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Decorative Designs in Chinese Art 中国文物的纹饰

Ivory 象牙

Ivory 象牙

In historic times ivory was an important medium for art. Today, because of the endangered status of elephants and other animals killed for ivory, trade is restricted by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). This page discusses historic artifacts in museums only.

Carved ivory dragon
象牙 乾隆(1735〜1796苏州博物馆 Carved ivory dragon Qing, Qianlong reign (1735—1796), Suzhou Museum

Grapes, as on the ivory box below, are symbolic of seeking happiness.

ivory
象牙葡萄 (1644〜1911北京首都博物馆 Carved rectangular ivory box with grape design Qing (1644—1911), Capital Museum, Beijing

The carving below shows a part of an entire elephant tusk with a carving of a crowd of people.

Ivory tusk with a carving of a crowd of people
象牙人物 苏州博物馆 Ivory tusk with a carving of a crowd of people Suzhou Museum

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