Walrus Ivory Tusk with Animals

Walrus Ivory Tusk with Animals

When Luna sheds her pearly luster
Over the land of the midnight moon
Pale white wolves and gyrfalcon
Polar bear and snowy owl
Pursue the fleeting ptarmigan
And pale receding caribou
Then stalks ivory gleaming death
Consuming glacial mountain, moon and stars

It was common for me at the time to write a brief poem upon the completion of a work in stone or ivory.

One night I finished this piece and was about to pack it for shipping. I turned all the lights out except for a candle which I placed in front of the sculpted tusk. The tusk cast a shadow against the wall of all the animals. I noticed that as the candle flame flickered the animals seemed to move. So I picked up the candle and slowly moved it back and forth in front of the tusk. It was electrifying. Due to the 'in the round' nature of the sculpture the animals appeared to be moving relative to each other. They seemed to be in a bit of a stampede. The hair on my neck and arms stood up. I had just self-initiated myself into the paleolithic cave painting mysteries.

Walrus ivory (fresh). Fresh walrus ivory is legally taken by native Inuit peoples of Alaska and northern Canada. They sell the tusks to the government which auctions them off. 28.5 inches in length.

For those interested in CSS3 the 'paleolithic' border around the poem and description above uses the CSS3 'border-image' attribute. Each of the corners and sides has a different image. The side images repeat, if necessary, while the corner images do not. This was the challenge I set myself to make each of the eight image elements unique. All are on the same image:

It now (5/1/14) displays perfectly in Chrome and Opera. With the addition of "border-style: solid;" it now displays correctly in Firefox. Thank you, Govind Yaswanth for the tip. It displays, but incorrectly, in Safari.

CSS Code:

.paleolithic {
border-width: 48px 48px 96px 96px;
border-image: url("../images/cave256.png") 48 48 96 96 round;
border-style: solid;
padding: 10px;
margin: 0 0 0 0;


Walrus tusk

Really enjoyed seeing the tusk carving. Is it in a private collection?


Yes, last I heard it was in a private collection in Anchorage, Alaska.