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WWII Indian Ivory? Oxcart and Driver Carving Souvenir

In Asian > Indian Antiques > Show & Tell and Animals > Show & Tell.
Asian Antiques3687 of 4423Vintage Red Leather Compass Box.3 Netsuke and a dragon head stamp -any idea what they could be made of?
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Posted 4 years ago


(6 items)

My uncle brought this back from India as a souvenir during World War II. My mom had it in her china cabinet since I was a baby, and after my dad died I asked her if I could have it. I've always loved it for the detail in the carving, and we always thought of it as ivory but it could just as easily be bone. It is warm to the touch, though, which I'm told is a characteristic of ivory.

I'm sure this was carved as part of the souvenir trade, and I assume the pencil markings on the bottom refer to a date (obviously 1945).

Sadly one of the axles is broken, so one wheel is propped up in the photo. However, I have the broken axle piece still.

I'd love to hear from anyone else who recognizes this or can add any more information. Thanks!


  1. bdeclee, 4 years ago
    Greetings jwendell222 and thanks for your comment. I do see that cross-hatch pattern. In addition, the material in this carving resembles very much the keys on my piano, which was made in 1927. So I'm pretty sure it is indeed ivory.

    Thankfully, my husband is a luthier, and quite handy with the superglue. One day I'll ask him to fix this for me (as it's been broken since the 1960s).

    Thanks again!

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