Antique Indian/Cantonese ivory chess set

This delicate looking ivory set of small size (King 5.75 cms) is a recent purchase from an auction house, which may have been from a recent CCI member’s Estate. When the bidding started I kept going at a modest level, due to the sale of ivory ban, and ended up winning this lot at a lowish price which raises some basic questions:-

  • If the recent legislation  passed was supposed to deter collectors from buying such collectable antiques, then it is failing miserably
  • Sets which were coveted by many less affluent collectors are now at present far far more likely to be picked up for a fraction of their past selling prices. Thus being honest with myself I felt like a vulture feeding off a collector’s corpse

This delicate looking set just might suit a lady – the small pieces are a delight, and with no damage of any note begs a question: – are there any female collectors out there?  (I don’t know of any to date). Pages 98-99 of Gareth William’s Collector’s book Masterpieces gives interested parties an idea of its origin.

The current ivory selling ban is a complete joke as Ebay is doing nothing about some pretty crude mid-20th century ivory cased Chinese sets, even worse such dubious offerings appear and are placed on watchlists but such figures are meaningless as the watchers won’t buy these items! Yet such watchers get a ” Scrooge” like discount offering  through Ebay selling messages to buy this crap! Harsh words perhaps, but when compared to this cute little baby they ring true – selling descriptions such as ‘bovine bone‘ are a load of ‘bull’!






Posted on

February 15, 2023

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