How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Doris Your Own Question
Doris, Antiques Appraiser
Category: Antiques
Satisfied Customers: 9801
Experience:  Antiques store owner 10+yrs.Best of City Two Years. Collector 56+yrs.USPAP compliant. Member AOA.Founded part of antiques, silver & art collection at local museum.
Type Your Antiques Question Here...
Doris is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I have this mask and it is pure ivory.I believe it was to

Customer Question

I have this mask and it is pure ivory.I believe it was to bring good luck to the village. It looks almost Chinese but im not much would something like this be worth
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Antiques
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
When the people would go to war the mask was worn to keep them safe
Expert:  Doris replied 10 months ago.

Hello and welcome! My name is Doris.
I have been an antiques and art collector as well as dealer and appraiser for over 56 years.
I will be pleased to help you. Please know I do not send pop-ups.

The figure looks African.

Unfortunately, I must tell you that ivory is on the "Endangered Species" list of items banned for sale. I used to sell antique ivory in my former store but it was over 100 years old and I had a license to sell antique items on the endangered list.

The license was issued here in the US by the US Fish and Wildlife Service Service.

However, the laws have become much more strict lately. You will need to check with the appropriate authorities in your country to see what the current laws are.

New rules about ivory:
"Common sense made a very small step in the problems with the new rules about old ivory, although the ruling doesn’t help collectors or dealers, just musicians. The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service order said that the African ivory must be accompanied by documents that prove the ivory has not changed hands or been sold since Feb. 24, 1976. But that date has been changed to Feb. 25, 2014. That means that the Cleveland Orchestra can now safely take their instruments out of the country when they do an international tour. There is old ivory in violin bows, bassoons, and many string instruments. But the orchestra still has to do all the paperwork, get the certificates, travel through one of a few designated ports, and get a CITES passport so they can re-enter the U. S. Musicians traveling alone must get their own paperwork completed. But there is still a worry that someone at a port will not know about the changes."

How to tell if something is ivory:
"A surefire way to tell between bone and plastic versus ivory is to take a needle and burn it with a lighter until it's red hot. Then take the needle and touch the ivory in a non-conspicuous spot. True ivory cannot be burned but if it's bone or plastic a burn mark will be left."

If you live in the USA.....
See the site for the US Fish and Wildlife Service. To find your region, go to the drop down menu on the left.

It is especially the African elephant that is of concern.

If you cannot meet the Service's requirements, your ivory pieces are not legally saleable.

I wish I had better news.

Kind regards,


Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Dang I did the burn test thing and yea it smelt like burnt hair or something.I think its antler.cause it definatly burned a little hole in it.dang ok well thank you miss Doris.I guess we learn something new every day
Expert:  Doris replied 10 months ago.

I am so sorry. The figure is African. It is hard to say what it is made of.

My best estimate of value of your vintage mask would be $170-225 assuming good condition and depending on sale geographic location.

Online auctions like eBay generally bring wholesale selling prices.

If you would like to sell close to estimated retail, some ideas are:

The internet has your largest audience of buyers. Place small ads on these sites or set up your own small store on these sites.

Be sure to specify local pick up only for large items. That way the buyer would be responsible for obtaining his own insurance and transport.

These sites carry antique as well as vintage items.
Accept PayPal only. - small fees - 20 cents to list plus 3.5% final price.

Or your nearest where you can list items for free. Accept cash only.

These sites are excellent and more upscale but fees are higher. I only recommend them if you have several items to sell.

In general, a private seller to a dealer, via consignment or at auction can expect 30-50% of estimated retail value.

Insurance replacement values are usually about 10% more than retail values.

I hope I have helped you.

If I can help you with further questions about this answer, please let me know before you rate me.

All my answers are quoted in USA dollars.

I endeavor to give realistic, honest answers in a timely manner.

Please take a little time to give me a POSITIVE RATING NOW SO THAT I AM CREDITED BY JA for my knowledge, time and effort.

Please do not rate me down because of system difficulty.

Please let me know if you have difficulty with the site's rating system. To rate me, you should see 5 stars near my answer. 5 stars gives me the best rating.

Kind regards.


If you would like to use me on any future questions, requesting me expires in a short time. If you put "For Doris Only" as the first of three words of the question, most professionals on the site will respect that request.