Coverage of the Ivory Act and Pete Matthews’ letter on the subject (ATG Nos 2531 & 2532).

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While I would be the first to allow that it has been an unforeseen blessing that we have had three years since the passing of the act in which to continue trading antique ivory in this country, the uncertainty has been nerve racking.

Only last week, I hesitated, and then decided not to buy a very good ivory netsuke at auction for fear that the shutter would come down before I could sell it on.

We would all like clarity in the form of an actual date in order to know how long we have to prosecute a trade which, for now, remains entirely legal.

What Mr Matthews does not seem to realise is that the act will potentially reduce my turnover by 50%. It remains to be seen whether that is sustainable.

Max Rutherston

Director, Max Rutherston Ltd

Japanese Netsuke and Works of Art

London W5