Netsuke zodiac figurines

Jun 16, 2021. 00:15 UTC
Netsuke zodiac figurines
United States of America

Acquired from

For sale

12 zodiac netsuke carvings. I don’t know they ivory and I hope not.


My father bought it as a set about 30 years ago

Answered within 2 days
Jun 17, 21:47 UTC
By Leah I.

Fair Market Value

$500 - $1,000 USD

Suggested Asking Price

$750 USD
What does this mean?

Thank you for contacting Mearto. This is a set of netsuke, possibly made of ivory. The date is unknown, but usually these kinds of pieces, if ivory, are from the Meiji period.

It is difficult for me to tell for sure if they are real from the photographs, but here is a link with ways to test ivory:
The needle test is useful; it will create a burnt spot, so if you do it, use a hidden area, like the interior of the hole.

Imitation ivory materials include bone and resin.

If they are ivory and you want to sell them, look into laws regarding that. I believe they vary state to state.

Below are some examples of hammer prices of similar pieces to give you an idea of the market. Authentic ivory examples are followed by resin examples. As you can see, prices vary widely. Usually, the very expensive pieces are either extremely detailed or have a known maker or provenance.

In general, if your set is real ivory, the fair market value is between $500 and $1000. If they are imitation ivory, they’d be worth between $50 to $250. I am looking at average prices, but you should take note that there are outliers.

In the estimate box at the top, I’m going to fill in the price as if they are ivory.

Real ivory:
5 for $650
12 for $950
11 for $300
12 zodiac for $450
12 zodiac for $550
12 zodiac for $1300

Imitation ivory:

9 for $250
14 for $35
30 for $125
12 for $350

This is a conditional appraisal, which means that we have not verified the authenticity of this item. Click here to learn more about the authentication resources that Mearto offers.

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