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Narwhal ivory

Discussions, identification and analysis of the different types of Marine Ivory
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Location: USA

Re: Narwhal ivory

Postby jbjtennyo » Sat May 14, 2016 9:57 am

Piers, you have polished your Manju to a lovely silky finish, It has the look of fine satin!
I remember reading (and correct me if I remember wrong). that narwhal ivory was thought to have some medicinal qualities, even an aphrodisiac, and some narwhal pieces have been found with areas ground or chopped off. It would be fun to find a narwhal netsuke with some chunks missing- a way to add a little human interest to the story!

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Re: Narwhal ivory

Postby onimh » Sat May 14, 2016 10:48 am

DSW90049 wrote:In London, I was shown several Narwhal pieces, and again had the increasingly unique privilege of handling this evolutionary miracle material!

Alas, back home in chokingly politically correct US of A, Narwhal is truly the Trifecta of illegally endangered species material - ......

I received this response from Bonhams regarding a narwhal lot:

"To answer your query regarding shipping regulations of narwhal tusk to the US, our shipping manager confirms that it will be allowed into the US provided it is antique, a UK CITES permit exists and the client has a CITES import permit.

It is also covered under the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972, which would require to obtain a permit (letter) from in order to import it.
Instructions on how to establish pre-act status may be found at ... ctions.htm. They will send a letter that you must submit at the time of importation."

I thought it might be of interest.

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Re: Narwhal ivory

Postby DSW90049 » Sat May 14, 2016 3:05 pm

Good to know.
Wishing luck on getting the letter.
"There is no shortcut to netsuke collecting; it takes time, study and patience. The market is flooded with utterly worthless rubbish. . . . "
Netsukes: Their Makers, Use and Meaning, H. Seymour Trower(1898)~~~~David

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Joined: Thu Nov 08, 2012 6:32 pm
Location: Boston

Re: Narwhal ivory

Postby onimh » Sat May 14, 2016 3:45 pm

DSW90049 wrote:Good to know.
Wishing luck on getting the letter.

I didn't bid on the piece. It went above my target.

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Re: Narwhal ivory

Postby chonchon » Mon May 23, 2016 6:54 am

Here's a piece that may have been 'eaten away', as per Judy's suggestion that shavings were often used as 'medicine'. This one may simply be misshapen though. I do have one that shows evidence of much scraping, but it is a different marine ivory, not narwhal.


Size is something.

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