This amazingly handcrafted netsuke of half-naked geisha carrying her baby is not just tiny but extremely well-detailed. Notice the beautiful and precise lines demarcating the two figurines. Portraying the geisha and her baby, look how well the Master Carver has managed to put into focus the erotic allure of the geisha but brings forth the maternal side of the same individual.
Half-naked geisha in mammoth ivory
With both the breasts bared, the erotic theme of the Japanese geisha netsuke can be seen, while the baby on the back brings forth the maternal side of the woman. A perfect amalgamation of womanhood, the significance of the erotic theme is double sided.
Notice the well-rounded figure of the half-naked geisha and the baby on her back. Look at the exquisite patterns on the clothes of the geisha and the baby. See how the baby is perched up, holding on to the geisha’s shoulders. The exquisite and seamless flow of lines and perfect finish gives a life like appeal to the complete netsuke. Crafted from a single piece of mammoth ivory, the complete sculpture is beautifully done.
Delicately carved Japanese geisha netsuke
Look at the beautiful tiny basket of flowers she carries in one hand and the other hand goes at the back, holding and supporting her baby. A beautiful picture of womanhood, with an equal balance of naked sexuality and the tenderness of a mother is visible.
The Master Carver has been able to painstakingly bring to life a simple moment in the geisha’s life. See how delicately the motifs and patterns have been hand painted. The geometric and flower motifs are exemplified by the carefully etched patterns. The fall of the garments, flowing folds and creases, the bending neck, upturned face of the baby and other details are very clear and excellently carved by the Master Carver. Don’t miss the two holes that are standardize the netsuke.
This is definitely the ivory netsuke you should buy! The best part is we offer free worldwide shipping on all purchases.
Want to know all about Mammoth ivory?
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.