The Nation's Premier Antiques Center

Mammoth Tusk Masterpieces

Spectacular and intricate ivory carving of a mammoth tusk, Chinese, the carving circa 1940-1950.

Intricate ivory carving of a mammoth tusk, Chinese, circa 1940-1950. From Angela & J. Gallery

Magnificent evidence of the unearthly wooly mammoth that lived from over 1 million years ago to as recently as 40,000 years ago, mammoth tusks have been unearthed in parts of Europe, North America and Asia since the last ice age ( The carving of these spectacular artifacts, however, is art that has been mastered in China.

Detail view of tusk above.

Mammoth tusk carving themes can include entire villages, Buddhist fables, and romping erotic scenes. Traditional master carvers have increasingly turned to mammoth ivory to fill the gap left by the nearly universal international ban on elephant ivory. Most of the mammoth tusks used in China are imported from Russia’s arctic tundra and date 10,000-40,000 years, and unlike elephant ivory, is a legal trade (

Detail view of tusk above.

The combination of the incredible age of the tusks and the skill of the artisans required to render these works make mammoth ivory tusk carvings incredibly valuable. Angela & J. Gallery can be reached here regarding this particular masterpiece.

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