Monday, August 24, 2015
Ivory remains a bone of contention between collectors and the bureaucrats who make our lives more difficult. The ban on ivory by the Feds had suffered a set back, so the new tactic is to institute bans in each state. This is a common divide and conquer tactic.
I don’t the feds should be sticking their nose into you selling your grandfather’s ivory chest set or preventing you from buying across state lines a set a ivory dominoes someone brought home from Korea in the 1960’s.
A pro-ivory stance makes me a rotten SOB for supporting elephant poaching doesn’t it? But before you go much further you should know, no, I don’t support poaching. I support the 1989 ban on ivory importation to the US and urge other countries to stop the illegal trade in ivory. We stopped the importation of ivory in 1989.
(Propaganda mode on)
United States is the world’s second-largest
market, behind ,
for illegal wildlife artifacts. The legal sale of ivory in the China United States and around the world helps to
disguise black-market sales,
prosecutors and other law enforcement officials say.” U.S.
Washington post Feb 11 2014
(Propaganda mode off)
The above is a lie. The vast majority of the poached ivory isn’t coming into the US. Despite what the Feds said in the above Feb 11 2014 issue of the Washington Post, most of it isn’t headed to the US.
Most of it is going to
In fact, it’s estimated that 70% of all poached ivory is headed to
China. That’s a lot of dead elephants. And China seems to be all right with it.
That doesn’t surprise me at all. When a government assumes that each human has no intrinsic value and only a person’s service to the government matters, why would they value animal lives?
No, reports of wide spread pollution, heavy metal poisoning, and adulteration of baby formula with melamine from
China don’t surprise me at
all. What does surprise me is the sudden
insistence by our politicians that somehow owning an ivory handled knife, or a hairpin
somehow makes us low level criminals.
And we aren’t going to discuss what it means to own sperm whale
scrimshaw or mammoth ivory! You bastard,
you! I don’t know how you did it, but
you inspired people who were dead long before you were born to kill whales and
all those mammoths!
Even Road Show Antiques has to say something about ivory. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/roadshow/stories/articles/2015/06/22/ivory-law
The problem with the current and proposed bans is the need to know when the ivory was brought into the country. You kept the provenance on that pair of carved ivory earrings you bought your mother or wife in 1985, right?
Of course, if you own ivory-handled daggers from the Third Reich or other historic artifacts you may not have any problems. But that scrimshaw pendant bought from a local artisan made from the white key of a junked player piano isn’t likely to have the documentation you need.
So, if you live in a free state, one that still allows you to sell your possessions, no matter if it’s ivory or not make sure you remind your elected officials to keep it that way. If you don’t, laws can be changed. Make sure your government knows your feelings.
Tuesday, April 29, 2014
The 2014 Warther Memorial Knife Show is over. It was held at Breitenbach Winery in the lovely Breitenbach Tool Shed.
|The Tool Shed|
I couldn’t squeeze the show in as a vendor, but I did drop in on Sunday. I had several interesting conversations and found a few things I couldn’t live without.
If you work with ivory, collect ivory and even own ivory you should be concerned about President Obama’s Executive Order banning ivory.
No, I’m not anti-elephant. African elephant ivory has been prohibited from import since the early 80s. Most of the illegal ivory trade is currently driven by the Far East and laws controlling this practice aren’t enforced by their governments.
This Executive Order bans ivory from animals killed before the ban. Oh, you can sell pre-ban, if you have the paperwork proving it’s pre-ban. You saved that bill of sale from the 80s, didn’t you?
There’s exceptions for fossil ivory, mastodon ivory, walrus and others, but the responsibility is on you to prove it as well as documentation of the port it entered the country. You got that as well, right? And forget about DNA. No matter what you saw on CSI, ivory has no DNA.
The scariest part of this is the adoption of assumed guilt until proven innocent. The enforcement agent can simply suspect you’re guilty and seize your property and arrest you. You then have to prove your innocence. That’s just plain wrong.
I see this as just another step demonstrating the government’s drive to neuter our rights. Today it's ivory, tomorrow it might be guns, then books and the realization you live at the pleasure of the government.
Enough politics, but I’ve got to say, I’m glad I’m old.
Did I find any treasures at the show?
|The Shed is also used to store wine.|
I picked up a hatchet from Mickey Yurco. It’s a small hatchet just over 7 inches long with an OD green and black striped micarta handle. The blade is curved and sub-three inches in length and made from 440C steel.
|It's small, but it's aimed at the emergency bug-out bag.|
440C is the best of the 440 steel series and represents a middle grade of steel in the knife community. It’s a good steel, rust resistant, durable and can be resharpened without special equipment. It’s a good choice for a bug-out bag which is what Mickey had in mind. One thing to remember, 440C is magnetic and will affect compass readings. Just a word to the wise.
The hatchet comes with a Kydex sheath. I like Kydex for its durability, but this sheath is a little hard to remove.
|The cover fits tight, not a bad thing, but I have to jerk it out of the the sheath, so don't stand too close!|
Maybe a summer Kydex sheath making project will solve my problem.
I also picked up an older doctor’s knife made for W. Bingham Co in Cleveland Ohio. The knife was, my internet search tells me, made by Ulster Knife Company. That may explain why both the main and secondary blade are stamped.
I admit it took me a while to convince myself it was a doctor’s knife. It’s doesn’t have the spatula and the handle has an offset more typical of a gun stock pattern. Still the blade shape and the pill crusher end convinced me.
|The handle is more of a black with dark green highlights. Do you see the little curve in the handle?|
The handle has a faded green and black motif to it, so it must have the effect of nice weather and grassy fields that had me thinking about green and black.
Both the hatchet and knife are sweet!
How was the show?
I’m told Saturday had 280 attendees. I left around 1pm on Sunday. It was pretty bleak then but several vendors reported that while the count was down, sales were strong.
Even though my wife and I had driven to the winery earlier in the year, we still had trouble finding it. The signage was poor and as you drove up the empty, winding gravel road you got the feeling as one retired LEO suggested, you were being set up for a robbery and car-jacking.
Tucked away in Dover, the knife show was a destination. Most of the Amish community is shut down on Sunday and Dover was no exception. The winery was closed and if you were looking for a restaurant, well you better head to Canton Ohio.
If you didn’t know about the show you wouldn't see anything to suggest it existed. Nothing could be seen on Interstate-77, so the show didn’t have any impulse attendees.
I will say, if WRCA doesn’t do something, I predict there will be no Dale Warther Memorial Knife show in less than ten years.