My sister is visiting this week and yesterday we ventured to the Getty Center where we marveled at the artistry and workmanship of the 18th century pieces in the Decorative Arts collection.
Perhaps that’s why this morning I felt so drawn to today’s VPOD, which also displays amazing craftsmanship.
This vintage pendant necklace of ivory beads has its large ivory piece enhanced with scrimshaw, or etching, in five beautiful patterns.
Of course, one must always be cautious when purchasing vintage ivory and seek out reputable dealers. It’s important to note that today’s VPOD is constructed of pre-ban elephant ivory. Since elephants are on the CITES list but are not on the Federal Endangered Species List, it is illegal to export elephant ivory but perfectly legal to purchase elephant ivory that was imported into the US before the CITES ban in 1989.
Now I certainly wish that we humans were never so greedy that we would dare harm a magnificent creature like an elephant and am appalled by the illegal poaching that continues today. However, I do believe that vintage pieces like today’s VPOD deserve to be preserved by individuals who will use them to champion the importance of conservation, who will speak out against the killing of all animals for fashion’s sake and who will honor the individual elephant who unwillingly gave its tusks for this piece rather than allow the piece to be recklessly lost to time.
So this is a beautiful yet controversial find for a vintage fashionista.
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