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Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Ivory Camels

Ivory Camels (NMNH G8705) from the National Gem Collection
Photo by Kenneth Larsen. Click to zoom.
Catalog Number NMNH G8705-00

Gift of Mr. George H. Capps in 1980.

The ivory camels and yellow gold treasure chests are set with over 1,000 gems - round brilliant cut diamonds and cabochons of ruby, sapphire and emerald. The treasure chests are mounted on either side of finely carved ivory camel figurines that are highly decorated. The outside of each chest is elaborately gem encrusted with an oval ruby cabochon on top; when you open the chest, the inside is “full of treasure.” Cabochons of ruby, sapphire and emerald as well as round brilliant cut diamonds are also set inside. The camels and treasure chests were hand fabricated in Asia, most likely Thailand, and frequently travel for loaned museum exhibits.


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