When shopping Value Village (or "The Village" as some bloggers call it!) months ago, I found these three items in a bag for $1.99:
I thought the lioness especially would look good in my printer's tray of small knick knacks.
Were they plastic? Nope.
Were they wood? Nope.
Probably bone ... but perhaps maybe ivory?
To me they look African - obviously the animals depicted - a giraffe, lioness and elephant are of African origin, but that doesn't mean these were MADE there. There are no labels or maker's marks. The rough bottom and hand-carved look suggests perhaps these were trinkets for the tourist trade. African ivory - if these are indeed ivory (elephant tusk) is much harder than Asian, therefore it makes sense that these are more crudely carved than the delicate and intricate carvings you'd see in Chinese ivory pieces, for example.
It has me stumped as I haven't been able to find any similar figurines online... which is usually the first thing I do when I pick up something I don't know much about; Googling images to find sites where I can research an item I have found.
But these? Nothing. Nada.
I was able to find numerous articles such as a Wiki-How article on how to tell ivory from bone which state "Cross hatching (roughly diamond shaped cross hatching) is a good indication that the material is ivory, as are translucent wavy lines." Am I imagining cross-hatching here? What do you think? (Click to enlarge)
|The colouring here on the giraffe has me puzzled...|
|A closer look at the giraffe's base|
I still wonder what the story is about where they are from and who could have made them.
And, if they are indeed ivory, how the heck they wound up at "The Village" for a mere $1.99 for all three...