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#2294720 - 06/25/14 08:32 AM New U.S. Ivory Regulations - Piano Buyer Blog
S. Phillips Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 10/15/07
Posts: 449
Loc: Forte Farm, Lexington, KY
Just in case pianists missed this subject, here is our blog on this.

If you own an old piano with ivory keys, you will need to make sure that you are up to speed on this new regulation.

Sally Phillips
Piano Technician
One can always find something to improve.
2 Steinway Os, Steinway B & C
Phillips Piano Tech
Acoustic Piano Technical Consultant - Acoustic and Digital Piano Buyer
New Federal and State Ivory Regulations and Pianos

Piano & Music Gifts & Accessories (570)
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#2294772 - 06/25/14 11:05 AM Re: New U.S. Ivory Regulations - Piano Buyer Blog [Re: S. Phillips]
Parks Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/05/14
Posts: 472
Loc: Northern CA
Hi Sally,

A piano shop with a very distinguished reputation told me that they do offer ivory on rebuilt pianos. It is an extra $6,000 option. They buy their ivory from museums who have extra and don't have anything to do with it. It comes with an affidavit that says the ivory entered the country before 1975 (or whenever that law went into effect,) and is therefore legal ivory.

I found it interesting - I knew nothing about the subject before, including how to identify ivory on a piano!

"Genius is nothing more than an extraordinary capacity for patience."
Leonardo da Vinci

#2295110 - 06/25/14 11:45 PM Re: New U.S. Ivory Regulations - Piano Buyer Blog [Re: S. Phillips]
Piano Doug Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/24/13
Posts: 189
Loc: New York City

Thank you for bringing this important topic to the attention of the Pianist Corner readers. I must say that I am concerned about the lack of response. Although it is true that the regulations may have a more immediate effect on orchestral musicians who travel internationally to perform, pianists who own and/or appreciate vintage instruments should be concerned as well.

These laws and regulations could make it illegal for someone with a piano with ivory keytops to sell or trade their instrument, even if the instrument was manufactured with ivory properly obtained and imported when it was legal to do so. The documentation required for exceptions for musical instruments may include original forms and permits which were not required and therefore unavailable at the time the instrument was manufactured!

Certainly, I am completely behind the protection and conservation of elephants, an intelligent and noble species. However, criminalizing individuals who own older instruments and want to trade them, move them across borders, or maintain them with minor repairs when necessary, does nothing to stop the slaughter of these magnificent creatures. The current illegal demand is focused in Asia and has having nothing to do with the manufacturing of musical instruments.

All musicians should be concerned when legislation, however well-intentioned, limits or devalues instruments that were legally manufactured and obtained.

Update: I just saw the much longer response on the same topic in the Piano Forum. I highly recommend it to all pianists.

Edited by Piano Doug (06/25/14 11:50 PM)

#2295319 - 06/26/14 01:25 PM Re: New U.S. Ivory Regulations - Piano Buyer Blog [Re: S. Phillips]
BruceD Offline

Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 19761
Loc: Victoria, BC
I admit to not having read every linked article; perhaps someone can tell me what is "new" about this legislation. I though that it had been in effect for years.

See this article :
Piano dealer fined for ivory import

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Estonia 190

#2295328 - 06/26/14 01:40 PM Re: New U.S. Ivory Regulations - Piano Buyer Blog [Re: BruceD]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 24024
Loc: Oakland
These regulations would apply to the trade within the United States, not just international trade. As you are in Canada, they do not apply to you.
Semipro Tech

#2295379 - 06/26/14 03:50 PM Re: New U.S. Ivory Regulations - Piano Buyer Blog [Re: BDB]
BruceD Offline

Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 19761
Loc: Victoria, BC
Originally Posted By: BDB
These regulations would apply to the trade within the United States, not just international trade. As you are in Canada, they do not apply to you.

Yes, I should have read more carefully : "... across state lines...."


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Estonia 190


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