Lyon & Turnbull will no longer sell antique items made from rhino horn.

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It joins Sotheby’s and Bonhams in recently banning the sale of these items. Christie’s stopped selling rhino-horn related objects more than six years ago.

While it is still possible to trade in worked rhino horn acquired or prepared prior to 1947, L&T referred to the campaign by BADA (The British Antique Dealers Association) for tougher regulation to “ensure that modern poached rhino is prevented from entering the UK and that rhino horn already in the UK cannot be ground down and exported for whatever reason”.

Lyon & Turnbull said: “It is of the utmost importance that auction houses and members of the antiques trade show their unqualified support for these efforts to save this species.”  

In November Sotheby’s and Bonhams announced they would stop selling rhino horn antiques following pressure from wildlife groups.

Certification scheme

Strict EU rules surrounding the sale and export of rhino horn already exist, but they allow the sale of ‘worked’ items acquired or prepared prior to 1947.

BADA’s proposal would go beyond this, suggesting the trade body sets up a “rigorous” certification scheme ensuring only items of high artistic merit dating from pre-1947 with a value over $100 per gram can be traded.

The UK, as a CITES convention signatory, does not allow the sale, regardless of age, of uncarved rhino horns including those mounted in silver as inkwells, clocks, etc, or those mounted as big game trophies on or off shields.