305. A Collection of Twelve Turned and Pierced Ivory Spheres and Six Associated Bases in Ivory and Ebony

Germany, 18th century
Size: 10.5–3 cm diameter


Alchemical toy-cupboard

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The interest in this group of turned ivories was revealed to me by Marcus Pilz from Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitat in Munich, who pointed out that they were all at a different stage of their manufacture, and so must have come from an ivory-turner’s workshop – the unfinished leftovers. As a result, they show how these complicated spheres-within-spheres were made. I wonder if Jean-Claude knew this, but suspect that he did; and that is perhaps why he kept them for such a long time and never sold them.