Ivory keyboard: elephant or rhinoceros?

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Joyceteje
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Ivory keyboard: elephant or rhinoceros?

Post by Joyceteje » 15 Nov 2008, 23:16

How can you tell if the ivory on the keyboard came from an elephant of from a rhinoceros?
I have a Jacob Doll and Sons, serial number 128310, built in 1917, according to the Pierce Piano Atlas.
Probably all vintage pianos have elephant ivory on their keyboards, but how do you differentiate elephant from rhinoceros ivory?
Thanks in advance for your input on this matter.
Joyce.
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vernon
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Post by vernon » 16 Nov 2008, 16:24

Rhinos don't have ivory; Their "horn"is made of hair..
Don't sniff it as it will make you go mad with lust.

Joyceteje
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Post by Joyceteje » 16 Nov 2008, 17:09

Thank you for the reply.
I am preparing to bring a piano from Colombia to the US and I need to get Cites clearances.
I know that elephants are not the only source of ivory that may have been used on the keyboard. My question is how to identify the source. If the ivory on the keyboard does not come from an elephant, then the road is clear for bringing the instrument with much less trouble. Otherwise I will need a Cites clearance and also clearances from the US Fish and Wildlife service.
So, how can the ivory on the piano keyboard be identified as to its source?
Joyce

Brumtuner
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Post by Brumtuner » 16 Nov 2008, 18:38

Tell them it's 'Ivorine' a man-made substitute.

They're only American, after all.

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Barrie Heaton
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Post by Barrie Heaton » 16 Nov 2008, 18:41

if it 1917, then it is a dead elephants teeth there is no way of tracing the history of the ivory unless you do a DNA test

As the ivory is more than likely over 100 year old I under stand that should not be a problem

I would contact these guys www.ivorybuyer.com they import and export ivory into the US and will be able to advise better then we can in the UK


coming in form Colombia I would be more concerned about what is living in the piano now bugs

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Joyceteje
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Post by Joyceteje » 16 Nov 2008, 19:31

Thank you for the reply. I will check the ivory buyer source.
The piano is in excellent condition and has been in my family for at least 67 years. It does not have any bugs in it. I had it inspected by a piano tuner/ restorer and I have a letter from him stating that it contains no bugs and that its parts are original and have not been modified.
My mother passed away recently. This was her piano and I need to bring it home.
Any other ideas or suggestions will be greatly appreciated.
Joyce.
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Post by PianoGuy » 16 Nov 2008, 20:59

Barrie Heaton wrote:if it 1917, then it is a dead elephants teeth there is no way of tracing the history of the ivory unless you do a DNA test

As the ivory is more than likely over 100 year old I under stand that should not be a problem
There should be no problem anyway.

US import law as I understand it prohibits the importation of ivory unless:

a) It is over 100 years old.
b) If it was first processed or sculpted in the USA.

Since the company of Jacob Doll & Sons was founded in New York, the second condition is satisfied if not the first. You should be exempt the restriction.

Joyceteje
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Post by Joyceteje » 16 Nov 2008, 21:17

Thank you VERY much!
They can still give me a bit of a hard time because I cannot prove that the ivory is over 100 years old. I was not aware of part 2, which is WONDERFUL news. Now I just have to find that in writing with the law enforcement of the US fish and wildlife organization.
Joyce.
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