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Gerald, Esq
Gerald, Esq, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 2739
Experience:  30 years of experience
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I have a piece of carved scrimshaw that came from Russia in

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I have a piece of carved scrimshaw that came from Russia in the early 70s. The piece is quite elaborate. It is not a typical carved tooth. Imagine a relatively large piece (4"x6") of curved bone that becomes the piece's base. The upper surface of the base is carved to reflect an ocean scene (waves). The principal carved feature is a 4-masted square rigged sailing ship under full sail. The ratlines appear to be cut from baleen. Also fitted into the scene are several pieces that represent icebergs. Finally you have what can best be described as a very small whale boat with oarsmen chasing a whale that has been harpooned and towing a cask (barrel). At the time of acquisition a large part of the Russian whaling fleet was based in Odessa. Any restrictions on scrimshaw from this period?
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Gerald, Esq replied 6 months ago.
Hello,Thank you for using Just Answer. I want to provide you the best service I can. Please feel free to ask any follow up questions you have.I am an attorney with 30 years of experience; I hope to provide you information that will help you in resolving your question. This is a complicated area of the law, and it depends on what documentation that you have as to the age of the item, and what documentation that you have as to when it was acquired. Importing of Whale Ivory Scrimshaw has been banned since 1972. So if the item came into the US after 1972 it is an unlawful product and reputable dealers will not handle it. There are three categories of Whale ivory:1) Antique- must be 100 years old or older from 1972. That means it must be from 1872 or earlier.. This ivory is legal to buy and sell across state lines in any form. 2) Pre-Act items: Material that is from between 1872 to 1972. These items are covered by a U.S. government exemption certificate. These teeth are legal to buy and sell as carved or engraved items. You must have the certificate and the government no longer issues new certificates. 3) Other pre-1972 items. These are items that were in the US prior to 1972 and but there is no exemption certificate.To sell these items you need a notarized statement from the seller stating that they were in his/her possession, in this country, prior to the 1972 moratorium. These cannot be sent across state lines for commercial resale. You can sell it in your state of residence only. Which can also be difficult because some states (Massachusetts for example) are trying to outlaw the sale of any whale ivory. These resources can help further your research: I hope the information I provide is useful to you. I want you to be comfortable and satisfied with my attempt to assist you. Please, if you have ANY follow up questions, feel free to ask. Please note that I am generally unavailable Friday evening through Sunday. Please do not forget to give me a positive rating. It adds nothing to your costs but it helps me greatly. Thank you.If you are dissatisfied with my response PLEASE let me know before giving me a negative review so that I may try to be of better assistance. Or if you prefer, let me know and I can “Opt Out” and your question can be re-posted without additional cost to you. I will be fair to you and only ask the same from you.Good luck. Please note: Information is educational and not given as legal advice. Only your local attorney can give legal advice. I can't establish or accept an attorney-client relationship with you. All posts are available for public viewing. Kind regards,Gerald