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The Art and Antique Dealers League of America

Statement on the commerce of Antique Ivory


The tusk of the elephant is an historically venerated material; it has verifiably been a part of the history of mankind – and his art – for millennia.

The antiques community that engage in the trade of old ivory in all its forms, and the scholars that study and write about its rich history abhor the current slaughter of this majestic animal. We also condemn the hunting of this animal for sport and disapprove of allowing trophies to be brought back to the United States.

The world cannot stand by and watch this animal become extinct; nor can we support the suppression and condemnation of works of art that have been created from their tusks at a time when the species was not threatened.  It is a part of our history and an integral part of many museum collections worldwide that tell of this history.

An acceptable balance must be reached that will both recognize the plight of this animal,  and respect those who appreciate how the material has been used in the wide variety of art and antiques.

The prohibition of commercial trade in legal antique (over 100 year old) pre-ban works of art in ivory in the United States will not end the enduring allure of this material, nor will it stop the poachers thousands of miles away from our shores.   

Please direct all inquiries on this matter to our attorney, Mr. Alan Sash, of Mclaughlin & Stern, LLP:; 212-448-1100