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Ivory

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atalanta | 16:16 Mon 11th Dec 2017 | Society & Culture
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I have been decluttering, and to my dismay have found amongst the stuff inherited from ancient relatives an item made of ivory. It has no artistic or historic value, as far as I can see, since it is only a simple letter-opener. I don't wish to be seen as being on the side of elephant killers, and I have plenty of other letter-openers, so what should I best do with it ?

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Use it, and stop beating yourself up.
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It isn't illegal to own or inherit ivory, it may not even be elephant ivory it could be from other animals, walrus, narwhal etc. it might even be bone which was used a lot for letter openers as you say it is of no artistic merit.
Just use it.
Using or selling it now will not affect current behaviour.
I would use it, but are you sure it isn't made of bone ?
I probably wouldn't use it.
You can't sell it unless you can PROVE it was made before 1947....there are plans afoot to ban the sale of all ivory in the UK although it still wont be illegal to own it. I have got a small ivory elephant that belonged to my grandmother in law. I am pretty sure that it is old but no proof. My plan is to bury it somewhere but it will need to be somewhere where I know it won't be dig up again.
As long as it was made before 1947 ( I think) it is fully legal to own or sell it. If you don't want it why not sell it and donate the cash to a wildlife charity, that way it will end up doing some good for animals.
You do not have to PROVE it was made before 1947 in most cases that is impossible. As you have inherited it you just need to be able to establish it has been owned by your family since at least 1947, as you say it was the property of ancient relatives that should not be difficult to do.
The ban was only a proposal the government has failed to take any action on it and the proposal is now dead , but it may be reinstated.
Throwing it away will do nothing to help elephants. But selling it and giving the cash to a charity that helps elephants will. Just sell it or give it to a charity shop.
100s of them on eBay just described as 'vintage'
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Tagliacarte-in-avorio-vintage-Egitto/222742180077?hash=item33dc77f0ed:g:TjcAAOSwyGZZ6ivU
No problem listing them , just say it is 'vintage' .
A large % of 'Ivory' letter openers are actually bone or celluloid plastic.
Eddie, unless its eg listed in a previous will, saying that an ancient relative owned it is no proof....they could have bought it (or been given it) the year before they died. I agree that small low value items probably do sneak under the radar but that doesn't make it legal. Charity shops won't accept ivory and bone or plastic is very low value unless the workmanship is excellent or its something like scrimshaw.
Woofgang , I actually tried to list ' Ivory paper knife' on eBay as an experiment, they were happy to accept the listing as long as it was described as 'Vintage or antique' So no problem listing it. Check eBay there are 100s of Ivory items listed.
// If you don't want it why not sell it and donate the cash to a wildlife charity, that way it will end up doing some good for animals.//
Couldn't have put it better myself. The animal from which it came is long dead anyway, if it was sold and the proceeds given to an animal charity then the death of the animal wouldn't have been entirely in vain.
EDDIE that still doesn't make it legal
if inheriting an illegal object makes you somehow guilty of murdering an elephant, I don't see how passing it on to someone else would clear you of it; you're just implicating the buyer in the guilt.

But as you didn't take part in the murder or know anything about it, just keep it and open letters. If you want to donate money to an animal charity, go ahead and do it; it may yet save your soul and it won't drag anyone else into your web of shame.
// web of shame//??
That's a bit strong aint it jno?
Atalanta didn't ask to inherit this item.
Woofgang eBay are VERY strict in what they allow you to list. If it was illegal they would not accept the listing. For example I once tried to list a 'Doctor Blade' which is a device used in printing to lay down an ink film. They refused to accept it as they said it was a weapon. Another time I listed a table cigarette lighter, after 2 days they took down the listing as they said the design of it infringed a Zippo patent. I did not even put a makers name just 'Italian made table lighter'. They still removed it and gave me an official warning.
I had my tongue in my cheek, nailit. Like I said, I'd just use it to open letters; doing so will not imperil a single elephant.

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