Antique Chinese Carved Ivory Rich In Detail As Well As Life Lessons

1850 Cinese ivory detail of face
c.1850 ivory bottoms of their feet
1850 ivory from the back
1850 Ivory close up
1850 Ivory carving fishing theme



Shown here today, is a fine example of Chinese carved ivory from China’s golden age of exporting, circa 1850.This piece is very detailed showing different patterns on the three individuals’ robes.The detail is complete,down to the heels of their feet to the fine lines on the elder man’s face.
The elder has taken the two boys out fishing and the boy on the right appears over zealous about the great catch of fish they have gathered and has lept up and grabbed a fish from the basket.The elderman holds the basket up with his left hand to prevent the boy from grabbing anymore.At the same time elder holds his right hand up in a gesture to the boy not to be too eager about the great catch.The other boy on the left remains calm and holds a seperate basket of fish and looks to be counting them over.
The fish in Chinese culture has long represented wealth and prosperity.Elders in Chinese culture are revered and respected for their longevity and accumulation of life’s knowledge.This item is not just an interesting figurine but also a statement against the consequences of greed and being too lavish.
I acquired this piece about ten years ago from a local auction house.It measures 7″ tall and is carved out of one piece of ivory,down to the slender fishing pole.