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The Budapest Festival Orchestra came to New York City to perform at Lincoln Center but the ivory law caused problems (see Kovels Komments, April 23 and May 28, 2014.) The bows for violins belonging to the musicians have ivory parts and so, in accordance with the new law, they were confiscated. The orchestra did not have the necessary paperwork for the antique bows and the musicians had to borrow bows to perform. Because the law bans importing ivory into the United States, the bows were returned to the musicians when they were leaving the country. No new ivory was involved. There are many groups trying to get the law changed to allow old ivory from African elephants that died years ago, but to keep restrictions on ivory from recently-killed elephants to help protect the herd.

Photo Credit: The Chess Store



#12 Ivory Instrument PartsSmadhatter13 2014-06-13 20:49
How absolutely, insanely, utterly ridiculous to take a musician's tools while they are in our country to perform. This has really gone too far. I inherited over 100 pieces of beautiful European and Asian carved ivory as well as Alaskan native-carved mastodon ivory pieces. The whole collection--pie ce by piece--was purchased by my grandparents before 1910. My sisters each inherited an equal collection. I desperately need to realize some income from the collection, but am prevented from doing so.
I agree African elephants need to preserved, but as with fur items, why dishonor the animals' souls by trashing the works of art that have already been made.
#11 Ivory Lawmuncle 2014-06-12 13:41
I don't really know all the aspects of the "Ivory Ban Law" . I'm sure it applies only to elephant ivory, not whales teeth, walrus tusks, mastodon ivory, and all antique Asian carved pieces.
This all sounds like "book burning" to me. Get rid of all of the ivory no matter what and at the same time destroy priceless works of art and ices of historical significance.
#10 Can't fix STUPID!!DM1 2014-06-12 13:01
Isn't this nice how we treat guests in our Country who come here to perform!!
If I were the Budapest Festival Orchestra I'd be flipping the middle finger to you as I left the country!!
Obviously they own their bows & would be taking them back home with them...NOT SELLING them here!! America need to wake up to the Zealots taking over our Country...the small fringe groups who want to destroy our freedoms & take away our Constitutional Rights....one law at a time!!
#9 re, Old Ivory Tuskspelops 2014-06-12 12:24
In response to muncle's question, I as an Antique Dealer in the UK would certainly not touch anything less than 100 years old and certainly not modern pieces reputedly made from 'old' ivory tusks.

It is necessary to have stringent controls on ivory to protect the elephant herds and I fully support destroying all ivory stocks, including 'old' tusks and all pieces made within the last 100 years. This would also include your custom made ivory jewellery.

In my personal opinion all old 'unworked' ivory, including 'Tusks', piano keys, billiard balls, etc, should be destroyed. Only pieces 'worked' over 100 years ago and fully certified as being antique should be preserved for future generations.

Andrew Jackson
Oldeworlde Antiques & Collectables, Sandown, UK.
#8 OLD IVORYsugigail 2014-06-12 03:16
I too, have old ivory. I lived in Africa in 1963-1964. While there, I purchased a pair of elephant tusks and a beautiful carved statue of the Blessed Virgin, Mary. I would never want to sell these pieces, nor would I want them confiscated. I would like to know who was the originator of this law. I am in total agreement of no buying or selling of new ivory....howeve r, the sad thing is that the elephants that died for their tusks died in vane. Law enforcement has tried to capture the poachers, but not very effectively. I know the new law means my ivory is illegal....I will enjoy it in secret.
#7 Ivory ProblemsDeeAnnTokar 2014-06-12 01:48
My mom inherited a Brambach baby grand piano. She is now 93 years old. She received it from her aunt back in the 50's.
Brambach was established in 1823, New York U.S.A.
The piano keys are covered with ivory. Is that piano "sellable?"
#6 Ivory problemsDeeAnnTokar 2014-06-12 01:43
My mom has a Brambach baby grand piano with Ivory covered keys. The company was established in 1823, New York, USA
Can that piano ever be sold without causing a disturbance of some kind?
#5 old ivoryhighcotton1 2014-06-12 00:35
I believe all ivory is illegal to sell unless you are a native Alaskan. Better to look on google or the Gov website to be sure. It used to be you could sell pre banned ivory if it's age could be proved, but maybe this has changed. Good luck!
#4 Certified Appraiser with USPAP Designation 30 years experienceDragonfliesantiques 2014-06-11 23:58
That's exactly what it means. No proof ~ no ivory. But of course you need to get caught with it wherein lies the problems. Dealers at antiques shows, music venues, etc. Showing it off in public is NOT the way to go.

I must say that the bows incident is totally over-the-top CRAZZZZZZZZZZZZ ZZY!
#3 Old Ivoryedro3111 2014-06-11 22:36
This government has gone berserk! Confiscating bows indeed! Lunacy!

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