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This collection of over 150 carved ivory objects was created by Dr John Grice, who worked in China between 1922 and 1956. The collection was purchased by Dr J G Graves for the City of Sheffield in the 1930s and was displayed in the Graves Art Gallery. It was originally seen as an educational resource for the many ivory carvers who worked in Sheffield’s metalwork trades.

’...the cutlery city of Sheffield; one of the very few places in the world today in which ivory carvers are in full time employment’

Preface to 1958 collection catalogue

The ivories, mostly made in the 1700s and 1800s, were often made as decorative pieces for European collectors. The collection includes calligraphy brush pots, decorative plaques and figures from history and myth that show the immense skill of the artists and craftsmen who made them. They have many stories to tell about Chinese culture and recent research into the collection has allowed us to fully understand their religious, social and historic context.

Show Objects
Name of ObjectAccession NumberCollectionDate Made/FoundSorted AscendingTimes Viewed
Opium pipe2007.360 Ivories 1339
Landscape in a basin2007.267 Ivories 1800-19001341
Plaque2007.278 Ivories 1736-17951341
Figure2007.249 Ivories 1700s1342
Landscape in a basin2007.269 Ivories 1700s1342
Plaque2007.277 Ivories 1736-17951342
Figure2007.302 Ivories 1342
Figure2007.307 Ivories 1800s1342
Fan frame2007.354 Ivories 1342
Cricket tickler2007.358 Ivories 1342
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