Ivories in the Portuguese Empire



From Sierra Leone to Japan, from Benin to Sri Lanka, from Kongo to Goa, ivory sculpture has had a relevant role in the cross cultural fertilization in the Portuguese Empire and finally a first bilingual monograph on the subject comes out from the pens of Gauvin Bailey, Jean Michel Massing and Nuno Vassallo e Silva. Published by Scribe.


Gilt-Gesso Bureau by James Moore


After having studied and written about the commissions by Dom Joao V from London, it was a privilege to see in London for sale one of the discussed bureaux made by James Moore, certainly for Portugal and most likely for the Portuguese monarch. One of the highlights of the notable sale by Sotheby’s – A Connoisseur’s Collection, the bureau was next to an also fantastic group of anglo-indian ivory furniture made for Warren Hastings. 


Chinese market fraud

Papers love headlines and in the last few years the ‘miracle of China’, taking over the Western art market produced some. Finally, someone writes in detail about what is going on there. This very interesting article in the New York Times tells it all:

“Indeed, even as the art world marvels at China’s booming market, a six-month review by The New York Times found that many of the sales — transactions reported to have produced as much as a third of the country’s auction revenue in recent years — did not actually take place.

Just as problematic, the market is flooded with forgeries, often mass-produced, and has become a breeding ground for corruption, as business executives curry favor with officials by bribing them with art.”