Owner Ron Fromkin
ivoryrepair@yahoo.com

SPECIAL NOTE: Due to recent changes in rules concerning elephant ivory in the USA, I can no longer buy or sell elephant ivory carvings. I can repair elephant ivory carvings but will use hippo ivory or man made materials. I cannot use any elephant ivory material for repair work. These changes have made all elephant ivory items worthless as they cannot be bought or sold. The documents required by these new rules do not exist  and the rules were set up to stop all legal ivory transactions in the USA including antiques. The supposed goal was to save the elephants in Africa. These rules were set up by an advisory committee funded by Obama ( $10,000,000) and headed by Hillary Clinton and related to the Clinton Foundation. She established an advisory group of  nine of her friends , none with any knowledge of ivory. No elephants will be saved by these rules. According to Fish and wildlife Service the amount of poached ivory coming to the USA is insignificant, it all goes to China and other Asian countries. I anticipate their will be legal challenges to these rules and there is pending legislation in Congress to remove these rules. When these federal rules were challenged over the last two years, the wildlife groups began pushing for State laws that passed in NY, NJ and one or two other States. Politicians in these States jumped on the bandwagon and approved these laws, after all ,who would not want to save the elephants? I doubt anyone read these laws or considered unintended consequences such as life long collections of ivory are now worthless.
Hundreds of millions of dollars in antique and rare ivories are now worthless. No one in the antique trade or anyone with expertise in ivory was consulted. Many States shot down these laws after it was learned what their real goal was. For more information on this issue contact the Ivory Education Institute ( Godfrey Harris) or the Elephant Protective Association( Rob Mitchell).

Legal Update

Now that Director's Order 210 is in effect, there were some areas that were not crystal clear to me as an ivory restorer and occasional seller in Florida. Areas of concern to me were not discussed in any of the information I had seen. I contacted Rob Mitchell on some of this and he suggested I contact Craig Hoover of the Fish and Wildlife Service. He is the Chief of the Division of Management Authority, International Affairs.

Mr. Hoover was very helpful with my questions. The following are the questions and answers I received.
Rules concerning repairs sent from outside Florida
  1. Can I repair or clean an elephant ivory carving sent to me from other States as long as I do no repairs with added elephant ivory?
The answer was yes, for either African or Asian ivory. If the item is an antique under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) my repair would only impact the status of that item if I repair it with an ESA species component. The antique status is a separate issue not addressed here.
So if you are in a State other than Florida and have a carving in need of a restoration , I can do that work but cannot add any elephant ivory to the item, regardless of age. Examples would include an item needing cleaning, a dropped carving that needs reassembly, removal of old glue.
  1. Can I repair an elephant ivory carving sent from other States and use hippo, bone or man made materials for repairs that require additional material?
The answer was yes. If a elephant ivory carving was sent for repair was missing a hand, for example, I could carve a new hand out of hippo. Any elephant ivory removed from a carving (for example trimming a part for a better fit with replacement hippo ivory) cannot be used for any purpose. This basically addresses small slivers and scrap removed from a carving. I have no use for it anyway.
Rules for Florida residents
  1. Can I sell an elephant ivory object to a bonafide Florida resident if I have documentation showing the object was in the USA prior to 1990 ?
Answer was that it depends if it is African or Asian elephant ivory. Asian ivory must have been in the USA prior to July 1, 1975. I do not see much Asian ivory.
African ivory must have been in the USA prior to January 18th, 1990. There must be documentation to support this.
The documentation could include CITES documents, dated photos, a dated letter or other evidence. It was suggested that a seller provide copies to a buyer of such documentation.
  1. I have some African elephant tusks purchased by me in 2013. They were sold in the USA in 1980-81. I have original records and invoices. Can I take one of these tusks and create a chess piece for example for a bonafide Florida resident ? It is understood the item fabricated from a tusk would not be an antique.
Answer- Yes , this is consistent with Federal law. There is no Florida law prohibiting this. So for a Florida resident, I can make parts for a carving with pre-1990 elephant ivory. I can also use hippo , bone or man made material if the customer desires that. If you are not a bonafide Florida resident, I cannot repair anything with elephant ivory.
Mr. Hoover suggested I keep track of any tusk cut up for repairs for Florida residents and keep the material separate from other material. As many of you know, often repairs are the size of a grain of rice, so it may be difficult to keep really accurate records down to milligrams, especially considering waste material from sanding or lathe turning.
If you have any questions, please contact me at ivoryrepair@yahoo.com. Additional information is available at https://www.fws.gov/international/travel-and-trade/ivory-ban-questions-and-answers.html

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The Japanese Repository has been established since 1991 and specializes in ivory repair and restoration work to the trade and private parties, using genuine ivory materials. Missing or broken parts are hand carved in ivory and securely attached to the object. Whenever possible, repairs are made with ivory matching the original in color and density and finish. I also work in bone, wood, antler and horn. I have extensive experience in restoration and repairs to the following items:
Netsuke- ivory, wood, antler.
Japanese Okimono.

Chinese ivories of all types, including polychrome stain and painted surfaces.
Indian and Goa style carving.
European Ivory pieces.
Ivory tankards.
Chess sets, repair and fabrication, ivory, bone, wood, turned and figural.
Napoleonic Prisoner of war bone carvings.
Canes and walking sticks.
Small inlay work- bone, wood, ivory and other natural materials.
Wood carving- small items only, missing parts, cracks, damage, inlay.
Lathe turning in bone, ivory and wood for chess pieces, knobs, Finials, and bun feet for boxes and tea caddies.

Snuff bottle repairs- Tops in ivory and other materials, cork stoppers and spoons in bone and ivory.

If you have any questions about a repair please e-mail me at ivoryrepair@yahoo.com