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I have 2 ivory figurines, and I was wondering if they are…

I have 2 ivory...

I have 2 ivory figurines, and I was wondering if they are real, and what they are worth

Expert's Assistant: I always love having an appraiser look at my stuff. Sometimes its turned out to be surprisingly valuable. Tell us what else you do know and the Antiques Appraiser will be able to better assist you.

I don't know anything about the figurines, but I have pictures

Expert's Assistant: Is there anything else important you think the Antiques Appraiser should know?

They are signed

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Answered in 2 minutes by:
3/21/2018
Doris
Doris, Personal Property Appraiser
Category: Antiques
Satisfied Customers: 11,127
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.
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Welcome, my name is ***** ***** be pleased to work with you.My responses are not immediate.I thank
you for your patience.I am reviewing the question.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Sounds good. Thank you. I can send along pictures if that helps

Please tell me the approximate height in inches.

Photos are almost always required to give an accurate assessment. If you cannot send photos, I can still work with your descriptions; however, I can give more accurate answers if I have photos.
Can you send photos?

If so, then -

Please send photos of the figurines.

Please send a photo of the marks and/or words on the bottom.

You may need to use the macro function (flower icon) of your camera to get a good clear photo of the marks.

If you cannot get a good photo, then sketch the marks and take a photo of the sketch.

To send photos you may use the "ADD FILES" in the blue box link (next to "SEND" or "SUBMIT") on your reply page or the "paper clip" found in the toolbar you see on your reply page.
Please do not send in ZIP format. The jpg or jpeg format works best.

An explanation of this method can be found here:

http://ww2.justanswer.com/help/how-do-i-send-photo-or-file-expert-hl

Please do not try to use the site email method of sending photos without specific instructions from me.

Kind regards,
Doris

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Alright. Give me a minute. I am sending them over now

There is no hurry at this end. My responses are not immediate.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Did the photos come through?
IMG_5324.jpegIMG_5324.jpegIMG_5333.jpegIMG_5333.jpegIMG_5326.jpegIMG_5326.jpegIMG_5325.jpegIMG_5325.jpeg

Four photos came through.

Please test your figurines.

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."

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Alright. I just did, and it didn't even make a mark. No smoke either

Good. Then they are ivory.

How tall are they in inches?

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
3.94 inches on the lady, and 4.08 inches on the man

Thank you. Please allow a few minutes for me to research current values and type a complete answer.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Sounds good. Did you see the picture of the markings on the bottom?

Yes, I did see the incised Japanese signatures but they are impossible to pin down exactly as there are dozens of these artisans.

These are Japanese Meiji Period (1868-1912) hand carved ivory figurines. They are depicted in a fashion often used by Japanese artisans - with their attributes of a room and a rake. The represent household figures.

These figurines are usually sold as a pair.

The estimated retail value of the set as a pair is $1000-1500.

There is some question about whether one can sell these legally or not. There are many new restrictions on the sale of ivory but Asian ivory in some cases is exempt from these new restrictions. I suggest you contact your regional US Fish & Wildlife Office as this is the agency that sets the regulations having to do with endangered species.

See the site for the US Fish and Wildlife Service. To find your region, go to the drop down menu on the left. https://www.fws.gov/

If saleable, see these suggestions:

Online auctions like eBay generally bring wholesale selling prices. Sales in the eBay "Buy It Now" format are closer to retail.

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.

Etsy.com - small fees-20 cents to list plus 3.5% final price.
Artfire.com

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

Rubylane.com
Tias.com
cyberattic.com
trocadero.com
https://www.justcollecting.com

Or your nearest CraigsList.com or nextdoor.com where you can list items for free. Accept cash only.

Ultimately, to obtain these retail values we assume the piece or set is in good condition and that the final value depends on sale geographic location.

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 20%-50% more than retail values.

All my answers are quoted in USA dollars.

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.

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

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Bonuses are not required but are always appreciated.

Kind regards.

Doris

If you would like to use me on any future questions, requesting me expires in a short time. If you type "For Doris Only" as the first of three words of the question, I should be able to help you.
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Doris
Doris, Personal Property Appraiser
Category: Antiques
Satisfied Customers: 11,127
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.
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Doris
Doris
Doris, Personal Property Appraiser
Category: Antiques
Satisfied Customers: 11,127
11,127 Satisfied Customers
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.

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