On Collecting Ivories
Originality & Guarantee
Despite recent changes in regulations, which include a complete ban on the importation of any ivory into the USA, it is still legal to own and trade in ivory carvings that are at least 100 years old. Furthermore, we are licensed to sell antique ivory in New York State. We believe that significant works of art made from, or in part, of ivory will become increasingly rare and more difficult to obtain. The art of carving ivory in Europe is a lost art, and most of the items on this website are unique.
We are aware that our first-time customers are concerned with buying antiques that are without question what we represent them to be. We only sell antique objects, and with a few exceptions, all our objects are over one hundred years old. Most of what we have in inventory is owned by us, but from time to time, we have objects on consignments.
We fully guarantee all of the items we sell (including consignment items) regarding their age and originality. If an item can be proven not to be authentic and/or not what we have represented it to be, the customer will receive a full refund once the object is returned. While we have never had any authenticity claim since we have been in business, we want our customers to have peace of mind that this should never be an area of concern.
It is a known fact in the world of antiques that the condition of an object can greatly affect its value and desirability. It is also a truism that very few objects of art, whether it be a sculpture, clock, or piece of furniture, have survived until today without any alteration of any kind. To the novice collector, it may be a difficult lesson to learn, but one should not venture into the world of antique collecting unless he or she is ever mindful that objects have been handled by many hands throughout their lifetime and will show signs of wear and tear. Unless an object has been drastically altered and rebuilt, the beauty of an object of art is partly the wonderful patina it develops over time and should be appreciated even though it may have a chip or crack or the gilding on a piece of silver or porcelain may be slightly worn or scratched.
We fully disclose to our customers the true state of all our objects, and to the best of our ability, inform them of any repairs or replacements to parts that we are aware of.
Appraisal & Shipping
A formal appraisal is provided to our customers for each object purchased from us.
We also provide, for an additional fee, appraisals and/or valuations for anyone with objects in their own private collections, who from time to time find it necessary for insurance purposes, as long as it falls within our area of expertise. All we need are photographs of the items, along with measurements, any signatures found, and comments regarding the condition of the item. Please contact us for further details and for fee information.
There is no charge for packing any items we sell.
The EUROPEAN DECORATIVE ARTS COMPANY specializes in the finest European ivory carvings as well as objects of vertu (enamels and hardstone carvings) and decorative Fine & Rare Timepieces. Scott Defrin, the owner since 1992, received a Master of Arts degree in the History of Decorative Arts from the Cooper-Hewitt Museum (New School). He worked at Sotheby's as a specialist in the 19th-century works of art department and spent three years in the porcelain department as a cataloguer. He also attended both Sotheby's and Christie's London works of art study courses.
The Company sells rare objects to collectors and museums worldwide and even to other members of the trade. Among their noteworthy clients are the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Dr. David Khalili of the Nour Foundation, the History Museum of Mexico, and Saint Joseph's University.
Since 2002, we have been a member of the Art and Antique Dealers League of America, which prides itself on only accepting members who are established and whose art objects are of the highest quality. And since 2011, Scott has served on their executive board.
Special note regarding clock movements: All of our clocks are sold functioning at the time of purchase. We do offer the repair and restoration of clock movements and their cases.