Mammoth Ivory Carved by Japanese Master Carver, source Ivory and Art

As a Luxury real estate marketing professional it is important to become aware of the current shifting values in the realm of luxury goods and services. We are always on the lookout for refining the definition for luxury to keep up with new trends.

Recently we read this definition of luxury:

 “Enjoyment of time, place, memory or object without regard to time or expense.  One notable exception is that hedonism borders on luxury with a primary distinction being that hedonism seems to entail being without regard to consequences.”  --Jay Rogers co-founder of Local Motors

Hedonism is the seeking of pleasure-devotion, especially a self-indulgent one, to pleasure and happiness as a way of life.   The disregard of consequences, in some cases, has meant the near extinction of certain animals such as elephants.  Fortunately, an important re-evaluation of ivory carvings as luxury is now taking place.

Since prehistoric times ivory has been carved for ornaments, jewelry and artifacts.  The ivory figure of Khufu, for example, was crafted for the builders of the Great Pyramid and is considered a masterpiece of ivory carving. The ivory was usually obtained from the tusks of live elephants in India, and in Roman times, from North Africa.

Perhaps, the East Asian cultures place the highest value on ivory carvings.  An entire art form of miniature ivory carvings called Netsuke was invented in the 17th century. The finest of these extraordinary objects are considered to have great artistic merit.   

In the refining of the definition of luxury in thes 21st century, however, social consciousness is playing an important role. eBay, for one,  has banned the sale of ivory since January of 2009.  If this becomes a trend, elephants will become protected as an endangered species and the most outstanding pieces of carved ivory will significantly increase in value.

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