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Ivory brushes

Having become distracted with a heavy work and travel load, I have been steadily scaling back my once quite large collection of shaving gear. Among the remaining items that are in the ‘maybe don’t need anymore’ box are two large ivory handled brushes (a Simpson and a Rooney). These were acquired by me many years ago. They are 70-80 years old. Times change, I would not buy them now but when acquired they were quite desirable.

The question is what are the “rules“ regarding such brushes? Maybe even discussing them is taboo? Online searches are ambiguous. Some suggest that they could be either destroyed or gifted. Others that they can be sold legally. Other articles talk about the need for a CITES certification. I don’t think that these existed in the 1940s. Any guidance from this community would be appreciated.

Rudy Vey

Shaving baby skin and turkey necks
If you are the owner, you can use them and keep them. However, if you would sell them, there maybe a problem. In many states the sale of ivory is prohibited and one cannot sell these over the borders of said states. I used to make a few ivory brushes in the beginning when I started to sell brushes. Ivory could then be officially obtained from licensed sellers and it came with a certificate.
Most of these ivories were from the late 19th and very early 20th century. Nowadays, my state is very restrictive. Even if I could find a piece of legal ivory, it could not be send to me here into NJ. So, in the last say 8-10 years it has changed quite a bit.
If you are planning to sell them, inform yourself about the laws and regulations in your state and of the state it may go to.
The fines can be hefty.....

The big online auction sites don’t like it and the listings that you can find there are quite roundabout to what is actually being sold.

Don’t try to sell to the EU regulations here were tightened quite recently.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with old ivory. We didn't realize the impact of harvesting ivory decades ago. As Rudy mentioned, check the laws carefully, then check them again. If you decide you don't want to sell them you might find a museum or other such organization that would be happy to put them on display.
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