24: Fine Antique Carved Signed Japanese Ivory Tusk Warr
Fine Antique Carved Signed Japanese Ivory Tusk Warriors Hunting Relief Scrimshaw Old Inventory Number Estate Discovery
FABULOUS find from the local collection of the heir to a Northeastern U.S. WWII era world traveler antiques and fine art collectors estate:
Hand carved antique ivory tusk with fully carved surfaces depicting warriors or samurai wearing katana swords and armor on a hunting party with bows, arrows, birds including what appear to be falcons, cranes and other species all intricately depicted with exquisite facial and costume detail, signed (see detail image).
This tusk was fitted as a lamp circa 1960 by the owners ancestor (see last photo detail) however they had collected it on their world travels some years or decades before that and we obtained it directly from the family.
It has an old collection, museum, gallery or importation number inscribed on an interior edge (see detail image) and the heir indicated that their ancestor was a patron at top galleries in New York, London and or Paris as well as throughout the world and they also owned signed netsuke and inro but we do not know if this sculpture was acquired by the family in Japan.
The lamp has a custom carved wooden cap and ornate base that has been disassembled but comes with the lot.
What has impressed us about this carving is the facility with which the artist adapted the cracks and edge irregularities in the natural ivory into the design of the all over composition. Flowering reeds spring from several adjacent cracks and astoundingly where there is an interior thumb shaped edge patch it has been made into a tree stump. Just spectacular!
As discovered in the estate, old base edge cracks and an old base edge patch that have been discussed above that have mostly been incorporated into the design, four fairly tight and generally small additional vertical hairlines along the top edge and a couple of very fine and short vertical hairlines in the upper background images, otherwise some very light spots base wear commensurate with age and a typical all over estate patina, the figures and their fine details are overwhelmingly intact. Lamp items are as is, top cap has heavy wear, base has missing leg and cord has been cut and plug is absent (not assembled). Awesome item.