The European Decorative Arts Company is proud to present an outstanding collection of European Ivory Carvings from the 17th through the 19th centuries. The group of ivory sculptures featured on this website reflect many of the major art movements that took place in Europe, from the Baroque and Neo-classical, through the Romantic and Historicist periods. Our collection includes works by celebrated artists such as Froment Meurice, Anton Diessl, Duvinage, Maison Alphonse Giroux, and Wilhelm Schulz.


In-person viewing of our extensive collection can be arranged at our by-appointment-only showrooms.


For any questions regarding our offerings, please contact us at:

P. 516-621-1771

C. 516-643-1538


<< Back to List

Historismus Carving Chess Players in a Tavern, Circa 1890

Date: Circa 1890
Materials/Techniques:    Fruitwood and ivory
Origin: German
Inventory #: 672
26.5 × 25.5 × 20 cm
Attributed to Carl Gutt (Fl. 1880's)


Photo Gallery (click image to enlarge; If the CLOSE button doesn't work in your browser, you can exit the enlarge view by clicking anywhere outside of the image area.)

The trend that began with the master Simon Troger (see cat. no. 7) in combining wood and ivory for small scale sculptural groups was revived in the second half of the 19th century. In keeping with the times, the subject matter changed from beggars to scenes from everyday life, such as tavern and courting scenes, very often in a historicist or romantic idiom, possibly derived from 17th century Dutch and Flemish paintings. This is an area of ivory carving that has received very little scholarly study even though there undoubtably was an active market for such groups and specialist workshops actively producing them certainly existed which will one day be revealed. One of the sculptors associated with this technique was Carl Gutt, who is discussed briefly by Philippovich,1 who also illustrates a similar wood and ivory group from a private collection, depicting music-making court figures dressed in 18th century costume (circa 1900).


Related literature:

1 Eugen von Philippovich, Elfenbein, Klinkhardt & Beirman, Munich, Band XVII, 1982, p. 276-278, fig. 231.