On 1st January 2019, Leonard Joel’s voluntary policy on the cessation of trade in rhinoceros horn and elephant ivory came in to full effect.
Two years ago, Leonard Joel was identified by IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare) as the most significant auction trader of ivory in Australia. It was a defining moment as we were made aware that we were part of the value-chain that contributes to the slaughter of these animals. With IFAW’s guidance, we began work on and introduced a voluntary cessation policy.
Now, as the policy takes full effect, Leonard Joel will no longer sell objects made entirely of ivory; including, ivory netsuke, chess pieces and dinnerware. We will advocate for the retention of these items by their owner or donation to a public institution.
Our position has been deemed extreme by some but after centuries of slaughter, we believe it is time, as part of a global industry, to implement a complete ban on the trade in these materials regardless of their age, in the hope that one day we may reverse this conservation catastrophe.
Leonard Joel encourages all auction houses and antique dealers to join us in declining to create a marketplace for these materials, thereby removing the value placed upon them.
Our policy, which has been implemented in stages over the past two years, has had no negative impact on our business, and is available for all industry colleagues to adopt.
Read our Voluntary Policy, and the diaries of our journey in my monthly 22nd Report which features in every edition of Leonard, named to mark the date our policy was implemented.