The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has announced that a ban on the sale in ivory objects will be introduced as soon as legislation can be passed.
The ban is a designed to restrict ivory poaching. There are several categories of antiques that will be exempt from the ban.
Musical instruments made before 1975 which contain less than 20% ivory will be exempt. These include piano with ivory keys and violins with ivory in their bows.
Furniture made before 1947 and containing less than 10% ivory is exempt. These will mainly be furniture decorated with designs that contain ivory.
Portrait miniatures painted 100 years ago or longer were often painted on thin slices of ivory and have also been listed as exempt under the new legislation.
Museums will be allowed to sell or buy ivory items so that they can continue to protect the cultural heritage of these items as a number of them are classed as having “historic, artistic or cultural values”. Defra wants to exclude these from the ban and is consulting with museums and experts about what pieces should be exempt.
Owners’ of exempt ivory items that want to sell them will be required to register them on a database.
At local Lancashire antique dealers, you may be able to buy items such as inlaid Edwardian furniture and late Victorian furniture that is decorated in ivory. Under the proposed new laws, you will still be able to resell these items in the future as long as they are registered.
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