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  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Russia (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1830 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Ebony and walrus ivory. with brass hinges.

  • Credit Line:

    Bequeathed by Mrs R. Henry

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This walrus ivory box and games counters, made in Russia (Archangel) in ca. 1830, has slanting sides and panels, while the cover is pierced with festoons of flowers and leaves on a network ground. Russia has a long tradition of ivory carving, going back to at least the twelfth century. In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries Moscow and the Russian Court were important centres of artistic patronage, which included commissioning works in ivory. The few Russian ivories in the V&A collection are dominated by those from Cholmogory, near Archangel, in North East Russia. Here a tradition of making decorative objects in walrus ivory, such as caskets and jewellery, grew up in the nineteenth century.

Physical description

The hinged rectangular box is lined in paper and red velvet. The sides of the box and slanting panels of the cover are pierced with festoons of flowers and leaves on a network ground. The flat panel of the cover is also pierced with a basket of flowers, which are symmetrically arranged. The box has four small integral feet and contains four octagonal baskets filled with red, green, yellow and white pierced ivory pieces.

Place of Origin

Russia (made)


ca. 1830 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Ebony and walrus ivory. with brass hinges.


Height: 6.5 cm, Width: 12.7 cm, Depth: 10.2 cm

Object history note

Bequeathed by the late Mrs. Richmond Henry in 1895; acquired by the Museum through Captain E.C. Starkey, Tang Hall, York.

Descriptive line

Box and games counters, ebony and walrus ivory, Russia (Archangel), ca. 1830

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

List of Objects in the Art Division South Kensington Museum acquired during the Year 1895. Arranged according to the dates of acquisition, with appendix and indices. London: Her Majesty's Sationary Office, Wyman and Sons, 1897, p. 70
Longhurst, Margaret, H. Catalogue of Carvings in Ivory. II. London: The Board of Education, 1929, p.70
‘List of Works of Art Acquired by the South Kensington Museum, During the Year 1895, Arranged According to the Dates of Acquisition with Appendix and Indices’. In: List of Works of Art Acquired by the South Kensington Museum 1892-1895, London: Printed for Her Majesty's Stationery Office, by Wyman and Sons, Limited, London, 1897, p. 70
Trusted, Marjorie, Baroque & Later Ivories, Victoria & Albert Museum, London, 2013, cat. no. 320, pp. 324, 5

Production Note

Archangel, Russia


Tusk (walrus ivory); Ebony



Subjects depicted

Leaves; Basket; Flowers


Sculpture; Containers; Games


Sculpture Collection

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