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#2100563 - 06/10/13 07:14 PM Is new "Legal" ivory a good idea?
KawaiDon Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/05/02
Posts: 1224
Loc: Orange County, CA
I saw this article today, and didn't find any reference to it yet here. Interesting.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/blog/2013/jun/07/bechstein-piano-new-ivory-intolerable

From what I have heard, the new ivory that is documented as legal should be OK, having come from already dead animals. But I have also heard from others that the animals are already dead because poachers killed them, and the documentation is somehow faked.

There is also mammoth ivory and cattle bone for use on keytops, which certainly does no harm to the elephants.

Don Mannino RPT

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#2100576 - 06/10/13 07:37 PM Re: Is new "Legal" ivory a good idea? [Re: KawaiDon]
Roger Ransom Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/19/05
Posts: 1253
Loc: SouthWest Michigan
I don't know about the legalities, but playing on dead animal parts gives me the creeps. That was one of the many reasons I hated playing my cousins old 1896 Steinway.
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#2100600 - 06/10/13 08:10 PM Re: Is new "Legal" ivory a good idea? [Re: KawaiDon]
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21396
Loc: Oakland
Ivory was never a good idea. It was better than what else was available, until it was not any more.
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#2100619 - 06/10/13 08:51 PM Re: Is new "Legal" ivory a good idea? [Re: BDB]
AJF Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/18/06
Posts: 1602
Loc: Toronto
Originally Posted By: BDB
Ivory was never a good idea. It was better than what else was available, until it was not any more.

Totally agree

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#2100624 - 06/10/13 09:03 PM Re: Is new "Legal" ivory a good idea? [Re: KawaiDon]
SBP Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/12/12
Posts: 258
For piano restoration or repair, legal ivory's a good idea, especially if the piano has many keys with the ivory chipped off, but not enough to fully justify a full recovering. For new pianos, maybe if you want. I've never had any qualms about playing on ivory keyboards, except when they're brittle or look like someone peed on them.

Personally, I'd actually be interested in seeing a mother of pearl piano keyboard. That would look pretty awesome, but I'm not too sure how that'd feel or how durable it'd be.
_________________________
2012 Kawai K3

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#2100630 - 06/10/13 09:14 PM Re: Is new "Legal" ivory a good idea? [Re: KawaiDon]
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21396
Loc: Oakland
Abalone are endangered species, too.
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Semipro Tech

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#2100636 - 06/10/13 09:28 PM Re: Is new "Legal" ivory a good idea? [Re: KawaiDon]
Rich Galassini Online   content
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/28/01
Posts: 9174
Loc: Philadelphia/South Jersey
Originally Posted By: KawaiDon
From what I have heard, the new ivory that is documented as legal should be OK, having come from already dead animals. But I have also heard from others that the animals are already dead because poachers killed them, and the documentation is somehow faked.

Don Mannino RPT


Hi Don,

If you deal with a trusted broker, you can rest easy that "art ivory" is being used. This is not ivory taken from carcasses, it is ivory taken from art, trophies, or other such long dead animals.

One exceptional trophy could yield many ivory keyboards and, in a weird way, is a healthy re-purposing of a relic from a day when an elephant on your wall was sign that you were well traveled, tough, ... and wealthy.

Sure, paperwork can still be faked, but a registration number cannot be faked. It can be checked if you have any doubts.

Bottom line - know who you do business with.

My 2 cents,
_________________________
Rich Galassini
Cunningham Piano Co.
Phila, Pa.
Dir. Line (215) 991-0834
rich@cunninghampiano.com
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#2100638 - 06/10/13 09:32 PM Re: Is new "Legal" ivory a good idea? [Re: KawaiDon]
Rich Galassini Online   content
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/28/01
Posts: 9174
Loc: Philadelphia/South Jersey
Having said that, requests for new genuine ivory are getting rarer and rarer.
_________________________
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Cunningham Piano Co.
Phila, Pa.
Dir. Line (215) 991-0834
rich@cunninghampiano.com
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#2101135 - 06/11/13 07:48 PM Re: Is new "Legal" ivory a good idea? [Re: BDB]
Miguel Rey Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/03/13
Posts: 289
Originally Posted By: BDB
Abalone are endangered species, too.


In what part of the country? Not down here, its grown, harvested we sell it by the can and export to all over the world.

Not sure it would look good for piano keys tho smile
_________________________
Bechstein B c1905


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#2101455 - 06/12/13 12:34 PM Re: Is new "Legal" ivory a good idea? [Re: KawaiDon]
DashanDad Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/15/13
Posts: 79
Loc: Iowa
Cattle, Elk and Bison Bone when polished are excelent stand ins for ivory.

In the end it will be about the market for Ivory. So long as someone wants to buy it someone will be willing to provide it. That created the motive and economic oportunity to try and launder illegal ivory. Illegal ivory won't stop untill the value of the ivory is lower than some more desireabel alternative.

Unfortunately Pianos are a tiny fraction of the demand for ivory. Many eastern and Mid East cultures use alot of it. And so Like Rhino horns market value will be expected to increase as scarcity increases. Basicaly fewer elephants the more incentive to get the ivory... till it's gone. prices can rise parabolicaly. When you are an African villager or farmer with 3 beans to your name it isnt' realy your fault that 1 tusk can feed your family for several years and they are something of a pest!

Mammoth ivory is fairly plentiful but must be gotten here from Eastern Europe and former Soviet countries. Most is stained brown from time. What little is white again creates the opportunity for trying to launder the illegal stuff.

My advice, if you care about elephants don't buy ANY ivory and ridicule those that do. If you must have a natural product then go for cow bone. But elk, moose and bison will be denser and finer grained and as such possibly easier to clean. You can get the raw bleached bones at moscow hide and fur. There may be companies that make bone keytops.

Making keytops from tusks must be highly wasteful. Unless there is a way to press it flat the flats must be cut from round sections. You could order few bison scapulas, hips and leg bones and probably make out well.
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Thomas Scott Haynie

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#2101553 - 06/12/13 03:38 PM Re: Is new "Legal" ivory a good idea? [Re: DashanDad]
kpembrook Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/10
Posts: 1304
Loc: Michigan
Originally Posted By: DashanDad
Cattle, Elk and Bison Bone when polished are excelent stand ins for ivory. There may be companies that make bone keytops.

Making keytops from tusks must be highly wasteful. Unless there is a way to press it flat the flats must be cut from round sections. You could order few bison scapulas, hips and leg bones and probably make out well.



Yes, cow tibia is currently available for keytops.
_________________________
Keith Akins, RPT
USA Distributor for Isaac Cadenza hammers and Profundo Bass Strings
Supporting Piano Owners D-I-Y piano tuning and repair

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#2101558 - 06/12/13 03:49 PM Re: Is new "Legal" ivory a good idea? [Re: KawaiDon]
Norbert Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/03/01
Posts: 14136
Loc: Surrey, B.C.
Top pianists don't care about these things.

They're too busy playing and enchanting audiences...

Norbert
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#2101676 - 06/12/13 07:41 PM Re: Is new "Legal" ivory a good idea? [Re: KawaiDon]
master88er Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/15/07
Posts: 852
Loc: San Francisco Bay Area
Legal or not, our sensibilities should be directed towards non-animal, sustainable products. I find the new Ivolan (mineral)keytops to be very nice to play on.
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R.KASSMAN, Purveyor of Fine Pianos
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FORMER US Rep.for C.Bechstein

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#2101678 - 06/12/13 07:46 PM Re: Is new "Legal" ivory a good idea? [Re: KawaiDon]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7239
Loc: Rochester MN
If mineral based keytops work well, how about long term durability.

_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.

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#2101681 - 06/12/13 07:50 PM Re: Is new "Legal" ivory a good idea? [Re: Minnesota Marty]
beethoven986 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/20/09
Posts: 3320
Originally Posted By: Minnesota Marty
If mineral based keytops work well, how about long term durability.



I'm not in any hurry, but I want one of those!
_________________________
B.Mus. Piano Performance 2009
M.Mus. Piano Performance & Literature 2011
PTG Associate Member
Certified Dampp-Chaser installer

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#2101683 - 06/12/13 07:51 PM Re: Is new "Legal" ivory a good idea? [Re: Norbert]
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19265
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Norbert
Top pianists don't care about these things.

They're too busy playing and enchanting audiences...

Norbert
The only reason they might not care is they have no choice so in that sense it is not an issue. The tactile feel is very important to any pianist beyond an elementary level. If this was not the case all makers would used the cheapest kind of plastic, like the kind on the least expensive digitals, for their white keys.

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#2101732 - 06/12/13 09:46 PM Re: Is new "Legal" ivory a good idea? [Re: master88er]
Rich Galassini Online   content
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/28/01
Posts: 9174
Loc: Philadelphia/South Jersey
Originally Posted By: master88er
Legal or not, our sensibilities should be directed towards non-animal, sustainable products. I find the new Ivolan (mineral)keytops to be very nice to play on.


I agree! They are very nice.
_________________________
Rich Galassini
Cunningham Piano Co.
Phila, Pa.
Dir. Line (215) 991-0834
rich@cunninghampiano.com
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#2101888 - 06/13/13 09:48 AM Re: Is new "Legal" ivory a good idea? [Re: KawaiDon]
Morodiene Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11692
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
I have ivory on my Petrof and compared with the plastic caps on my Yamaha, I really enjoy the ivory more. There is some grip to it. Now I did play on a Roland that had a simulated ivory feel and I liked that as well. So as long as there is that rip feel and not slipperiness I'm fine with whatever product. If one of my ivory caps broke on the Petrof, I'd want to replace it with something close to the look and feel of the other keys, but I would look into alternatives to ivory.
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Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#2101895 - 06/13/13 10:04 AM Re: Is new "Legal" ivory a good idea? [Re: KawaiDon]
CC2 and Chopin lover Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/12/06
Posts: 1981
I have a much better idea. How about keys made from the teeth and bones of executed poachers? Maybe that would stop the senseless slaughter of these magnificent animals for the pleasure of man.
_________________________
Piano Technician/Tuner

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#2102232 - 06/13/13 11:39 PM Re: Is new "Legal" ivory a good idea? [Re: KawaiDon]
SBP Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/12/12
Posts: 258
I actually heard that elephants are beginning to evolve away from having large ivory tusks, due to excessive poaching. So in the future, it's quite likely that new ivory will be not just illegal but downright impossible to get.
_________________________
2012 Kawai K3

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#2102391 - 06/14/13 09:58 AM Re: Is new "Legal" ivory a good idea? [Re: KawaiDon]
Frankni Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/12/13
Posts: 148
Loc: UK
What about "old" ivory? That is, mammoth ivory. I heard there is plenty of that. But they said so also about oil, and in fact like "fossile" fuel, of fossile tusks, however plenty there is, there is always going to be a finite and limited amount. Hence, not a good idea in my book, to use them. It also may create a shadow market in the illegal trade.
For my piano I opted for artificial ivory. I heard good things about it, and it is more affordable -- both for me as well as for the planet.
_________________________
Yamaha C3, Sauter Delta 185

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#2102459 - 06/14/13 12:22 PM Re: Is new "Legal" ivory a good idea? [Re: KawaiDon]
joe80 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/30/09
Posts: 1145
Ivory certainly is beautiful to play on, but it was more beautiful on the elephants and I think that these days we should be moving away from ivory. If an old piano has an ivory keyboard in good condition and it is to be restored with the original ivory, fine. I have an old piano with ivory and I like playing on it. However, if the keyboard needed to be replaced I don't think I'd want to have a new ivory keyboard installed, unless they could find a way to recycle the original keytops which is laborious if at all possible.

I think the best thing in this day and age is to steer away from using 'new' ivory altogether. We live in a more enlightened time and the fact is we don't need it.

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#2102531 - 06/14/13 02:31 PM Re: Is new "Legal" ivory a good idea? [Re: joe80]
terminaldegree Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/03/06
Posts: 2657
Loc: western Wisconsin
Originally Posted By: joe80
Ivory certainly is beautiful to play on, but it was more beautiful on the elephants and I think that these days we should be moving away from ivory. If an old piano has an ivory keyboard in good condition and it is to be restored with the original ivory, fine. I have an old piano with ivory and I like playing on it. However, if the keyboard needed to be replaced I don't think I'd want to have a new ivory keyboard installed, unless they could find a way to recycle the original keytops which is laborious if at all possible.

I think the best thing in this day and age is to steer away from using 'new' ivory altogether. We live in a more enlightened time and the fact is we don't need it.


+1
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#2102536 - 06/14/13 02:45 PM Re: Is new "Legal" ivory a good idea? [Re: KawaiDon]
Bob Newbie Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/02/06
Posts: 1549
Its a catch 22..you'd have to prove it came from a sick dying elephant "naturally"
and I'm sure there's no elephant graveyard.. like in the Johnny Weissmuller Tarzan movie

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#2104999 - 06/19/13 06:39 PM Re: Is new "Legal" ivory a good idea? [Re: KawaiDon]
Del Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/03
Posts: 5226
Loc: Olympia, Washington
No. I don't think using any new ivory is a good idea. Whether or not it is supposed to be "legal."

Stories like this:
http://edition.cnn.com/2013/06/19/opinio...rss_igoogle_cnn
are simply too common.

Even if very acceptable substitutes (Neotex?) were not available it would still be a bad idea.

ddf
_________________________
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Piano Research, Design & Manufacturing Consultant
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Stupidity is a rare condition, ignorance is a common choice. --Anon

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#2105213 - 06/20/13 05:25 AM Re: Is new "Legal" ivory a good idea? [Re: KawaiDon]
joe80 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/30/09
Posts: 1145
Exactly Del. Ivory is for the elephants. At the time we used ivory in keyboards, people were far less eco conscious and more laissez-faire with such things. The fact is that even using reclaimed ivory might stimulate the trade and demand. It's one thing restoring a piano that ALREADY has ivory keys, but it's quite another replacing ivory with ivory, or plastic with ivory. It's time to move on. No matter how beautiful ivory is on a piano keyboard, it's far more beautiful in it's original setting, and I feel that it's not actually ours to take. At all.

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