Mammoth Ivory Boy Riding Fish, Turquoise Necklace

Approx 19 1/2", pendant, 1 1/4" x 1 3/4"


SALE  $755  

This one-of-a-kind necklace is made with a Mammoth ivory netuske - a boy riding a fish.  The netuske is beautifully carved all around and is signed on the back by the artist who carved him.  I have strung him with a double strand of a beautiful rich color of Chinese turquoise.  It is finished with a 18k gold vermeil hook clasp.

The carp, or fish,  is considered the most auspicious of all fish and symbolizes wealth, abundance, happiness and fertility.  In China the carp is an emblem of the singleness of purpose, determination, tenacity and perseverance, reflecting the belief that the carp that is capable of conquering the rapids and waterfalls of the wild Yellow River would eventually become a dragon.   The carp also symbolizes scholastic achievement and represents advantage, or benefit in business.

Japanese artists starting in the 17th century cleverly invented the miniature sculptures known as netsuke  to serve a very practical function.  Traditional Japanese had no pockets. Men who wore them needed a place to keep personal belongings such as pipes, tobacco, money, seals, or medicines.  They kept them in a pouch or box that was suspended from a cord and netsuke that was used as a counter weight as the pouch hung over his sash.

Such objects, often of great artistic merit, have a long history reflecting important aspects of Japanese folklore and life. Netsuke production was most popular during the Edo period in Japan, around 1615-1868. Today, the art lives on and carvers, a few of whose modern works command high prices are in the UK, Europe, the USA, Japan and elsewhere. Prices at auctions in the USA for collectible netsuke typically range from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand depending on the quality of the carving and the artist. Traditionally, netsukes have been carved from mammoth and elephant ivory, ebony, fossil walrus tusk, mahogany, rosewood and hippopotamus tooth.  The netsukes, often signed by the artist, are getting harder to find as the detail in each piece takes patience and time.

Turquoise is the birthstone of December and zodiacal stone for Sagittarius.  It is believed to attract abundance and prosperity and is associated with love, power, independence, individuality, and confidence.  It increases independent thinking and adventurousness.
Chinese turquoise is known for its variation of color and surface ranging from a smooth deep blue-green color to a porous and green-brown color.  Its variation of shade makes for a versatile piece of jewelry to be worn with many colors and styles of dress.

Mammoth Ivory comes from the extinct mammoth elephant that roamed the Earth during the Pliocene era from around 4.8 million to 4,500 years ago. Because they are extinct they are not endangered and therefore, are legal and save the African elephant.  The artisans that carved elephant ivory are now carving mammoth ivory that is recovered in Siberia.