russian antique silver

Russian Jewelry in antiquity

 

Traditional russian jewellery was pearl, produced in kidney-shaped shells, and mined in northern rivers. Found in rivers these pearls were used to create earrings and necklaces, it was also used to decorate hats and clothing.

Kolodochka is another piece of traditional jewelry in ancient Russia. This was tightly-woven beads or a chain that resemble the body of a snake.  The Gaitan was a decoration consisting of of twisted metal rings completed with weavings of beads or threads. Butterflies were also a significant part of russian jewelry.

 

Russian Silver

The most commonly found Russian silver is russian silver 84. This russian silver hallmark is the standard for every-day silver purity.  On  russian jewelry  the “84”  russian silver hallmark is always accompanied by several other marks that express region or city punch, an assay master’s mark, as well as a maker’s punch.

These with the exception of the maker’s punch were compulsory according to the law in the 18th and 19th centuries. In 1899 these were replaced by a national marking system, the Kokoshnik.

According to these markings russian antique silver can be evaluated and estimated. At www.ivoryandart.com you can find russian silver antiques and russian jewelry with  a variety of russian silver hallmarks that ensure authenticity as well as chronology of the items.

One of the most noteworthy Russian silversmiths with is Karl Faberge.  Faberge creations were all created with russian silver hallmark “88” and not  russian silver 84. These items are of the finest quality and over time items of huge collector value.

Russian enamel jewelry

During the 19th century the manufacturing of russian enamel jewelry reached the mass production scale. This brought about the establishment of small factories. With most creations depicting local folk culture.

By 1920 – 1930 brooches, powder boxes, frames photos and other russian enamel jewelry.

The second half of the 20th  brought about the increase in manufacturing, expansion of variety and improvement in the quality of Russian enamel. These products continue to be of the highest quality. Russian enamel jewelry are admired for their high quality and designs, luster and transparency of colors. Find breathtaking pieces at www.ivoryandart.com.

german porcelain figurines

Western porcelain enthusiasts once sought out the then ultimate mark of porcelain supremacy: “Made in China”.

Chinese export porcelain has nothing to envy of its Imperial counterpart as they are both created with the same technical expertise albeit designed to appeal to Westerners taste.

German porcelain figurines and chinese ivory figurines seem to have the same roots, the amazing creations of Chinese artisans.

German porcelain figurines that can be found at www.ivoryandart.com alongside chinese ivory carving and chinese ivory figurines.

 

Chinese ivory carving was prominent along with Chinese jade which was attributed with magical powers. These carvings were part of China’s decorative arts and long held the fascination of the Europeans.These carvings were also created in other materials such as bronze, gold and silver, rhinoceros horn, Chinese silk, lacquer and enamel.

 

The Chinese have long valued ivory for both aesthetic reasons as can be seen in Chinese Ivory figurines as well as for practical purposes. Many Chinese ivory carvings have both an aesthetic and functional purpose. Early reference to the Chinese export of ivory is recorded by explorer Zhang Qian. Chinese craftsmen carved ivory to make everything from images of deities to the pipe stems and end pieces of opium pipes.

 

These Chinese ivory figurines as well as Chinese porcelain and pottery seem to be the inspiration for the creation of german porcelain. German porcelain was first crated in 1710 and soon reached the quality and beauty of its Asian counterpart. The first and dominant porcelain was Meissen porcelain; the factory in Meissen attracted artists and artisans to establish one of the most famous porcelain manufacturers which dominated the style of European porcelain until 1756.

 

German porcelain figurines were not only created by Meissen; other factories were soon established.

 

These include:

Hoechst Porcelain (1746-1796)
This factory produced figurines that included religious subjects, pastoral scenes, children, and mythological characters,

Nymphenburg Porcelain
German porcelain figurines from this factory include Italian comedic characters, ladies in crinoline, famous personalities, peasants, Asian peoples and children.

Frankenthal Porcelain (1755-1799)

Ludwigsburg Porcelain (1750-1824)
Meissen porcelain figurines however, have remained the best and most sought after German porcelain. At www.ivoryandart.com amongst german porcelain you can also find  Lladró porcelain a high quality manufacturer of porcelain figurines.

sterling silver judaica

Judaica is the name given to Jewish ceremonial art. This entails a variety of items used by Jews for ritual purposes. These items came about because enhancing a mitzvah by performing it with a particularly beautiful object is considered a way of honoring God’s commandments, Judaism has a long tradition of having ritual objects created by skilled craftsmen and artists. sterling silver judaica are the most common such objects.

Sterling silver judaica include items used on Shabbat.
These include:

Kiddush cup: Kiddush is a prayer recited over wine or grape juice to bless the Shabbat and Jewish holidays. Kiddush cups are highly decorated, and other than sterling silver judaica are also made of china, porcelain, pewter and nickel.
Shabbat candlestick holders
Hand washing cup
Challah cutting board
Havdalah candle and candle holder
Havdalah spice box

 

Other Judaica items are those used during Hanukkah. The menorah used on the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah is possibly the most commonly produced item of Judaica art. Sukkot items include the Etrog Box.

 

Other Judaica include the Passover haggadah which are traditionally artistically embellished.

 

At www.ivoryandart.com you can purchase both contemporary and antique sterling silver judaica as well as judaica jewelry.

 

Judaica jewelry include items featuring a variety of symbols such as:

Chai Jewelry: The meaning of the Hebrew word Chai is “living” and consists of two Hebrew letters, “Chet” and “Yud”. Due to the statistical values of these Hebrew letters the statistical worth of the term Chai is 18. Hebrew jewelry with Chai symbols make for a great eighteenth birthday gift especially as a jewish necklace.

Hamsa Jewelry is another type of hebrew jewelry. Hamsa jewelry depict inverted hands and has become a popular piece of Judaica jewelry.

 

Hoshen Jewelry: Hoshen is Hebrew for breastplate and refers to the breastplate worn through the High Priest during the time of his service within the Holy Temple.

 

The most prominent symbol of Judaica jewelry is the The Star of David or otherwise known as the Shield of David or Magen David. This symbol is often featured in hebrew jewelry and as pendants on a jewish necklace.

wooden netsuke

At www.ivoryandart.com you can find and purchase a variety of Netsuke. Netsuke are miniature sculptures which originally had a functional purpose but later on became a form of fine art, a specimen of craftsmanship and a signature piece of japanese culture.

 

At www.ivoryandart.com you can find a variety of netsuke created from different materials and depicting a variety of subjects and themes. Most common are ivory netsuke and wooden netsuke.

 

Materials Used

 

Ivory – the most common material used before ivory from live animals became illegal. Netsuke made from mammoth ivory fill part of the tourist trade demand today.
Wood – popular materials in Edo Japan and still used today
Hippopotamus tooth – used in lieu of ivory today
Rhinoceros horn
Clay/porcelain
Lacquer

 

A type of netsuke worth mentioning alongside ivory and wooden netsuke are Walnut netsuke.

The nuts used are tagua nut: the nut from the ivory palm and walnut.

 

Subjects of Netsuke you can find at www.ivoryandart.com.

Whether ivory, wooden netsuke or crafted from other materials, netsuke reflect the culture and the type of the society that produced them. Netsuke exhibit every aspect of Japanese culture, such as folklore, religion, crafts, trades as well as professions. Wooden netsuke can be found that depict all types of people and creatures inspired by both real and imaginary characters and every kind of object.

 

These include:

 

People; whether famous or anonymous, contemporary or historical, real or fictitious, children or warriors anyone could be carved into a wooden netsuke.
Craft; all trades and professions were often depicted on netsuke, examples of these are huntsmen, fishermen, woodcutters or merchants.
Animals; the animals depicted could be the zodiac animals or real ones. The most traditional netsuke style are those featuring octopus figures. These octopi will usually be found embracing beautiful women.
Plants and other; beans or chestnuts, are often carved actual size.
Deities and mythical creatures; these often derive from Chinese mythology and religion. Other common deity carvings on wooden netsuke include the Seven Lucky Gods.

Inanimate objects; these include coins, and tools.
Abstract; these include mon patterns and other designs
Sexual known as shunga netsuke may depict a male and female in sexual conjugation or may contain only subtle or symbolic sexual references.

 

chinese antiques

China has always had a very  rich culture which over time enriched the world with artifacts known as Chinese antiques. Items considered as Chinese art are all visual arts that originated in or were created by Chinese artists, this applies to both chinese antiques as well as contemporary items. Namely, for a work of art to be considered Chinese it must be based on or draw from Chinese heritage and Chinese culture.

It is worth mentioning that Chinese art is undoubtedly the oldest continuous tradition in the world, and is characterised by an exceptional degree of continuity contrary to Western art movements that is known for changes in art movements.

Chinese antiques as well as contemporary works of art in China consist of ceramics, textiles, carved lacquer and ink wash painting which was mainly practiced by scholars and court painters with the most prominent themes being landscapes, flowers, and birds.

Chinese antiques many of which can be purchased at www.ivoryandart.com include painting, sculpture, pottery and decorative arts.

Painting

Traditional Chinese painting as well as Chinese calligraphy works are created by a brush dipped in ink without the use of oils. The finished work was usually mounted on scrolls but can also be done on album sheets, walls, lacquerware, folding screens, and other media.

Sculpture

At www.ivoryandart.com you can find chinese antiques that include:

  • Chinese ritual bronzes from the Shang and Western Zhou dynasties come from a period of over a thousand years from c. 1500
  • Smaller figures in pottery or wood were placed in tombs as well as real and mythological animals miniature decorate temples and palaces.
  • Small Buddhist figures and groups

Pottery

One of the most significant forms of Chinese art. The first types of ceramics were made during the Palaeolithic era, and in later periods range from construction materials such as bricks and tiles, to hand-built pottery vessels fired in bonfires or kilns, to the sophisticated Chinese porcelain wares made for the imperial court.

Decorative arts
A wide range of materials that were more valuable were worked and intricately decorated with great skill for a range of uses or just for display. These Chinese antiques were created with Chinese jade, bronze, gold and silver, rhinoceros horn, Chinese silk, ivory, lacquer and carved lacquer, cloisonne enamel and many other materials.

meissen porcelain

Meissen porcelain was created in the early 1700s after trying to recreate the material used by the Chinese which had captured the fancy of Europeans travelling to the area. After a number of failed attempts, an alchemist named Johann Friedrich Böttger finally achieved the intended result. This result was a porcelain of such high quality that has remained famous throughout time. Even today, meissen porcelain items are considered to be of the highest quality and sought out by collectors.

 

Originally, Böttger produced a processed hard red stoneware known as Böttgersteinzeug. Wares created with a white porcelain that had the ability to be glazed and painted made their appearance on the market in 1713. As time progressed Böttger’s wares increased in quality however, lacked in terms of decor. Later on, though,  gold decorations were applied and finely engraved. In 1723 multicolor enamelled painting added to the wares indicated the beginning of the classic phase of Meissen porcelain.

 

Next to follow was the “Meissen Blue” phase, which was introduced by Friedrich August Köttig. This phase is when intricately painted designs including detailed landscapes and port scenes, animals, flowers and courtship scenes  appeared on Meissen porcelain creations.

 

Meissen porcelain originally focused on the production of tableware,with the first services being produced in 1720 these first services were without decorations, but decorations were soon added by Kaendler who also created a “New Cutout” pattern, known for its wavy edge.

One of the most famous of services created was The Swan Service in 1737-43, which eventually added up to more than a thousand pieces and continues to be made. Other popular patterns still produced are the Purple Rose pattern and the Vine-leaf pattern.

 

Meissen porcelain changed directions due to the changing tastes of the neoclassical period and the rise of Sèvres porcelain in the 1760s.

It was then Erich Hösel in 1903, who revived and reinterpreted the old styles. Despite some impressive work in the Art Nouveau style being produced, Meissen’s main production continued to be items using the revived eighteenth-century models.

After some years of turmoil and artistic oppression, it was not until 1969, with Karl Petermann as the artistic director, that Meissen went back to its roots  and was also allowed a freer artistic expression.

At www.ivoryandart.com you can find a variety of Meissen porcelain items from various time periods in the forms of services, figurines and other household items.

netsuke signatures

Netsuke

Netsuke are small items adorned with intricate carvings that the Japanese men used to wear on their Kimonos in order to attach a cord connected to a box or pouch in which they carried their personal items. Most men owned more than one Netsuke which other than their functional purpose also became somewhat of an embellishment often revealing their social status or financial ability.

Types of netsuke and Netsuke Carvings

 

There are different types of netsuke, the most common of which was the katabori or figural netsuke. Other types of netsuke are:

Manju netsuke; named after a bean paste confection that was round and flat these were adorned with Netsuke Carvings  of compact three-dimensional figures.

Kagamibuta that consisted of a metal lid and a bowl.

 

Mask netsuke, on which the Netsuke Carvings were tiny versions of the masks used in Noh and Kyogen plays. There are also sashi or long, thin netsuke, that were thrust through the belt, with the sagemono suspended from the end that protrudes from the obi
Anabori Netsuke which had a hollowed out centre.

Ryusa netsuke – shaped like a manju, but carved like lace

Sashi Netsuke; an elongated form Netsuke.

Obi-hasami – another elongated netsuke with a curved top and bottom.

Trick Netsuke that has moving parts or hidden surprises.

Netsuke Carvings include plants and animals, legends and heroes, myths and mythical beasts, gods and other religious symbols, daily activities, and more.

Netsuke value

Netsuke value varies greatly from one item to another beginning at a few hundred and reaching hundreds of thousands of dollars. As any other work of art netsuke value is based on a number of factors. What mostly defines netsuke value is the quality of carving, originality, rarity, and its aesthetic appeal.

 

Netsuke signatures

Very few bear netsuke signatures. Often the netsuke considered to be the best items are the ones that bear no signature. Netsuke signatures have been the cause of much controversy among collectors with many of them actually preferring unsigned works so as to avoid the ambiguity of if the work is indeed by a famous artist, a pupil or follower of that artist, or just a copy.

 

At www.ivoryandart.com you can find 100% authentic Netsuke made from a variety of materials and and by various artists. Purchase antique or contemporary netsuke and find the netsuke prices for you.

japanese netsuke for sale

Japanese netsuke for sale today include items that were created centuries ago and are considered to be antiques as well as items created today. Both are considered to be items of exquisite craftsmanship and an integral part of Japanese culture. Thus setting  japanese netsuke value at a high standard.

 

Japanese netsuke are items that were created as a functional item, they were used to attach a cord to their clothing. On the other side of the cord usually lay an ornate box used to carry personal items, this box could also be replaced by a pouch. Both the box and the pouch were used as pockets because the traditional Japanese Kimonos did not have pockets.

 

At first Japanese netsuke were simple without decorations or carvings, however, as time progressed japanese netsuke value increased as they became intricate figurines created not only to attach the cord to the sash but also to adorn an outfit. It is possible that those who owned netsuke had more than one in order to give a variety of outfits a different look or feel according to the occasion. Furthermore, they became a status symbol and a symbol of wealth and well-being.

 

Japanese netsuke are considered collectors items as they are an item solely created by the Japanese and unique so much so as they continue being created and sold even though they no longer serve a functional purpose. Japanese netsuke for sale including both contemporary and antique are made of ivory, wood, bone and other materials such as brass.

 

Ivory Japanese netsuke has the highest value and mammoth ivory has come to replace elephant ivory due to restrictions on the trade of ivory. Mammoth ivory is used to create most Japanese netsuke for sale. When buying netsuke it is important to ensure that it is created by 100% mammoth ivory. One can determine mammoth ivory by the markings of the ivory as well as some colouring caused be minerals found where the ivory has been excavated- these are not usually visible with a naked eye.

 

At www.ivoryandart.com you will find Japanese netsuke for sale that have been checked for their authenticity by experts who can ensure both the fact that they are 100% mammoth ivory as well as japanese netsuke value.

meissen porcelain value

Meissen porcelain value has remained high ever since it was first created in the early 1700s. Trying to recreate the material first seen in China, meissen porcelain became the first of few that came close regarding quality. Attributed to an alchemist named Johann Friedrich Böttger in 1707 Meissen porcelain also known as Dresden porcelain or porcelaine de Saxe was produced at the Meissen factory, near Dresden in Germany. This porcelain was the dominant style of European porcelain until 1756 from when on French Sèvres porcelain took over. This, however, did not reduce Meissen porcelain value.

 

Meissen figurines value is dependant on a variety of factors. Of these factors the most determining are that of rarity and age. The highest in meissen figurines value are those that even at the time of creation are highly collected, an example of one of the most collected series was the “Affenkapelle” – monkey band. This series was made up of 21 monkey musicians and a conductor. Other Meissen figures that were of great collectible value are figurines of harlequins, dwarves, and hunchbacks as well as series representing seasons, continents, dancers, and tradesmen.

Other than  meissen figurines value, it is important to mention the meissen porcelain value of dinnerware as a wide variety of dishes, bowls and drinking vessels were created each bearing the factory’s famous crossed-swords mark on its base. These were decorated with a variety of patterns mostly floral which were similar to Chinese porcelain as well as patterns of indigenous German flowers.

 

These sets were named from the predominant pattern.Highest meissen porcelain value include the “Yellow Lion” and “Red Dragon” plate sets for Augustus and the “Swan service” for Count von Bruhl.
What Meissen porcelain is mostly known for are the allegorical figures, figures in period costumes, portrait plates, vases with ornamental flowers, animals, Baroque saints, even watch dials, etc. and the fact that all the porcelain pieces were thoroughly decorated. The motifs used include gold, multi-colored enameling, and the distinctive Meissen deep blue coloration and the decorations consisted of lush landscapes, port scenes, outdoor parties flowers, and Asian inspired patterns.

Meissen porcelain value has lasted through time mainly due to the fact that the manufacturers remained devoted to the production of porcelain made of high quality materials and decorated with ornate motifs.
At www.ivoryandart.com you can find authentic contemporary and antique Meissen porcelain figurines and other meissen porcelain items.

ivory netsuke prices

 

Netsuke figures

 

Netsuke started out as a simple button like toggle used to attach a cord to a sash on a traditional Japanese garment, the kimono. On the other side of the cord lay a beautiful box or pouch used to carry personal items. These simple attachments became more and more intricate and became an art form all on its own becoming more of an adornment than a functional item. Netsuke can be found in use from the early 17th century to the second half of the 19th century. Once the Japanese took to wearing Western clothing during the Meiji period, netsuke disappeared as an item of daily use. This however, did not decrease ivory netsuke prices nor the value of netsuke crafted from other materials.

 

Netsuke figures can range from animals to people to inanimate objects. Despite losing its functional purpose Netsuke figures have continued being created, even today as a commodity to be exported to the west and to be sold as souvenirs. These netsuke figures became and continue to be a specimen of extremely skillful craftsmanship and an integral part of Japanese culture. Much like antique netsuke, contemporary netsuke figures are also extremely valuable. The fifty to hundred professional artists worldwide still produce netsuke of high quality.

Antique netsuke

 

Antique netsuke as well as contemporary Netsuke were crafted from a wide variety of materials. The most commonly used materials were ivory and wood. Wood netsuke figures can be carved from a variety of wooden materials. Besides ivory and wood other materials that are used are bone, horn, shell, amber, soapstone and ceramic. Ιvory netsuke prices are determined by the quality as well as antiquity.
Netsuke subjects

Originally netsuke were simple items without special carvings, as they slowly became a status symbol and were used to compliment an outfit, more and more importance was placed on the carvings and the subjects used. As most owned more than one netsuke, the more impressive the carving the higher the ivory netsuke prices. Animals, especially the 12 animals of the Asian zodiac were rather popular. Mythological, heroic and scenes from everyday’s life can also be found carved into antique netsuke.

The quality of carving, originality and the subject are the most determining factors when it comes to ivory netsuke prices.

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