About Antiques

Erard harp column gildedThere are a number of definitions of antique. At one time an antique would have been made up to the reign of George III before the decline in taste for which his son the Prince Regent was responsible. The generally accepted definition at present is for items made over one hundred years ago, however Customs and Excise can use a cut off point of fifty years in some situations and some say over 50 or 75 years if it is mechanical, particularly in the US.

For the purpose of our list we generally define antique as over one hundred years old. Some of the instruments listed are in the workshop awaiting restoration or in the course of restoration. Instruments are reconditioned to a level we consider appropriate to their make, age, history and design whilst preserving historical integrity where ever possible. Most instruments are completed and ready for immediate or near immediate delivery or shipment, however some instruments may be sold as seen for their visual impression rather than as playing instruments. Please remember antique instruments are not always designed to play like modern instruments and are more susceptible to environmental change, they may not be tuned to A=440Hz but rather the earlier tuning pitch of A=415Hz

Ivory and protected species regulations : Some antique keyboard instruments were made with ivory keyboard coverings and other protected species. To export an instrument with an ivory keyboard (pre 1947) a re-export cities certificate will need to be applied for to accompany the instrument and cities certificate from the importing destination.

Prospective overseas owners will need to approach their authorities who will advise on procedures and documentation required, we can put you in touch with shipping agent who can assist you with this and export documentation. It is always best to check on requirements, please ask if you have any questions or go to www.cites.org

Garka square pianoWhat is a cities certificate - CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) is an international agreement between governments. CITES certificates are needed to import items protected by CITES. The aim is to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival. We are now all aware of many of the endangered species, such as Rainforest woods and ivory from elephants, but at the time when the ideas for CITES were first formed, in the 1960s, international discussion of the regulation of wildlife trade for conservation purposes was something relatively new.

Because the trade crosses borders between countries, the effort to regulate it requires international cooperation to safeguard certain species.
CITES was drafted as a result of a resolution adopted in 1963 at a meeting of members of IUCN (The World Conservation Union). The text of the convention was finally agreed at a meeting of representatives of 80 countries in United States of America, on 3rd March 1973, and on 1st July 1975 CITES entered in force. It is an international agreement to which countries adhere voluntarily.

All import, export and re-export have to be authorized through a licensing system.

Bluthner 6 2 grand piano c1905A specimen of a CITES-listed species may be imported into or exported (or re-exported) from a country to the Convention only if the appropriate document has been obtained and presented for clearance at the port of entry or exit. There is some variation of the requirements from one country to another and it is always necessary to check on the national laws that may be stricter.

Anyone planning to import or export/re-export specimens of a CITES species should contact the national CITES Management Authorities of the countries of import and export/re-export for information on the rules that apply.

When a specimen of a CITES-listed species is transferred between a country that is a Party to CITES and a country that is not, the country that is a Party may accept documentation equivalent to the permits and certificates described above.

Please note U.S.A., Canada, New Zealand, Japan and Australia can be particularly exacting regarding ivory and other endangered species including many woods.

COTES (Control of Trade of Endangered Species Reg 2018) replaced COTES 1985, 1997, 2005, 2007 & 2009 and should be referred to for information and include new CITES controls for Rosewood and Palasander Guidance.  Always check rules and regulations as these do change.

We have long experience of shipping worldwide and have good relations with specialist packers and shippers who we can put you in touch with.