A Message from David C. Kelzenberg, Secretary, Historical Keyboard Society of North America:
“URGENT: Upcoming deadline for submitting comments for the Revised Proposal relating to Ivory
Dear Musician Friends:
This important information impacts all of us who work with/deal with antique instruments. Please take a moment to respond as described herein, and pass this along to as many friends, professional colleagues, and musical organizations as possible. While we all decry the slaughter of animals to feed the illicit ivory trade, draconian policies are being put in place which will make it extremely difficult (read impossible) to buy, sell, trade, or even move antique instruments containing ivory, including instruments containing ivory parts that were harvested decades (even centuries) ago. While well-intended, these regulations go too far. They will curtail ALL transfer of ivory components, regardless of age or provenance.
Anne Acker has been working hard on behalf of the Historical Keyboard Society of North America and other organizations, lobbying for sensible policies that will eliminate the demand for new ivory while providing reasonable exception for existing ivory of demonstrated pre-ban historical provenance. She writes:
“Regarding the July 2015 announcement in The Federal Register of the proposal to revise the rules about the African elephant and in particular, trade and movement in ivory:
There are some decided improvements over the previous version, because enough of us have been noisy, but largely thanks to the efforts of the folks at NAMM and the League of American Orchestras.
The current proposal does have an exception for up to 200 gr of ivory which must be integral to the object and not the primary component of the object for antiques and instruments made prior to February, 1976. That amount was chosen as the typical weight of ivory veneers for key tops on a grand piano. That does not, however, help antique organs with multiple keyboards and ivory knobs, nor unusual keyboard instruments such as vis-a-vis or pianos with Janko keyboards.
Given the large number of people who have submitted official comments to the effect of “save the elephant at all costs!” , it is critical that as many of us respond officially individually as possible.
We have until September 28 to respond, so please make this a priority.
Google: Federal Register, July 2015, elephant
and you can read the entire proposed revision. It is long, but very important to read.
Then, you go to: www.regulations.gov
and copy and paste in the following: FWS-HQ-IA-2013-0091
which will send you to the right place to submit your response.
Please be specific and make it personal if you can, versus a generic form letter.
They are specifically requesting comments about the de minimis allowance and how they can help museums. I’d like to add to the latter, how they can help private collectors preserve important historic artifacts!
Please spread the word to your particular groups.
Thanks so much! Go Troops!