Description

This magnificent piece of mammoth ivory sculpture of Kamasutra couple celebrates their love is a perfect example of erotic art.  Notice the couple that sit opposite each other yet their legs intertwine in the lovely flower basket. Notice the ornate hairstyles and coiffured hair with the plenty of accessories on the heads of the couple. Each strand of hair has been hand painted black, bringing to light the life-like feel and does not look like it is carved in pure mammoth ivory.

Kamasutra couple celebrates their love

Look at the jauntily placed scarf of the woman which the Master carver has managed to sculpt in three dimensions, giving the folds of the fabric a realistic look.  And don’t miss the upturned bow that ties up the whole basket as a gift. The handle of the basket s covered with leaves and flowers, daintily hand painted and accessorized with floral themes. Even the basket wherein the Kamasutra couple celebrate their love has delicate flowers adorning it. Look at the half nude bodies of the man and woman which have been carefully carved by the Master Carver. Look at the shades of brown color that can be seen permeating the white color of mammoth ivory. The mammoth ivory lay buried in mineral rich permafrost and absorbed the minerals and that has brought a certain hue of brown in the sculpture.

Detailed couple in love

Look at the long hair of the Kamasutra couple when viewed from the back. Check the well-defined toes and the curve of the legs and arms. Painstakingly hand craved and etched beautifully, the mammoth ivory basket has been hand painted to resemble a wicker basket.  The colors of red, rust and red have been sparingly used to highlight the leaves and flowers while the brown shade of color bring out the wicker basket pattern. Carving such intricate details of mammoth ivory is very difficult yet the master carver has done it beautifully.

Mammoth ivory netsukes are absolutely legal worldwide.

You can read more about Erotic Netsuke in our education Center.

You can read more about Mammoth Ivory in our education Center.

Fossil ivory or mammoth ivory tusk is procured from the modified two upper incisors of the Woolly mammoth. This fossil ivory or Mastodon ivory is harvested from the fossilized remains of the wooly mammoths (Mammuthus primigenius) that have been extinct since the last 10,000 years. The remains of these huge animals are found in Siberia, Alaska and other regions of Russia. The fossilized ivory is a precious commodity which is extracted from the permafrost and thus, has high antique and historical value. The Mammoth ivory is as good as elephant ivory when it comes to its quality and luster.

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In recent years, there has been an increase in the demand of mammoth ivory which has led to an unquenchable proportion. But if you look at the current scenario, mammoth ivory is non replenishable. There are only limited mammoth ivory that can be extracted from the fossilized carcass and how long can that be done?

Most researchers have estimated about over 9 million carcasses are still buried under the deep permafrost in the Tundra regions and about the same number are available to be harvested in the higher regions in China. There is a high demand of mammoth ivory in China where not only do sculptors need this powerful medium to carve and sculpt but traditional herbal medicine practitioners require the low quality mammoth ivory chips and dust to put into traditional medicines.

After the banning of elephant ivory in 1999, fossil ivory became much in demand as an alternative medium to elephant ivory. However, there is another aspect of paleontologists and archeologists to harvesting ivory. According to them, excavating the carcass for harvesting the tusks, which has been buried for centuries and converted into a fossil leads to damage of scientific data. But fossil ivory traders have a different view and claim that it is better to unearthed the precious material from the soil and sculpt it for people to enjoy the beauty of ageless ivory.

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Fossil ivory or mammoth ivory is sensitive to surrounding temperature and harsh climatic conditions have an adverse impact. Due to its sensitivity to humidity and temperature, when it expands and contracts, it can split due to stress. We ensure that only the purest of ivory is used that is free of any imperfection after being acclimatized for a number of years above ground. To protect your ivory, it is recommended that you rub mineral oil twice a year to replenish its natural oils. Renaissance Wax can be used to give it a protective polished shine.

However, please bear in mind and do not:

Spill or put ink on ivory
Make the ivory wet
Put the ivory in direct sunlight
Let the ivory heat up or freeze
Expose the ivory to fluctuations in temperature and humidity

Basic differences between Elephant ivory and mammoth ivory

Using the angles of Schreger lines in Mammoth ivory can differentiate between elephant ivory and fossil ivory. You can see this reflected in the cross section photographs of both elephant and mammoth ivory.

Schreger lines in Elephant Ivory Schreger lines in Mammoth Ivory
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It is clearly reflected in the photos that the angle of Schreger lines on the mammoth ivory are less than 90 degrees while those on elephant ivory are more than 115 degrees. This is the best way to do differentiate between the two ivories.

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Mammoth carcasses have been found mostly in Alaska and Siberia under the deep permafrost. In Alaska and Siberia, the constant ongoing tussle between the archeologists and mammoth ivory traders continues with the increase in demand of mammoth ivory as it is the only legal ivory that is used to create some of the most beautiful sculptures.

Even after there are enforced laws that protect Alaska’s ancient heritage and history, there are people that just don’t care. There are numerous interstate commercial traders dealing in illegal mining of whalebone, walrus ivory and mammoth tusks on public land to create jewelry, sculptures, scrimshaws and assorted art pieces.

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Wooly mammoths have been extinct for the past 10,000 years unlike Asian and African elephants so mammoth ivory is not listed in the Appendices to the CITES nor is mammoth ivory subject to control as per the listed Animals and Plants (Protection of Endangered Species) Ordinance, Cap. 187. Mammoth ivory is a precious relic of the past that has been well preserved in the coldest tundra regions of Siberia and Alaska. Thus, mammoths or Mammuthus primigenus is an extinct proboscidan and the only legal source of high grade precious ivory that can be used for carvings.

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