AN animal lover has locked horns with a Knutsford auction house over the sale of some controversial items.

Nicky Brooks, an animal rescue volunteer from Davenham, criticised Frank Marshall for auctioning off a range of vintage fur coats, antique ivory artefacts and turtle shells at a sale last week.

Before the auction took place, Nicky visited Frank Marshall to confront Peter Ashburner, the partner in charge of the showroom, and protest against the sale of the items.

However, Peter said the company were within their legal right to sell the lots and the sale of such items is commonplace in showrooms and antique businesses across the country.

Nicky said: “Just because everybody else is selling ivory and fur doesn’t mean they have to. It doesn’t matter how long ago it happened, the animals still suffered.

“They still died in agony, whether it was 100 years ago or today, and whilst people are prepared to still sell these things, they are perpetuating the market in this awful trade – a trade that belongs in the dark ages.”

Some of the items up for auction included ivory busts and figures, horn beakers, moose hooves, an ivory chess set, a tortoiseshell page turner and rhino horn walking canes.

Peter pointed out that all ivory items on sale adhered to UK and EU laws and were CITES certified.

The trade in Ivory is banned outright with exception to antique specimens.
For an Ivory to be classified as an antique specimen it must be pre-1947 and be in its original worked form.

“We wouldn’t be allowed to sell anything more modern. We are just doing what the law allows you to do and what auctions and businesses are doing all over the country, Europe and the world,” Peter added.

“There were things that were done that we don’t like but the objects are very fine quality objects. All the things that happened are pre-1947 and nobody can bring the animals back again.

“I am totally opposed to that happening now but why shouldn’t people have the benefit of fine quality items that were made 100 years ago.”

Around 30 vintage fur coats and wraps were also up for auction, including a 1930s leopard coat and 1940s dwarf leopard coat.

Samantha Knuckey, Frank Marshall’s vintage fashions and textiles specialist, said that every care is taken to ensure the fur are genuinely ‘vintage’ and that they would only accept fur that pre-dates the 1980s.

Fur coats are legal to sell in the UK but coats made from endangered species must predate 1947. Samantha said both leopard coats were properly certified before going on sale.