Ethnographic Arms & Armour

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Jens Nordlunde 13th October 2019 02:36 PM

Philip, what you write about the Richard Wagner Jr. collection is very interesting. I have a khanjarli with ivory hilt from the collection, and I have often been wondering why some daggers with ivory were sold in the US and others were sent to the UK to be sold. Now I know why.
In an art magazine I saw pictures of the stripped daggers, and it was quite chocking to see the daggers - good that Richard Wagner never knew about it.

To all others, dont fool with the CITES certificate - if it is needed, get it or you can be in big trouble.

Richard G 14th October 2019 01:34 PM

Hope this works

Jens Nordlunde 15th October 2019 03:21 PM

Richard, thank you for the link - it is chocking, and it is a chock any collector will not forget easily.
I dont understand how an auctionhouse can send daggers like this, to another country whitout the needed papers, or maybe we dont know the whole history, who knows?
In post #121 it seems as if the daggers were stripped in the UK.

Has anyone asked the MET or one of the big auctionhouses what they would do to avoid daggers to be stripped? If not, it might be time to do so.

To get a CITES certificate, the weapon has to be evaluated by a specialist known to the CITES people, and accepted by them as being an expert.
Maybe the CITES people can give you a list of experts living 'near' to where you live.

The recievers name and address are on the document, and only the reciever must get the parcle - the document is valid for half a year.

vilhelmsson 15th October 2019 05:46 PM

Here's a guide for museums on the care and documentation, including proper shipping practices, of ivory antiquities: http://www.connectingtocollections....oint-Slides.pdf

In my discussions with US Fish & Wildlife, importing pre-Act ivory should go smoothly, but there are a few pitfalls. He said that the most common pitfall is pre-export permit validation. For example, if you're importing ivory from the UK to the US, you must have the UK customs authority validate the permit and sign off on the export. If it arrives in the US with all of the proper documentation, etc., but the permit was not validated, then it will be treated as an unpermitted import.

Sounds like a common sense step, but it is frequently missed.

Jens Nordlunde 15th October 2019 08:54 PM

Vilhelmsson, I find your link interesting, but not very helpful, as what the members need is, a way to find the experts who can descripe the weapon/whatever so that the CITES people can/will accept it - and make the certificate.

vilhelmsson 15th October 2019 09:29 PM


The actual guidelines are very non-specific, but that pdf will point you in the right direction. They need a "qualified appraisal." Each country can interpret that differently. There is no centralized list of "qualified appraisers" in the US. And the US government certainly won't publish a list of qualified appraisers.

I would bet like $100 if you call the Alaska US F&W office and ask about ivory importation, they'd transfer you to someone who would give you the names of some good qualified appraisers.

If you are exporting from or importing to the US, here are the guidelines for what a qualified appraisal is:

An appraisal submitted as documentary evidence of an article’s eligibility under the ESA antique exception must meet the following criteria:

* The person executing the appraisal either has earned an appraisal designation from a recognized professional appraiser organization for demonstrated competency in appraising the type of property being appraised or can demonstrate verifiable education and experience in assessing the type of property being appraised.

* The person executing the appraisal is not the importer, exporter, buyer, recipient or seller of the article; does not benefit from the results of the appraisal (other than for the cost of the appraisal); is not a party to any of the transactions associated with the article (including any person acting as an agent for the transaction); is not an employee of any business that is a party to the transaction; and is not related to the person claiming the exception.

* Facts we will examine in determining the reliability of the appraisal:
1. A description of the article in sufficient detail for a person who is not generally familiar with the type of article to determine that the appraisal is about the article in question.

2. The name and address of the qualified appraiser; or if the appraiser is a partner, an employee, or an independent contractor engaged by a person other than the person claiming the exception, the name and address of the partnership or the person who employs or engages the appraiser.

3. The qualifications of the appraiser who signs the appraisal, including the background, experience, education and any membership in professional appraiser associations.

4. The date on which the article was appraised.

5. The scientific method in detail used to determine the age or species.
Descriptive information on the article including but not limited to: the size of the article; the medium; the artist or culture; approximate date the article was created; and a professional quality image of the article.

6. A detailed history of the article including proof of authenticity.
The facts on which the appraisal was based including analyses of similar works by the artist on or around the creation date.

Jens Nordlunde 16th October 2019 12:22 PM

Thank you for the explanation Vilhelmsson.
It all sounds very complicated, and I do see the problem.
I guess I was lucky to get a certificate, when my dagger from the Wagner collection was transported from the UK to where I live.

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