Your antique ivory may be worth a lot less today because of changes to the Endangered Species Act

My goal is to publish new posts twice a week — Mondays and Thursdays. However, if you don’t see a new post on Thursday, it’s because I was too busy, so please look for a new one the following Monday.

The Obama Administration has proposed changes to the Endangered Species Act that for all practical purposes makes the sale or shipment of ivory, including antique ivory, illegal. It is possible to certify an individual object for sale or shipment, but it’s costly and difficult to prove.  That means it’s not worth the trouble to certify a $250 ivory item, but it would be to certify a $50,000 Chiparus bronze and ivory statue from the 1920s. The new rules pertain to you, even if your grandmother bought the item in 1920 and you’ve had it in your family since that time.

Demetre Chiparus bronze and ivory Exotic Dancer sculpture

Demetre Chiparus bronze and ivory Exotic Dancer sculpture

The purpose of the new regulations is noble, to protect poaching of African and Asian elephants, but the approach is so heavy-handed, it makes no sense.  For instance, dealers who specialize in the sale of antique bronze and ivory figures from the Art Deco period by Demetre Chiparus and Ferdinand Preiss, will now have an exceptionally difficult time dealing in them.  Each and every item will require a CITES (Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) certificate. The time and cost will be so onerous, that many established dealers will want to rethink their businesses.  I don’t think the administration is trying to put legitimate antique dealers out of business, but they very well may do that.

Last week, bills were introduced into the House and the Senate to remove the proposed changes and allow time to rewrite them in a fairer way (Steve Daines (R-MT) (H.R. 5052) and Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) ( S. 2587 ).  I suggest you contact your congressmen and senators to show your support of these bills.  Following are links to help you.

Here is a link to the US Senators’ office phone numbers:

Here is a link that lists all Representatives’ office phone numbers:

Doug Bandow wrote a good article on the topic on  Here is the link.

Please refer this information to colleagues, friends and family and ask them to call their representatives.  The more people who call, the more likely the bills will pass.

July 25-27, 2014

July 25-27, 2014

Our first show of the summer will be the Denver Antique Show, which will open to the public next Friday, July 25th. We’ll put together a great display with all of our new purchases. Make sure to come and visit us if you’re in the area.

This rare R. Lalique Douze Figurines bottle just arrived

This rare R. Lalique Douze Figurines bottle just arrived

Click here to view our new website and look around. We always strive to offer the finest objects for sale on our website and at every show. There are many items for sale, sold items with prices and free lessons about glass and lamps.

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