As a naturally perfect sculpture material, ivory features not only solid, compact texture, but also gem-like luster. Elaborate ivory handicrafts are art treasures that transcend time. It has been considered one of "the eight consummate handicrafts of Beijing" since the Ming Dynasty.
Beijing ivory artifacts feature folktales, legends, ancient celebrities, plants and animals, and nature. However, they are rarely found today, due to the Ban on International Trade in Endangered Species. Today, ivory carvers instead turn to bone carving or rosewood carving.
On the first floor of Baigong Handicraft Museum I recently found a shop featuring both ivory and rosewood carvings. The central showcase presented a milky white ivory necklace containing 3 bead strings for RMB 2,000. Other ivory jewelry included a bracelet made of ivory beads for RMB 450, while another band stringed with elaborate Buddha heads cost RMB 2,000.
According to the shop assistant, all these ivory jewelries were made before the ban. However, customers can also admire their big ivory sculptures on display, including Tiger Running down the Mountain, 500 Buddhist Arhats, and Running Horses.
As centerpieces, the shop also presents two large rosewood sculptures. One is ¡°the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvest¡± of the Temple of Heaven, the other is "the Nine-dragon Screen" of Beihai Park.
What I appreciated
Exquisite ivory carving and rosewood carving works
What customers appreciate
Beijing ivory carving, rosewood carving
If you're looking for the perfect jewelry to go with your new Chinese clothes, you have to see what the Miao people can do.
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