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#2100563 - 06/10/13 07:14 PM Is new "Legal" ivory a good idea?  
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KawaiDon Offline
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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]  
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Roger Ransom Offline
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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]  
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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]  
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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]  
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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
#2100630 - 06/10/13 09:14 PM Re: Is new "Legal" ivory a good idea? [Re: KawaiDon]  
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Abalone are endangered species, too.


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#2100636 - 06/10/13 09:28 PM Re: Is new "Legal" ivory a good idea? [Re: KawaiDon]  
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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.
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#2100638 - 06/10/13 09:32 PM Re: Is new "Legal" ivory a good idea? [Re: KawaiDon]  
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Having said that, requests for new genuine ivory are getting rarer and rarer.


Rich Galassini
Cunningham Piano Co.
Phila, Pa.
(215) 991-0834 direct line
rich@cunninghampiano.com
Check out the Science Channel's "How Its Made" featuring our piano restoration:
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#2101135 - 06/11/13 07:48 PM Re: Is new "Legal" ivory a good idea? [Re: BDB]  
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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





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



Thomas Scott Haynie
#2101553 - 06/12/13 03:38 PM Re: Is new "Legal" ivory a good idea? [Re: DashanDad]  
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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
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#2101558 - 06/12/13 03:49 PM Re: Is new "Legal" ivory a good idea? [Re: KawaiDon]  
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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]  
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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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#2101678 - 06/12/13 07:46 PM Re: Is new "Legal" ivory a good idea? [Re: KawaiDon]  
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If mineral based keytops work well, how about long term durability.

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#2101681 - 06/12/13 07:50 PM Re: Is new "Legal" ivory a good idea? [Re: Minnesota Marty]  
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Originally Posted by Minnesota Marty
If mineral based keytops work well, how about long term durability.

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I'm not in any hurry, but I want one of those!

#2101683 - 06/12/13 07:51 PM Re: Is new "Legal" ivory a good idea? [Re: Norbert]  
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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.

#2101732 - 06/12/13 09:46 PM Re: Is new "Legal" ivory a good idea? [Re: master88er]  
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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.
(215) 991-0834 direct line
rich@cunninghampiano.com
Check out the Science Channel's "How Its Made" featuring our piano restoration:
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#2101888 - 06/13/13 09:48 AM Re: Is new "Legal" ivory a good idea? [Re: KawaiDon]  
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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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#2101895 - 06/13/13 10:04 AM Re: Is new "Legal" ivory a good idea? [Re: KawaiDon]  
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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.


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#2102232 - 06/13/13 11:39 PM Re: Is new "Legal" ivory a good idea? [Re: KawaiDon]  
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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
#2102391 - 06/14/13 09:58 AM Re: Is new "Legal" ivory a good idea? [Re: KawaiDon]  
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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
#2102459 - 06/14/13 12:22 PM Re: Is new "Legal" ivory a good idea? [Re: KawaiDon]  
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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.

#2102531 - 06/14/13 02:31 PM Re: Is new "Legal" ivory a good idea? [Re: joe80]  
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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]  
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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

#2104999 - 06/19/13 06:39 PM Re: Is new "Legal" ivory a good idea? [Re: KawaiDon]  
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Del Offline
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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/o...aughter/index.html?eref=mrss_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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#2105213 - 06/20/13 05:25 AM Re: Is new "Legal" ivory a good idea? [Re: KawaiDon]  
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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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