Turned cup with concatenated spheres in lid finial

Possibly Georg Wecker German

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 520

Called “historic” to differentiate them from illegally obtained modern material, sixteenth-century ivories like these were produced for (and sometimes by) European princes, who associated elephants with strength and wisdom, traits considered essential for an ideal ruler. Ivory was rare in Europe and reserved for the most talented or high-status craftsmen. Poaching and the expansion of the ivory market have since led to the decimation of elephant populations in both Africa and Asia. It is crucial to conserve and protect elephants from further suffering caused by the current human desire for ivory and status.

Turned cup with concatenated spheres in lid finial, Possibly Georg Wecker (German, ca. 1550–after 1626), Ivory, German, Dresden

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