooth but non-smooth showing the effects of carving. I do not see any indication of molding but, if it was, it has been chased very nicely. One point I tried to show from a vertical head shot is the curvature that appears to be from the root area of a large tusk which, as you know, is not solid because of the flesh that feeds the growth of the tusk. And how many things can be made out of this kind of ring material?

Most bone I've seen seems to be porous and does not look good.

I have eclectic tastes and have acquired a number of art and antiques from the far and middle east, Africa, and the Americas. As a senior citizen, I now have to think of disposing of all this while I still can. Best regards, Van

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