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Victorian ivory canes sell for £34,000 at auction

PUBLISHED: 11:30 14 March 2019

This cane, made from ivory, whalebone and tortoiseshell, sold for £7,000 at Sworders Fine Art auctioneers in Stansted Mountfichet. Picture: SWORDERS FINE ART

This cane, made from ivory, whalebone and tortoiseshell, sold for £7,000 at Sworders Fine Art auctioneers in Stansted Mountfichet. Picture: SWORDERS FINE ART

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A collection of Victorian canes made from antique ivory has been sold at auction.

The collection, assembled by a local man, went under the hammer at Sworders Fine Art auctioneers in Stansted Mountfitchet, Essex, on Tuesday, March 12.

Nine canes were sold in total with the most expensive selling for £7,000 - more than a thousand pounds higher than the auctioneer’s estimate.

Made from a combination of ivory, whalebone and tortoiseshell, the material was collected and sold by people like sailors to satisfy a huge demand and interest in natural history by the Victorians.

Although the sale of ivory in the UK is now illegal, the Ivory Act 2018 allows the sale of items comprised of less than 10% ivory by volume made prior to 1947 - classing them as antiques.

Despite a global crackdown on ivory poaching it is reported that around 20,000 elephants are killed each year to meet demand.

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