California Law Prohibits Sale of Antique Ivory, Bone & Just About Everything Else Associated With Wild Animals

California has enacted laws which prohibit the sale of any animal parts of any animal currently protected by the endangered species laws and pretty much any other wild animal, no matter whether the items is antique or not.  See Maine Antique Digest’s stories on the law from April and May 2012 at http://www.maineantiquedigest.com/stories/index.html?id=3069 and http://www.maineantiquedigest.com/stories/index.html?id=3116.  This law affects antique dealers who are considering traveling to California to do a show or selling and shipping an item to California from out of state.  The law affects the sale of nautical antiques such as sailor whimseys and scrimshaw.  It may also affect the sale of antique pianos with ivory keys.  It also affects the sale of portrait miniatures on ivory.  What are your thoughts on this law and whether similar laws are enacted in other states?

Bill writes “Let me get this straight. I am able to possess but unable to legally sell my Steinway piano with ivory keys?”

Peggy responds, Yes Bill, if you are in the state of California, a strict reading of the law means that you cannot legally sell your piano with ivory keys.  I have not read about anyone actually having been stopped from selling pianos or having pianos confiscated because it is offered for sale, but that is how the law reads.  Quite a dilemma!

ItsMe writes  “California is an example of what happens when the inmates take over the asylum.”

Peggy responds,Well, I don’t know that I’d be that general, but it certainly is an example of legislators who don’t really understand a subject, passing poorly written legislation for which they don’t understand the consequences.  Obviously, the wildlife protection folks in California have a stronger lobby power on the legislature than do antique dealers!

Patrick writes Pianos with ivory keys are considered illegal to sell in the state of California. Make no mistake about it. If you have doubts about what is illegal call the California Department of Fish and Game for answers but remember that they are swamped because they are short handed due to cutbacks because of the California economy.

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3 thoughts on “California Law Prohibits Sale of Antique Ivory, Bone & Just About Everything Else Associated With Wild Animals

  1. Pianos with ivory keys are considered illegal to sell in the state of California. Make no mistake about it. If you have doubts about what is illegal call the California Department of Fish and Game for answers but remember that they are swamped because they are short handed due to cutbacks because of the California economy.

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