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Philip Mould and Claudia Hill of Ellison Fine Art have called for action to ensure the trade’s arguments on ivory are heard by government.

Mould’s gallery focuses on Old Masters and Modern British art but miniatures, many painted on ivory, are a significant part of the business.

He told ATG: “We have decided that direct action and lobbying are crucial – an irreversible cultural miscarriage could take place if we risk doing otherwise.”

In the correspondence to clients, the dealer wrote that “although the consultation document talks about a ‘total ban’ on the sale of ivory, the document makes clear that the government is in fact proposing some very important exemptions…

“It is important that as many people respond as possible. Everyone is eligible to respond and you do not need to complete every question so if there are questions you do not feel relevant, it is fine to skip them.”

Fellow portrait miniature specialist Hill said: “I have contacted my clients as I feel passionately about this and think it would be total madness if there is a total ban.

“I hope by encouraging people to voice their concerns via this consultation, a workable solution can be achieved.”

Other dealers in the wider art trade have also begun to contact clients on the topic. Robert Bowman of Bowman Sculptures recently wrote to clients and said: "I would encourage anyone with an interest in this area to respond to the government request for feedback on the trade of ivory."

The consultation is open for responses until December 29.

For more on the ivory consultation see Letters section in this issue.