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  1. Petition update - 495 signatures. It's a good start to the petition, thank you very much to those who have signed. Please keep spreading the word to colleagues and clients. For those of you who would like to mention something on your own websites or on social media please feel you can use this paragraph below. ---------------------------------------------- Dear Friends and Colleagues,May I draw your attention to a petition which was published recently - ‘Exempt bows of stringed instruments from the Ivory Act registration requirement.' https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/237247 The UK Ivory bill became an Act on 20th December 2018, and as soon as it passes into law (expected late 2019) all owners of elephant ivory-tipped bows for stringed instruments will have to first register their bows and then obtain permits in order for them to be allowed to be sold outside the UK (or outside Europe if Brexit does not occur). To obtain these permissions, owners will need to provide proof, which is often difficult to obtain, that their bows were made before 1975. The music community fully supports measures to tackle the illegal trade in ivory and the poaching of elephants. It is well known, however, that bows are no longer made using elephant ivory and are not connected to elephant ivory trafficking. The time and expense involved for those in the music professions as well as the authorities will be huge and quite burdensome, without providing any countervailing conservation benefit. These resources would be far better spent on tackling the true sources of poaching and trafficking. It should be noted that replacing the original ivory tips damages and devalues the bows, and the only other material with the right structural properties is mammoth ivory, which is itself likely to be added to the ban. For all the above reasons, the petition seeks to exempt bows from permitting requirements. If you would be willing to take a moment to sign the petition it would much appreciated by all, especially by the many musicians and makers who depend on bows for their livelihoods. When 10,000 signatures have been obtained, government will respond to this petition and with 100,000 signatures it will be considered for debate in Parliament. Please feel free to forward this email to family, friends and colleagues, and to use your social media accounts to help publicise this petition. Thank you very much for taking the time to help this important effort. Details of the Ivory Bill itself can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/ivory-bill-2018
  2. tradfiddle, you are absolutely correct. Musical instruments and bows made after 1975 with ivory will become illegal. This means the frogs of bows too, not just the tips. The Act is about commercial trading so it is possible to gift ivory items - as a result they become commercially worthless. During the time we've been petitioning about bows, in no way did we want to jeopardise the exemptions already in place for musical instruments. Our point with pre-1975 bows is the impracticability of having to register every single sold bow in the UK with an ivory tip. I agree with you that concern is valid and the absence of it may simply be because people are largely unaware. I have been to meetings with DEFRA and the CITES authorities, and with some few exceptions, most people in our trade are wholly unaware of what is coming down the line at them. I am determined to raise awareness. fiddlecollector - the Act received Royal Assent in December and is expected to come into force in late 2019. This article will help https://www.gov.uk/government/news/world-leading-uk-ivory-bill-becomes-law--2?fbclid=IwAR2ynhS0UstWYDUoVebx4uYMjovLaQTy1b-RzbZt9KwIWA8gL7bwMZdNaIA
  3. Good morning rudall, Thanks for your comment. It's a fair point. Those in the trade who sell very few bows won't see any difference day to day I suspect, but those selling bows as their primary income or in volume are going to be very severely affected, as are many musicians. I have no idea whether all this work will result in bows being exempt but it's worth a try. There are many more questions we need the answers to - costs (the government are going to have to cover a considerable increase in resources, see Martin's point above), will a bundle of bows count as one group registration or will the bows be treated individually, is the Defra computer system going to be joined up with CITES should bows be sent out of the UK, if so, are the costs combined? All of this I hope will become clearer over the next few months. Petition update - 118 signatures. For those of you who would like to sign, the process is to complete the form, confirm your email at which point an email will be sent (if you don't see it please check your spam inbox). It's only when you click on the confirmation email that you'll register your wish to support the petition.
  4. Yes, and: (b) the volume of ivory in the instrument is less than 20% of the total volume of the material of which the instrument is made. Another thing to be mindful of is, this is separate legislation from CITES so all the usual CITES regulations will still apply. We've asked the question but Defra is not saying how much the registration will be. This may be because they don't yet know the costs of the new computer system which will manage the registrations. We do know it will be based on a cost recovery process.
  5. Yes you can! Thank you very much for your support. There is a tick box on the petition page which says 'I am a British citizen or UK resident'. Even more worryingly, there are rumblings that mammoth could be added to the CITES list. A proposal to do so is being discussed at this year's CITES conference in May hence the importance in doing all we can to get the law changed now. In one way or another it will affect everybody who sells bows.
  6. Exempt Bows of Stringed Instruments from the Ivory Act Registration Requirement In December 2018 the UK parliament passed the Ivory Act. Musicians, music shops and auction houses are going to be severely affected by a new requirement to register bows of stringed instruments under the Ivory Act. The practicalities of doing so, along with the cost will make it very difficult – and in some cases impossible - to buy and sell antique bows. Over the last few months, behind the scenes quite a few people in our field have been lobbying the UK government to try to get exemption for ivory head plates on bows. We even managed to get an amendment in the bill but frustratingly it was not passed. So it is time to bring this very important issue to a wider audience. We will continue to fight the corner as robustly as we can, but in the meantime if you are a British resident, please, please, please sign (and share!) the petition - https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/237247 Whilst the ethics of this Act cannot be faulted, the practical application can. The only outcome of having to register, and pay a fee for such a small fragment of antique ivory, will be unnecessary damage and devaluation of bows. Please sign. The petition is a really important element of a bigger lobbying plan and your support is invaluable - we will only have one more chance to get this law changed and we are going to need as much support as possible. Thank you very much. Additional Information Thankfully there is some good news in the shape of a musical instrument exemption. Section 8 - Pre-1975 musical instruments An item that has ivory in it is exempt from the prohibition if— (a) the item is a pre-1975 musical instrument (b) the volume of ivory in the instrument is less than 20% of the total volume of the material of which the instrument is made (c) the instrument is registered under section 10. In this section “musical instrument”— (a) does not include anything that, although capable of being played as a musical instrument, was not made primarily for that purpose; (b) includes a bow, plectrum or other thing made for playing a musical instrument.
  7. UK based Amati Auctioneers are looking for a full time Specialist to join their team. Do you want to be paid a small fortune? Do you want to travel first class and stay in the world's finest hotels? Then don't apply for this job BUT if you want to join a small, fun and friendly team we would love to hear from you. You would need to have enough experience valuing instruments to work independently on valuation days in the UK and beyond and even after seeing dozens of Stradivari, circa 19th Century, made in Germany instruments would need to welcome clients with a big, cheerful smile, gently explain their instrument is a copy and talk to them about our Amati Affordable auctions. Having an understanding of how auctions work would be useful but not necessarily essential. Please email your CV and covering letter to sarah@amati.com, or message me with any questions you have.
  8. Please come to The Amati Exhibition on Sunday 23rd and Monday 24th being held at the Langham Hotel in London. The Amati Exhibition showcases the very best antique and contemporary instruments and bows. Now in its fourth year the exhibition is an invaluable networking event for the stringed instrument community. The focus for this year is to reintroduce a more relaxed and informal feel so rather than a host a concert we are delighted to be joined by Trio Isimsiz for Sunday’s drinks reception. They are going to play Dvorak’s piano trio in F minor and the last movement of Schumann’s piano trio in G minor. On Monday there is an ‘Open Stage’ session where musicians from YCAT (Young Classical Artists Trust) and the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama will perform with instruments chosen from the exhibitor’s tables. Our instrument highlight this year is a cello by Giovanni Grancino, Milan, 1696, generously loaned from a private collection courtesy of J & A Beare. The cello has survived in a remarkably pure state with unpolished naturally worn varnish. Entrance on both days is free. For more information please contact Charlott on +44 (0)20 7099 7114 or visit the exhibition page on our website. Exhibitor List Adam Whone Violins Allianz Amati Auctioneers British Violin Making Association Caballero & Graswinckel Chaconne Chris Halstead Colin Adamson Fiddlease Florian Leonhard Fine Violins Gaspar Borchardt Helge Netland Lark Leatherwood Bespoke Rosin Mark Jennings Matthias Kayssler Newark School of Violin Making Noel Burke Paul Shelley Peter Oxer Rod Ward Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama Sunrise Thwaites Turner Violins Ulf Johansson Ulf Kloo William John
  9. Hi Eric, A license is £37 and is issued per buyer rather than per Lot (thank goodness) and I'm talking specifically about the pernambuco Lots. Fortunately almost every blank is date stamped 04 April 1993 and we have a supporting letter to confirm the wood was purchased long before pernambuco was added to CITES Appendix II in 2007. With shipping bows to the US our advice is: In light of the recent Lacey Act amendment and further States banning mammoth ivory, we strongly request that you contact us regarding any bows you may be interested in placing a bid on if you are based in the US. We can then advise if the material used is ivory, plastic or a metal. With regret, our policy should your intention be to have bought Lots shipped to the US is to remove the ivory head-plate. It's not something we enjoy doing, quite the opposite but rather than risk the entire bow shipment we believe, as do most of the buyers that this is a sensible decision. Last week a bow shipment was held at customs and it took no time to get it released because we were able to advise customs straight away that any non-plastic tips had been removed, something which they'll see if they decided to inspect the shipment. As it was they seemed happy with our answers and released the shipment the next day. We actually keep all the tips just in case the rules change one day in which case we can send them on to the buyers. I hope this has helped with your questions. Sarah
  10. Hello MeyerFittings, As Amati is a UK based auction house, non E.U. shipments need a CITES license. I've spent quite a lot of time chatting with the CITES office recently so happy to help buyers with this process. I think Televet (thank you for the mention) saw this sentence on our catalogue page - CITES license required for Lots 139 - 207 if being shipped outside the E.U. Please contact Sarah - +44 20 7099 7114. Sarah
  11. I was chatting with one of the presenters, Mould, years ago when the show was new and he asked if we had any "good" violin stories.
  12. Hi Ben, We have c. 200 pernambuco bow blanks coming up for auction soon. Were you thinking of coming over for the BVMA Makers' Day on 13th March? Hope this helps. Sarah
  13. Thank you very much for your comment. I’ll definitely contact him. All the sticks are stamped 4th April 1993 so hopefully he’ll be able to help identify where this has come from.
  14. Does anyone have recent experience regarding pernambuco and acquiring CITES certificates? Your comments about the process would be most appreciated. Thanks very much.
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