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Attic Items -- Item A075


Name: A075: Four Monkeys Ivory Carving Date: 1973 Location: box_A1

When I was in Grenoble, France, as a graduate student, I learned a small amount of French. At one point, I went to an auction. It was very difficult to understand what they were saying, since in addition to being in French, they talked very, very fast. But I managed to buy this small Ivory Carving of 4 monkeys. I believe it was about 300 Francs, which would have been about $75 to $100 at the time.

This has the standard 3 monkeys: Hear No Evil, See No Evil, Speak No Evil. It is to be read from Right to Left, not the standard (Western) Left to Right.

But there is a fourth monkey. Rather than covering the ears (Hear), eyes (See), mouth (Speak), the fourth monkey is covering his genitals. (Procreate no Evil?)

These are often called "The Wise Monkeys". The 4th monkey can be "Do No Evil".

A similar carving was sold in an on-line auction in Oct 2011 for $175.

The Four monkeys are:

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