Are antique owners prepared for the tough new laws on ivory sales?

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CITES: Elephant ivory ban upheld, but legal loopholes remain

There are many misunderstandings about the use of ivory in antiques and we believe that the information given below will help provide more clarity. The poaching of elephants in the wild and the threat that this causes to the survival of the species is a very serious matter. We should make it absolutely clear that BADA members deplore the illicit market in ivory and are fully supportive of targeted and proportionate measures aimed at eradicating it.

It is not quite as simple as this, because most of the objects found in the UK today made from or incorporating elements of ivory were created many years ago and are part of our shared cultural heritage. These historical items are not derived from recently-poached ivory.

If you already own ivory – an heirloom carving that’s been passed down in your that your ivory was lawfully imported prior to the date that the African elephant.

Ivory is a challenging area to value for two reasons: First, it is difficult to date; and second, because there are many types of ivory, not just elephant ivory which is the focus of recent strict regulations. After the issuing of new rulings on the ivory trade by the U. The goal of the almost complete ban on trading elephant ivory is to ensure the protection of African elephants — a most worthy goal which no reasonable person would oppose.

However, it has caused confusion and affected the sale prices for ivory objects. In Canada, our tendency is typically to follow the lead of the U. If we take a quick look at Canadian auction houses, we will notice that ivory continues to be sold. It is important to note that ivory continues to be sold with the understanding that elephant ivory, in most circumstances, cannot be exported from Canada unless certain criteria are met and a CITES The Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species permit is acquired.

One of the criteria that would need to be proven is that the ivory object is a minimum of years old the basic definition of an antique. This burden of proof regarding the age of the ivory would be hard to meet. In fact, the situation is often most easily simplified by saying that no ivory can be exported from Canada. Ivory can be potentially dated from the style of the carving, the patina of the material, as well as observations on condition, including colour changes and cracking.

There are also many types of ivory in addition to African elephant ivory. Composite plastic used in carvings can rather convincingly pass as ivory, as well as types of animal bone although it can often be identified by the black flecks in it of the natural pores. Elephant ivory has a very distinctive cross-hatching pattern.

The Market and Valuation of Ivory Objects

Ivory carving , the carving or shaping of ivory into sculptures, ornaments, and decorative or utilitarian articles. Elephant tusks have been the main source of ivory used for such carvings, although the tusks of walrus and other ivory-bearing mammals have also been worked. From ancient times ivory has been considered an article of luxury because of its qualities of fine grain, creamy light colour, smooth texture, and soft lustre.

Ivory has been carved in such widely varied cultures as those of ancient Egypt , China, Japan, and India. In the West the use of ivory can be traced almost continuously from prehistoric times through the Roman, Carolingian, Byzantine , Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque periods up until modern times. Until about all ivory carvers used much the same tools: an ax , adz , or chisel for removing the outer bark, or rind, from the tusk; a bucksaw or bow saw for cutting the trunk of the tusk into sections; a special tool called a float for paring the surface; and hand chisels, fretsaws, and gauges for actually carving the piece.

ivory items; the majority being ivory carvings coming mainly from the UK. (the date of listing in CITES Appendix I), or to items that were.

We use cookies to collect information about how you use GOV. We use this information to make the website work as well as possible and improve government services. You can change your cookie settings at any time. A ban on ivory sales in the UK will be introduced as plans published to protect elephants. The UK will introduce a ban on ivory sales, Environment Secretary Michael Gove confirmed today as he set out our plans to help protect elephants for future generations.

The Government is publishing the response to its consultation on a UK ivory sales ban , and confirming robust measures that will be brought into force through primary legislation. The ban will cover ivory items of all ages — not only those produced after a certain date. The maximum available penalty for breaching the ban will be an unlimited fine or up to five years in jail. There were more than 70, responses to the consultation, with over 88 percent of responses in favour of the ban.

The number of elephants has declined by almost a third in the last decade and around 20, a year are still being slaughtered due to the global demand for ivory. In line with the approach taken by other countries, including the United States and China, there will be certain narrowly-defined and carefully-targeted exemptions for items which do not contribute to the poaching of elephants. The exemptions have been tightened since the Government published its proposals for consultation, but still provide balance to ensure people are not unfairly impacted:.

Care of Inuit Carvings – Canadian Conservation Institute (CCI) Notes 6/9

Enter your mobile number or email address below and we’ll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer – no Kindle device required. To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number. Included here are masterpieces from the most important centres of ivory carving in the Gothic era.

Additionally, important groups of Virgin and Child statuettes, tabernacle polyptychs, diptychs, triptychs, writing tablets, croziers, mirror backs, caskets and the products of the Florentine and Venetian Embriachi workshops are catalogued.

Dec 13, – Preparation is under way in China to bring in a ban on their domestic ivory trade, following a promise made with the US earlier this year.

We use cookies to improve our service for you. You can find more information in our data protection declaration. But with loopholes continuing to drive elephant poaching, the exctinct woolly mammoth could help protect the endangered animals. Illicit ivory can be passed off as legal ivory with false certificates. This all makes protecting Africa’s dwindling elephant populations more difficult.

Singapore has also closed its doors to the controversial product. It maintains Japanese demand is not driving poaching. The European Union also came under fire at the summit for allowing the trade — albeit restricted. In , activist platform Avaaz and scientists from Oxford University tested “antique” ivory products legally purchased from countries all over Europe, including Germany, Ireland and Spain. Illegal ivory is sometimes passed off as antique ivory pre-dating , which can be sold freely in Europe.

A perhaps more unexpected legal loophole for ivory trafficked involves prehistoric mammoths. It seems like an unusual move to place an extinct animal on a list ostensibly meant to protect living species.


Please refresh the page and retry. The new law is meant to stifle trade in ivory and protect elephants. However, there are some exceptions. You can buy or sell items containing ivory if they were made before and contain less than 10pc of the material by volume. Musical instruments such as pianos are also unaffected by the ban, if they were made before and contain less than 25pc ivory.

CITES may concern raw ivory – i.e. tusks or parts of tusk – or items made of the EU Wildlife Trade Regulations use the date a species was added to require no further carving, crafting or manufacture to effect their purpose.

On July 6, , a near-total ban on commercial trade in African elephant ivory went into effect in the United States. The information on this webpage is intended to provide guidance for those who wish to buy, sell, or otherwise trade in elephant ivory. In addition to the information provided on this webpage, you must also comply with any relevant state laws and all imports and exports must be accompanied by appropriate CITES documents and meet other U.

African elephants are being poached at unprecedented levels to supply the illegal ivory trade, and the United States is among the largest markets for illegal ivory. Learn more. To determine the appropriate legal framework for your elephant ivory, you first need to determine whether your items are made of African or Asian elephant ivory. Such proof can be in the form of a qualified appraisal or other documentation that demonstrates the identification of the species through a detailed provenance of the article.

Looming Ivory Ban Will Create a Mountain of Unsellable Antiques

Our non-profit museum accepts donations of legal elephant ivory tusks. Donating elephant tusks must be from within the United States. For more information regarding a potential donation of your elephant tusks or ancient mammoth tusks please contact us through our contact page or call us at David Warther has become an expert in knowing the laws and regulations regarding the buying,selling and gifting of elephant tusks and ivory carvings in the United States.

He is regularly consulted by professionals in the antique, musical instrument, and firearm worlds about the sale and transfer of tusks and carvings.

Painting on ivory, an art form dating back Elephants in India have been numerous and ivory carving and trade have been State-sponsored handicraft.

Despite its silken, tactile beauty, elephant ivory is one of those subjects that elicits an instant reaction from most people. A blink, a shudder, a twist of deep repellence — these feelings are well founded. Last year, and for the first time, a top London auction house, Chiswick, was prosecuted for the sale in genuine error of a piece of elephant tusk dating from the s.

Dating a piece, even after discriminating between elephant ivory and other forms of tusk, can be an uncertain business. This precious material makes any reputable antique dealer very uneasy. Measuring radioactive carbon inside the dentine and pulp that makes up tusk, can closely date an expensive, disputed piece. Prompted by these depressing figures, US president Barack Obama put aside even CITES certification and banned the importation and even the domestic trade of not just recent, but most antique elephant ivory not proven to be more than years old into, and within the US.

Unworked elephant ivory whole tusks and parts of elephant tusks , whatever its age cannot be bought or sold. The atmosphere growing against even legal ivory sales is clear. Bechstein, the world famous piano maker caused media uproar when they applied new, legal ivory keys and veneers to a replica of the original Bechstein created for Queen Victoria to celebrate its th anniversary in The rogue ivory works that flout CITES appear in smaller items, rather than as, say inlay to a large piece of furniture, or something spectacular or rare such as an oliphant — a hunting horn used in the Middle Ages.

By contrast, in February of last year, 50kg of surrendered ivory pieces including antique items were crushed in London by the International Fund for Animal Welfare at the start of a conference on wildlife crime in the city. Poaching aside, in countries including South Africa and Zimbabwe, elephants can still be herded into small areas and shot on licence by hunters who get their jollies eliminating massive, gentle, iconic wildlife.

This ivory can flow back to the market as can pre-Convention ivory, which has a lively trade within the EU.

mammoth ivory carving New Horse Tusk was being crafted

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