ORIENTAL IVORY CARVINGS 111
noted as a locality in which some of the best Indian carving is done.
particular fancy for such objects has induced some of the chiefs of
Orissa and certain of the wealthy landlords of Behar to give constant
employment to one or more ivory carvers so that they may exercise their
art without being dependent upon the chance of selling their product.
Some of the objects so produced are quite valuable, as, for example, a
mat made of strips of ivory that was sent to the Calcutta Exhibition by
the Maharajah of Darbhanga; this was valued at 1,325 rupees ($440). At
one time the production of such mats was a specialty of Sylhet, in
Assam, but few are now made there; indeed, the art of ivory working is
practically extinct in Assam to-day. In 1879 the usual prices for these
mats was from £20 to £60 apiece ($100 to $300).*
has produced some good examples of Indian work, such, for instance, as
the ivory throne with a footstool sent as a gift to Queen Victoria and
shown in the London Exhibition of 1851. Sir Purdon Clarke also noted a
very beautiful ivory casket from the same region in the Exhibition. At
present a great many attractive small objects are made here, among
these paper weights variously carved, with the design of a boa
constrictor entwined about the body of an elk, a bird and a snake, an
areca tree, a bird's nest, etc.
Many fair specimens of Indian ivory carving are figured in the Journal of Indian Art and Industry, f
One represents the victory of Durgah over Mahishasura, king of the
demon race called the Asurs. While the artistic qualities of this
composition can hardly be considered very remarkable, it
*See James Donald, "Ivory Carving in Assam," the Journal of Indian Art and Induttry, Vol. IX, No. 75. p. 57, July, 1901.
t Andrews, "The Elephant in Art and Industry," in the Journal of Indian Art and Industry, Vol. X, pp. 55-64.