A stunning little desktop treasure, this! Tiny basket of flowers carved into the handle, so delicate - definitely a work from the Master carvers of Dieppe, France. From my life-long collection. This one is smaller than most, more the size you'd think of as a letter opener, though in its era it was made as a page or paper cutter. These were used to slice through the outer folds of the early printed books. The 100% cotton rag paper used was best 'torn' rather than cut, so a sharp-edged paper knife like this was the tool created to do that. Books were rare. To be of station enough in life to actually buy newly printed books, often in leather binding/cover, was pleasure to an elite few, and the ceremony of opening it would have been part of the joy. Museum piece, this.
Very good to excellent for age and type. Both sides are entirely hand carved, the floral baskets are different, one side to the other. I find no chips nor cracks, no age hairlines in the fine old ivory. It isn't quite clear to me if the very tip has been blunted slightly, since they typically were. A very slight roughness there, perhaps just from use. Full measurements noted on the photos.
IMPORTANT NOTE regarding antique tortoise shell or ivory: We are great supporters of protection for endangered species in our modern world. We never buy or sell anything 100 years or newer; we donate to anti-poaching organizations; we don't hunt; we conserve in ways that impact global warming (we're totally solar at home), knowing those measures also protect the animals in the wild today. We also recognize the vast cultural history we preserve with our care and reverence for these antique objects, and agree with CITES that objects over 100 years of age have nothing whatsoever to do with species depletion in our current world.
Our offering exceeds the age limitation of "more than 100 years of age", and is well within the exemption for CITES regulation. If imported, met the CITES regulation. This item will be handled and shipped from our Utah business, and is not available for shipment internationally, nor within the USA to California, NY, Nevada, Hawaii, New Jersey, Oregon, Washington if it contains ivory, sorry. Please see our small print for more details.