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Re: Gov. regulations (pending) affecting pianos with ivory...
Rickster #2341245 10/25/14 05:39 AM
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I am not by any means the only person there voicing our concerns. Ashley Turner, the president of the DC area PTG chapter was there as well as representatives from organ builders and others. Many people representing musicians have been working tirelessly to bring their concerns to Washington. My concern and the reason that I felt I had to help would be the affect on piano owners, dealers, and universities.

I just kept bringing up the unforeseen downside of this proposed legislation. After all, institutions wouldn't even be able to get out of state bids on purchases if they were trying to trade in old ivory pianos in a multi state market unless the institution takes off all the ivory before the arrangement is made to purchase new pianos. If those pianos are still in service the timing would be extremely difficult. You might not think this would be a problem but several years ago when an Ohio school traded in all their old pianos, over 40 of them still had ivory keys.

The most pressing concern is the upcoming date in January when the New Jersey law takes effect. There is no exemption for musical instruments or antiques and no description as to percentage or weight. This means no ivory pianos at all can be bought, sold or traded. This law was passed and signed in August and residents have 6 months to get rid of their ivory or they will be keeping it forever. Private owners can still have their pianos keys changed of course but that would have to be done before the trade in.

Now conservationists are working hard to get California to enact the same legislation. They have a very weak law in place that doesn't have enough teeth in it to give law enforcement the ability to enforce so there is a big push to get that changed.


Last edited by S. Phillips; 10/25/14 05:41 AM.

Sally Phillips
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Re: Gov. regulations (pending) affecting pianos with ivory...
Rickster #2341275 10/25/14 09:03 AM
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Sally, I want to thank you for your hard work on this. I also want to thank everyone else who is trying to sway the maddness of these types of laws. Have those who want to pass laws such as this even considered HOW they plan to enforce such laws? Laws that are too strict are virtually unenforceable, and often times create black markets thereby actually helping the industry they're trying to destroy...

"There will probably also be some requirement that the owner be able to prove the age." - Exactly how would someone go about doing this? Carbon dating? I mean, this entire notion of attacking ivory that is already in this country, no matter what its used for, is folly and will put undo burden on a multitude of industries and will certainly create black markets and "under the table" deals. Just like in the 20's during prohibition. But it differs in that they are actually punishing people and industries that had nothing at all to do with it to begin with. Like crying over spilt milk, and you didn't even spill the milk, but they want to make you clean it up - at your expense! I just can't even understand that way of thinking. Who comes up with this stuff?

So, if someone owns a Strad. Violin worth about 6 million bucks, and they live in NJ, they must rip off whatever ivory that was put there by Antonio himself some 400 years ago if they want to sell it? Amazing... I cannot even begin to think of how insane that would be, and I would never have the heart to do it.

Last edited by thetruthseeker; 10/25/14 09:13 AM.
Re: Gov. regulations (pending) affecting pianos with ivory...
Rickster #2341291 10/25/14 09:56 AM
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I'm just thankful that the enforcement issue is a factor. The Washington Post printed an in-depth article the next day on the problem.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/natio...6-fe42-11e3-b1f4-8e77c632c07b_story.html

With all the real live problems they are trying to solve, chasing after old pianos crossing state lines will seem daunting. At least as far as the age of the piano goes, it is pretty obvious that it is old if it even has ivory. You should have seen the first salvo by the conservationists. They wanted anyone with ivory to be able to verify the species, the port of entry, the date of importation etc. Now I'm just hoping that they will accept a serial number if the original manufacturer is out of business.



Sally Phillips
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Piano Perfect, LLC
Steinway & Sons Pianos
Columbus, GA
New Steinway, Boston and Essex pianos
www.steinwaypiano.com
Acoustic Piano Technical Consultant - Acoustic and Digital Piano Buyer
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Re: Gov. regulations (pending) affecting pianos with ivory...
Rickster #2341301 10/25/14 10:48 AM
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The problem is that they are concentrating on musical instruments. There are lots of other things that contain ivory, and the documentation of them is even poorer than it is with pianos. As I pointed out, if the burden of proof is to show that no undocumentable ivory is in something that is sold, that should kill the art market entirely.


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Re: Gov. regulations (pending) affecting pianos with ivory...
thetruthseeker #2341506 10/26/14 04:42 AM
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Originally Posted by thetruthseeker
- Exactly how would someone go about doing this? Carbon dating?


No, the half life of C14 is in the neighborhood of 2500 years, IIRC. It wouldn't be accurate enough for the short terms we're in need of -- a few decades to maybe a century.



-- J.S.

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Re: Gov. regulations (pending) affecting pianos with ivory...
Rickster #2342967 10/29/14 02:35 PM
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Sally, thanks for doing the "Lord's Work".


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Re: Gov. regulations (pending) affecting pianos with ivory...
Rickster #2354402 11/24/14 09:12 PM
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I've been away from the forum for a while and finding out about this has got my panties in a knot. The government is doing such a good job of getting me peeved already and now they're working on making my 120-year-old piano into contraband. Lovely...


I'll figure it out eventually.
Until then you may want to keep a safe distance.
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Re: Gov. regulations (pending) affecting pianos with ivory...
Rickster #2355053 11/26/14 02:39 PM
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I liked him when he said "get the heck off the beach" but now I think he's just making a blanket
law involving all ivory and doesn't want to be involved with specifics(old piano keys)
so a "get the heck off the beach" approach here just doesn't work in this case,
its a make work project, just like the lead paint abatement removal stuff for pre 1979 homes...
just my 2 cents..

Re: Gov. regulations (pending) affecting pianos with ivory...
RickG1 #2360450 12/10/14 11:36 PM
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Originally Posted by RickG1
Sally, thanks for doing the "Lord's Work".


lord's Work??? What does that even mean?


Charles R. Walter 1520 QA Mahogany #531739 w/ High Polish, Renner and Quiet Pedal
Re: Gov. regulations (pending) affecting pianos with ivory...
mahermusic #2360549 12/11/14 08:07 AM
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Originally Posted by mahermusic
Originally Posted by RickG1
Sally, thanks for doing the "Lord's Work".


lord's Work??? What does that even mean?


+1


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Re: Gov. regulations (pending) affecting pianos with ivory...
Rickster #2360556 12/11/14 08:29 AM
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Isn't dealing with politicians who are trying to look like they are doing something important FUN?


Seiler 206, Chickering 145, Estey 2 manual reed organ, Fudge clavichord, Zuckerman single harpsichord, Technics P-30, Roland RD-100.
Re: Gov. regulations (pending) affecting pianos with ivory...
Rickster #2372670 01/12/15 02:36 PM
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Offensive and off topic post deleted. To the poster: if you were trying to be funny, you weren't. Consider yourself warned.

Last edited by BB Player; 01/12/15 03:26 PM.
Re: Gov. regulations (pending) affecting pianos with ivory...
harpon #2381108 02/01/15 11:42 PM
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ridiculous- classic gilda radner- and it was funny. not vulgar or slanderous in any way. And I've studied such things- I have a degree in journalism.


Last edited by harpon; 02/01/15 11:51 PM.
Re: Gov. regulations (pending) affecting pianos with ivory...
harpon #2383099 02/06/15 01:52 PM
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Sally and/or anyone else who might be interested, do you want a copy of the "African Elephant Conservation and Legal Ivory Possession Act of 2015" (underlining added) that Don Young introduced in the House this week?

Larry.

Re: Gov. regulations (pending) affecting pianos with ivory...
iLaw #2383104 02/06/15 02:10 PM
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Originally Posted by iLaw
Sally and/or anyone else who might be interested, do you want a copy of the "African Elephant Conservation and Legal Ivory Possession Act of 2015" (underlining added) that Don Young introduced in the House this week?

Larry.


Larry, is this legislation we should support or oppose? Roughly what does it say?


Thanks----


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Re: Gov. regulations (pending) affecting pianos with ivory...
Rickster #2383110 02/06/15 02:24 PM
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Sentiment of some seems to not favor piano owners:

"So that leaves one final hope: ban all sales of ivory. End the ivory trade -- all of it, including antique pieces and tusks that were created when trade was legal. Ban it unequivocally, permanently and immediately -- and start here in the United States. Let 2015 be the year that legislative bodies across the U.S. and the world declare that no piano key or domino is more valuable to us than the fate of the world's great creatures."

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/viveca-morris/ban-ivory-sales-now-all-o_b_6576656.html

Re: Gov. regulations (pending) affecting pianos with ivory...
Rickster #2383170 02/06/15 06:07 PM
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First the Huffington Post article that calls for banning all ivory old and new is sadly what is wrong with all of this. They again incorrectly include pianos in being responsible for the current slaughter of elephants. In my conversations with conservationists they almost uniformly thought that currently elephants are being killed for ivory keys. That of course is wrong.

The legislation attempting to stop all enforcement is the polar opposite of the Huffington Post perspective. I do think that in my conversations with Fish and Wildlife that they were trying to come up with reasonable alternatives that would actually permit piano owners and owners of legally obtained ivory to continue to own, buy and sell those items especially if like pianos the ivory makes up a small percentage of the article.

I also think that just because of the enormity of trying to stop the sale/ movement of pianos across state lines that they will probably try to write the rules so that items that contain these small percentages or minimum weights of antique ivory will be exempted.

Although the conservationists are pressing the complete ban of ivory old and new, making it a moral issue to even own old ivory, it is clear that the bad actor here is China. Until China puts the brakes on ivory the elephants will continue to be killed.

I'm hoping the voice of reason will prevail but we won't know until the "rules" are published. The Fish and Wildlife website regarding the publication of the rules claims that they will be forthcoming in late 2014 which has already passed. So we are just waiting for that to happen.



Sally Phillips
Owner/ Technician
Piano Perfect, LLC
Steinway & Sons Pianos
Columbus, GA
New Steinway, Boston and Essex pianos
www.steinwaypiano.com
Acoustic Piano Technical Consultant - Acoustic and Digital Piano Buyer
http://www.pianobuyer.com/current-issue/07a-should-i-have-my-piano-rebuilt.html
Re: Gov. regulations (pending) affecting pianos with ivory...
S. Phillips #2383180 02/06/15 06:29 PM
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... to which I'll only add that any new legislation out of Congress would undoubtedly force a rewrite of the rules at Fish & Wildlife (which is an Executive Branch agency), and would probably force a rewrite at state levels (e.g. New Jersey and New York) as well because of the Supremacy Clause. The fact that a bill has been introduced in the House is a very early step along a very long path; it hasn't even gone to committee yet, which can be the elephant's graveyard of legislative proposals. But it will be worth watching.

Larry.

Re: Gov. regulations (pending) affecting pianos with ivory...
Rickster #2385077 02/11/15 08:13 PM
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Here is an update on the most recent news.

The New Jersey law is in force as of February 1, 2015. This means that no piano can be bought, sold or traded with ivory keys in the state of New Jersey. In addition to that piano technicians cannot replace ivory key tops or possess a stock of old ivory from old pianos. Technicians will have to send ivory repairs out of state and may not even be able to reinstall.

The big issue with rebuilders is that all their pianos with ivory in stock must have the ivory taken off and they won't be able to buy any pianos from out of state with the ivory in place.

I just got a call from an antique dealer today who bought a piano with ivory keys in Europe and didn't know that he couldn't import it. It was confiscated.. I can't imagine not knowing about the ivory issue but he said he didn't even think about the fact that the keys were ivory. He just liked the case work on an old Erard.





Sally Phillips
Owner/ Technician
Piano Perfect, LLC
Steinway & Sons Pianos
Columbus, GA
New Steinway, Boston and Essex pianos
www.steinwaypiano.com
Acoustic Piano Technical Consultant - Acoustic and Digital Piano Buyer
http://www.pianobuyer.com/current-issue/07a-should-i-have-my-piano-rebuilt.html
Re: Gov. regulations (pending) affecting pianos with ivory...
Rickster #2385092 02/11/15 09:15 PM
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Sally,
Thanks for the update.

I think the only time they can confiscate is when you are importing. I don't think they have the authority to take a piano away from someone who already has it in their possession. It also would be very hard for them to enforce prohibition on sale of a piano with ivory because if charges were brought a defendant can always personally ask the jury from the witness stand to ignore the law under Jury Nullification.

But I don't know I am not an attorney.


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