The International Ivory Society

               Ivory Advocacy

To understand the reason everyone involved in Ivory collecting is up in arms against the proposed ban on Ivory please read the following
Q & A by the US Fish & Wildlife Service. .




                                            This 40 page white paper May be purchased at:         

                                                         Visit Website for details

To: Robert Weisblut <
Sent: Thursday, November 21, 2013 2:53 PM

I am sending a copy of the just received White Paper to all the members of the IIS who have supported the Political Action Network and all the contributors to its funding. These books are going out tomorrow. I would like to sell books to the rest of the membership to try to make up the deficit we are currently running. I would appreciate it if you would put the following notice and picture into a special announcement to the membership.

The Political Action Network of the International Ivory Society has just published its White Paper on IVORY'S CULTURAL IMPORTANCE. The full color, 48-page book outlines ivory's contributions to the past and its significance to the future and argues that ivory's place should not be eclipsed by any unreasonable or ineffective restraints on its trade or movement. The book has been presented to everyone involved with the Presidential Task Force on Combating Wildlife Trafficking and has been mailed to everyone who contributed to the Political Action Network.

It is now available to members of the International Ivory Society. Some will want to add it to their own collection of books on ivory; others will want to give copies to political and cultural leaders in their community to involve them in the debate on how best to stop poaching and control the stocks of legal ivory to satisfy demand.

If you would like one or more copies of the book, please authorize a payment of $7.50 each via PayPal or send a check in the appropriate amount to:

Godfrey (Jeff) Harris
Principal Representative, Political Action Network
International Ivory Society
520 S. Sepulveda Blvd., Suite 204
Los Angeles, CA 90049-3534 USA
+ (1) 310 476 6374(1) 310 476 6374
+ (1) 310 471 3276(1) 310 471 3276
+ (1) 213 500 8037(1) 213 500 8037

Letter from Robert Weisblut,President International Ivory Society to Dan Ashe, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

February 3, 2014


Dan Ashe

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

1849 C Street N.W.

Washington, D.C. 20240



The Whitehouse page informed the public that, “The Fish and Wildlife Service won't seek to prosecute individuals, such as those who try to sell ivory trinkets they inherited from their parents, Ashe said. Instead, the agency will target its law enforcement efforts toward organized trafficking rings that profit from the illicit trade”.


I have several suggestions that will assist in achieving the above stated Presidential goal and actually make things easier for F&W. It should even be considered “good news” by the members of the general public who own ivory objects.


First I am sure that for all practical purposes original sales receipts either never were issued or no longer exist. A hundred or more years ago people didn’t have checking account or credit cards. Business was conducted in cash or barter. So, what do we have available to help determine if an object is 100 years old or older?


  • Age cracks and Patina

  • Photographs with ivories in combination with known people and the year

  • Wills (showing when the current owner took possession)

  • Insurance policies that list information on ivories

  • Actual dates on the carving

  • The names of carvers (this can help determine the dates they were working).

  • The style (maybe the single most important characteristic)

  • The base or stands that they are mounted on (some are unique to a fixed time period)

  • Subject matter (the object depicted may have changed at a certain date)

  • Other associated materials (such as the wood in combo w/ivory as with Simon Troger)

  • Notarized statements (by relatives or experts)

  • Comparison to pictures of similar items in published books

  • Early auction house catalogues

  • Testimony of experts

  • Other possible sources 

Numismatists, coin collectors, had similar problems years ago. How could they be sure that a coin was not counterfeit, and whether it was circulated or uncirculated, and most importantly, what grade it was as price could double for each grade. Their solution was to form coin grading services where a group of three experts could grade each coin so that it reflected the true value without any input from the buyer or seller. Today there are numerous such services.


Why not apply the same proven logic to ivory? Why not authorize one or more services that can certify or authenticate an ivory carving as antique? Each ivory could be assigned a number to accompany it for all eternity. On an internet website, F&W or other, the number can be recorded along with pictures and size for all to see including F&W inspectors, potential buyers, etc. Any ivory with such a designation could be shipped, sold, or purchased in interstate commerce. Collectors will retain the investments they have made and many people can retain their jobs dealing in ivory, and also keep citizens of the USA from becoming criminals.


The members of the services need not be restricted to appraisers, but could include a variety of specialists including but no limited to museum curators, university researchers, prominent collectors, restoration experts, historians, book authors, and auctioneers.


They would only work with elephant ivory carvings, not mammoth, walrus, hippo, boar, warthog, or whale. They would not assess items of mixed media such as pianos, musical instruments, silver serving items, or inlaid furniture. The fees required should be reasonable, $15-20 per item, not the hundreds to thousands now being suggested by some ISA and ASA members. They would probably have to work from photographs as current law would prohibit sending them interstate for inspection.


Using the above guidelines, a substantial number of ivories can be returned to a legal status immediately, and over time art deco, mid-20th century Chinese, and other such items can be brought back into the system. None of this will have any impact on the current poaching of African elephants whose tusks are being sent to China and other Asian countries.



Robert E. Weisblut

President, International Ivory Society

5001 Old Ocean Blvd. #1

Ocean Ridge, FL 33435

(561) 276-5657

Press Release from International Ivory Society condemming destruction of Ivory near Denver CO.USA

 For Immediate Release 


LOS ANGELES, November 14, 2013 -- The crushing of 6 tons of ivory near Denver, Colorado, by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today was condemned as a "wasteful public relations stunt" that won't meet the agency's stated goal of ending the killing of elephants that is feeding the illegal ivory trade. 

"Poachers, ivory middlemen, workshops and retail outlets in Africa and Asia will actually get a very different message from the removal of 6 tons of ivory from the market -- that this precious material is getting scarcer and, as a result, prices must increase when demand remains unabated," said Godfrey Harris, a representative of the Political Action Network of the International Ivory Society. 

"Is the U.S. government repeating the mistakes of Prohibition, when outlawing alcohol brought explosive growth in both drinking and criminal activity?" Harris asked. "We hope to work with an Obama administration task force to find ways to allow legitimate uses of ivory in the U.S. while enhancing American contributions to anti-poaching activity in Africa and to efforts to stabilize demand in East Asia." 

The International Ivory Society, based in Florida, is a global organization composed of collectors, dealers, artisans, preservationists, and scholars. It strongly opposes the illegal trade of ivory products, but supports the exchange of legitimate ivory objects — those of historic, artistic, practical, and decorative interest from animals who have died of natural causes and from authorized culls. It also wants to preserve trade in antique ivory artifacts and ivory recycled from previous uses. 

Ivory stockpiles were destroyed in Kenya in 2011, Gabon in 2012 and the Philippines in 2013. But those events haven’t deterred poaching and the illegal trade of ivory, and raw ivory prices in China have doubled since 2011, Harris said. 

"All governments ought to be doing everything they can to reduce the profit in illegal ivory sales by flooding the market with legal ivory to satisfy demand," he said. "When demand stabilizes or falls, the price of raw ivory is reduced dramatically and poachers can no longer reap attractive profits from their illicit and cruel activities." 

Instead of destroying ivory, the U.S. government should be selling it to legitimate ivory interests, with proceeds used "to equip anti-poaching forces in Africa with effective tools to track, capture and try the criminal gangs and corrupt officials who are destroying elephant herds," Harris said. 

Of the ivory being destroyed today, Harris asked, "Is there legal ivory in this mix? Are mammoth and boar pieces being tragically wasted? Are legitimate antiques involved? Who certified that everything being destroyed today is illegal ivory?" 



Roger Gillott 

310-826-8696310-826-8696 ~