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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/FoundTimes Viewed
Vase2007.316 Ivories 3684
Vase2007.317 Ivories 3721
Vase2007.330 Ivories 3770
Vessel2007.308 Ivories 4032
Vessel2007.309 Ivories 4344
Vessel2007.310 Ivories 1800s4811
Vessel2007.311 Ivories 10652
Vessel2007.312 Ivories 1800s12316
Vessel2007.313 Ivories 5850
Wine cup2007.273 Ivories 1700s23118
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