Know as an arm torque, these historically were made of a ring cut from an ivory tusk. They were worn, cherished as gifts and traded with considerable value. This example is of characteristic form and size but of synthetic material, almost certainly Bakelite, dating early 20th century when the slave trade was for the Arab market. 4 1/2" diameter and 3/8" thickness with creamy ivory color, darker at the edges, possibly from wear. With original twisted leather suspension cord, knotted in four strands on the ring and secured with leather knot form button, evidently for wear as a necklace. Shows significant aging with fine character. We have had identical examples of ivory (one marked Old Calabar, the notorious slave trade center) but never seen another example such as this. As with the slave trade bracelets of a century earlier, an effort to commercially replicate a commodity with considerable value in the African market.

Item ID: JNS273

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