Antique ivory collection found in Lichfield sells for £23,000 at auction

A collection of antique ivory found at a property in Lichfield city centre has sold for £23,000.

An 18th Century miniature ivory Foo dog on a plinth which sold for £350 at auction

An 18th Century miniature ivory Foo dog on a plinth which sold for £350 at auction

The Oriental carvings dating from the 18th Century went under the hammer at Hansons Auctioneers.

The items included small decorative toggles used in traditional dress and ornamental figurines.

Adrian Rathbone, head of fine arts at Hansons Auctioneers, said: “In all my years in handling antiques and collectables I have never seen so many antique ivories in one place.

An ivory Japanese Meiji period shibayama okimono of a ferocious actor which sold for £950

An ivory Japanese Meiji period shibayama okimono of a ferocious actor which sold for £950

“It was fascinating to observe the ingenuity and care the carvers put into their work. The detail was amazing and must have taken many hours to achieve.

“Amongst the netuskes there were Foo dogs, a fish with a rat on, gourds, little human figures, demons, Geisha, a tiger, turtles and even a winged beast emerging from an egg.

“In the okimono line there were examples from both China and Japan. Highlights included a 19th Century Chinese tusk carving of a lady standing wearing traditional dress and a fabulous and rare late 19th Century Japanese shibayama model of a ferocious actor.”

Interest in the lots came from across the globe, although in countries such as the USA the trade in all ivory, including antique items, has been banned.

But Adrian said it was pleasing to still see bidders keen to get their hands on the pieces.

“I am delighted that every lot in the collection sold and it is a fitting tribute to it to achieve such a good result.”

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