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Victorian ‘ladies companion’ from prominent Anglo-Irish family goes up for auction

The eight inch solid ivory elephant tusk ‘lady’s companion’ goes up for auction this Saturday. (Picture: Matthews Auctioneers)

A VICTORIAN, carved, solid ivory ‘ladies companion’ from a prominent Anglo-Irish family is set to go up for grabs from an auctioneers in Ireland.

The item, which is from 1856, was commissioned for the  young wife of an Irishman who served in the military in India and China for a number of years.

The young married man had the ‘work of art’ made after he shot an elephant in India and had the elephant’s tusk hand carved in China.

“In those days, when you went to war you weren’t coming back,” Damien Matthews told The Irish Post. “He used it as a forget-me-not.

“The base of it has a heart carved into it and it has a cork receptacle for a lock of his hair.

“You can try and make it smutty, but it’s not, it’s a beautiful work of love.

“It is a work of art, and a work of love,” Mr Matthews added.

The descendent of the couple, who were based around Co. Meath, found the item in ‘the back of a drawer’ and decided to have it auctioned.

The period piece is presented in an Irish leather bound box and is valued at between €500 to €800.

This item, Lot 475 of Saturday’s auction, and others can be viewed here. 

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Erica Doyle Higgins
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Erica Doyle Higgins is a Digital Reporter with The Irish Post. You can follow her on Twitter @EDoyleHiggins

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