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Lawmakers in New York State have voted to outlaw the sale of items that are over 100 years old and made with more than 20 percent elephant ivory, mammoth ivory or rhinoceros horn. These rules for antique ivory are stiffer than those of the federal government (see the June 20 New York Times article.) There is great confusion about the new laws. I recently asked a museum curator if he could accept a 112-year-old humidor made of a piece of an elephant tusk mounted with Gorham silver and marked with the date. He didn't know. The federal law says old or new ivory can't be accepted by a museum, and we know many antique pieces have been destroyed in Colorado. Recently, antique musical instruments with ivory inlay were exempted.

Photo credit: New Orleans Auction Galleries

 

 

Comments  

#19 Destruction of IvoryTina1900 2014-06-30 16:59
I do understand the ban on new ivory. It is an awful and just horrible thing to do to an animail just for its tusk. That said, old ivory should be exempt from the ban. At the time these items were made, ivory was not illegal. The objects are beautiful and historical in their own right and to destroy them just makes no sense. When they make these laws, does anyone think beyond the original point of saving elephants? Yes, save them, and use the stored ivory to fund additional security to stop poaching and killing of such wonderful animals. However, let us keep our antique items to enjoy, pass down or sell them if financially needed. Do not destroy the art and beauty of ivory pieces. One should not destroy beautiful things just because of what they are made of.
#18 what this meansanncat27 2014-06-28 17:07
To my way of thinking~ all this is going to do is create a "Black Market" for people who have OLD ivory and love it for the art object it is and have the desire to obtain/sell/tra de these pieces of ART.
#17 Ivorymstarr 2014-06-28 02:55
I have three beautiful pairs of ivory earrings that I acquired. I have no intention of giving them up and I will pass them down. I don't like being told what to do with my personal things. Sounds like government overreach to me. (I am not a heartless cad, and the slaughter needs to stop, but stay out of my house)
#16 janejane369 2014-06-27 15:48
In May 1931 Dad bought Mom a piano for their first anniversary. In 1970 Mom gave me the piano. Now I want to "junk" it. Should I take off the ivory keys? Are they, or will they be worth anything if the new law changes and I or my kids can sell them?
#15 Wrong solutionSlimdane 2014-06-27 01:52
Will stopping the trade of legally produced antique ivory really stop the illegal killing? The illegal ivory is already being sold into the black market. I don't see how stopping sale of antiques prevents that. I think it would do more good to sell the caches of government confiscated ivory and use the funds to hire more patrols on the preserves.
#14 Pure InsanitySfsibley 2014-06-26 18:17
If, as bcsa stated stated that it might be "illegal" to pass down my tea set to future generations, does this then mean that any antiquities containing ivory would somehow be gathered up, as books were in "Fahreheit 451", and burned to prevent their continued existence through the ages? I know this sounds rather Orwellian, but short of this, they WOULD continue to exist? I cannot imagine that centuries of artistic culture and artistic heritage would be allowed to be destroyed from private collections. I assume this would also flood over to museum collections as well and for some reason I don't think American museums of the stature of say, the Metropolitan or the Smithsonian, would go down without a fight. And in the end what would it have proved? That the objects in question are gone, and sadly, the poaching in question is probably still going on.
#13 ownerlaadler 2014-06-26 03:28
Societies of 100 years ago would have been known to "do better if they knew better." There is absolutely no need to destroy art of the past that was incorporated into fine things. But now, an ecological balance needs to be managed. Those of us who are (still) carnivores and wear leather shoes from ubiquitous animals may encounter the same indictments some day.
#12 Repeal? Of coursebacov 2014-06-26 03:17
Lulutubby...... ..certainly it can be repealed. All you need are some non-knucklehead law makers in New York (good luck on that). Seems to me it defies common sense to target antiques. How in the world will it crimp illegal ivory trading if you're talking about items that have been around for many decades?
#11 pianosALT 2014-06-26 02:07
How do we handle the selling of pianos? Lots have ivory keys. Is there a way to tell?
#10 MrGeneman 2014-06-26 01:40
This is what happens when we allow groups like PETA, Green Peace, and other extreme environmentalis t tree huggers buy off our liberal and other establishment politicians. Vote for them, live with their payoff decisions. Repeal the damage? Vote them out.

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