How to sell your ivory after the UK ivory-ban
The UK Ivory ban
On November 5, 2019, the High Court of the United Kingdom (UK) ruled against a claim filed earlier that year the association of British antiques-dealers that the Ivory Act 2018 was unlawful. The Act had been enacted to prohibit commercial activities involving ivory in the UK.
The High Court dismissed the application, ruling that the UK was competent to enact more stringent environmental laws than the EU because this area of law is an area of shared competence with the EU. It also held that the Act did not involve the Charter of Fundamental Rights as there was no expropriation of the property involved and the ban was not disproportionate.
Ivory has been around as a material for ages, and certainly, all objects made of or with ivory dating from before the late 19th century have been of ivory sourced from the forests and not by hunting. Sources in, for instance, Jakarta (Batavia) dating from the 17th and 18th centuries show that meat was hunted for, wood was timbered for, but ivory, just as rhino horn, was found in or on the ground in the woods. These sources also state that elephants were abundant like mice and even walked through the Batavia castle and near the city gate. It is very logical that ivory was not hunted for but found, as guns or spears weren't strong enough to kill an elephant yet, let alone the fact that they were holy to most of the Asians.
The most important pieces of our cultural heritage are made of ivory and need to be treasured.
New ivory is worthless in the West and can clearly be defined by patina, style of carving and many other details. Antique ivory does not start or help poaching in any way as they are two completely different things.
It's best to give every antique ivory item, like in the Netherlands, a passport, so it can be exhibited, sold or gifted freely.
What to do with your ivory?
You are clearly afraid that your ivories will become worthless, and you are right. Zebregs&Röell, therefore, offers you the aid in selling the objects for the highest price. We value the importance of the object and make sure you don't have to make decisions too quickly.
We do not advise you to auction the pieces in the first place; hastily selling off the item will fatigue the market and lower the value of your pieces even faster.
We do not expect the value of ivory to drop in Europe or the rest of the world, but many sales at the same time lower prices of a certain object.
Please note we only work with antique ivory from before 1947, but mostly 17th/18th and early 19th-century ivories such as netsuke, works of art, turned pieces, ivory inlaid boxes, ivory veneered boxes and any other precious object.
How does it work?
We ask you to send us photos of the objects, so we can see if they are worth selling, or better for keeping as a dear memory (which will remain legal). If it is indeed a valuable piece, we will ask you to send it or bring it to us for valuation and research. We will then provide your object with a passport and certificate of age. Therefore it is legal for us to own and to trade within the EU.
What do I pay?
Zebregs&Röell prefers not buying from private owners, but we rather sell against a fair commission of 15% to keep things honest and transparent.
If you would only like to store the items outside of the UK, we can provide safe and secured storage against a monthly price which can be discussed.