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Thread: Traveling across oceans with a Mahogany camera

  1. #11

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    Re: Traveling across oceans with a Mahogany camera

    keep in mind there are several species referred to as mahogany. if the species used in your holders or camera isn't restricted, use the species name in any paperwork that might require it rather than just calling it mahogany.

  2. #12

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    Re: Traveling across oceans with a Mahogany camera

    Quote Originally Posted by maltfalc View Post
    keep in mind there are several species referred to as mahogany. if the species used in your holders or camera isn't restricted, use the species name in any paperwork that might require it rather than just calling it mahogany.
    … so how does one tell if an old camera (or component) is “legal” mahogany or not?

    I’m thinking that when I unload my 2 old cameras and their plate holders I should just call them “antique brown wood cameras” to be safe.

  3. #13

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    Re: Traveling across oceans with a Mahogany camera

    Quote Originally Posted by BrianShaw View Post
    … so how does one tell if an old camera (or component) is “legal” mahogany or not?

    I’m thinking that when I unload my 2 old cameras and their plate holders I should just call them “antique brown wood cameras” to be safe.
    google and forums might help you track down which woods were used by a particular company, or you could compare the various types of wood visually to narrow it down.

  4. #14
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Traveling across oceans with a Mahogany camera

    If it's truly an antique, it couldn't have involved illegal wood usage, cause those laws weren't in effect yet. Same goes for the fur trade. Around here it's perfectly legal to buy or sell an antique fur coat, but not a new one. Of course, a gal might get stoned to death for wearing one, or a man shot by a rival pimp for wearing one, but that's another matter entirely.

    Otherwise, how do you tell? It can be pretty tricky at times. What are now endangered or totally gone Caribbean mahoganies were used quite commonly a century ago. Those are "true" mahoganies. Certain African look-alikes might also be restricted. But there are all kinds of wood species which can be made to closely resemble mahogany. It would take quite an expert to differentiate them. So maybe that's what they do - just get a visit from one of those guys time to time at customs if they suspect something illegal. I dunno. Antique cameras per se should simply be obvious, especially if there's a tarnished brass lens and highly discolored old varnish involved.

    A specialized antique dealer or wood furniture conservator would know distinctions more from just the craft customs and supply chain during certain decades in certain regions. In the case of cameras, there were real advantages to using only well cured Caribbean pattern grade mahogany - it was a lot more dimensionally stable, so that particular material would have been the choice of high end cameras, not necessarily cheaper ones.

    But if someone is recycling old mahogany church pews, for example, into camera components, then they'd want some kind of legal certificate or receipt stating that was their source of wood, which could be passed along to a camera buyer if there was ever a question. But if I traveled to England myself with my pattern-grade mahogany Ebony camera, what are the odds they'd bother me at all. Just to make it properly, the wood had to be cured for at least two decades in advance. A little bit of polite informed explanation would seem adequate. We never hear about anyone being hassled by customs due to bringing along a wooden view camera, do we? Has anyone here? I can't recall such a thing. It always seems to be at the point of shipment after purchase from England.

    If you did somehow get hassled by customs under the impression you're transferring goods for sake of sale, just tell em it's a personal user camera, and that's what you like to do. And have a sample photo in you carry-on bag.

  5. #15

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    Re: Traveling across oceans with a Mahogany camera

    If you never heared about anyone having troubles during a trip, I should be good.

    My camera is a Kodak Rochester Empire State and from what I have found online, it is made of mahogany on some parts and cherry wood on others so hopefully I will keep some pieces if I have troubles. lol

    Thank you for your help.

  6. #16

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    Re: Traveling across oceans with a Mahogany camera

    I guess the best thing is to read up and contact the agency in countries you pass through to find out what is permissible (or not)...

    But I have heard about rosewood as being on the radar in some countries, and there is a state agency that keeps a library of wood types to compare to seized items... Rosewood is often used in old musical instruments, and even just a small part can cause a hold with item...

    Seems unlikely, but with my luck, the customs officer would be John Cleese and he would exclaim "HELL-OOO"!!! :-0

    But seriously, guidelines should be published where you intend to travel...

    Steve K

    Maybe those who strip the lead battleship grey paint off of old B&J's or Anscos should have second thoughts???

  7. #17
    (Shrek)
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    Re: Traveling across oceans with a Mahogany camera

    Your items were not held by UK government, but rather by eBay's global shipping service. Just find a seller who will post them directly to you, you'll be fine.

  8. #18

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    Re: Traveling across oceans with a Mahogany camera

    Quote Originally Posted by Jody_S View Post
    Your items were not held by UK government, but rather by eBay's global shipping service. Just find a seller who will post them directly to you, you'll be fine.
    They were first on hold for being potentially restricted and the next day they became undeliverable so someone in the UK or in Canada must have told them it wasn't allowed to be sent abroad.
    Ebay's global shipping service gave me a full refund and I doubt they would be willing to spend money if they didn't have to.

  9. #19

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    Jan 2019
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    Re: Traveling across oceans with a Mahogany camera

    The restriction here is probably due to the international convention called CITES (Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species). The intent of the rules is to restrict trade in large amounts of wood that can be environmentally damaging - apparently an enormous amount of rosewood was being used in furniture, for example. Small amounts of wood in finished products wind up being dragged in. Customs officials aren't in the business of making up exceptions, so reasonable accommodations have to be written into the rules and that takes time. Here's a couple of links about the mahogany and rosewood rules from the perspective of musical instruments:
    https://www.taylorguitars.com/cites
    https://www.npr.org/2019/08/27/75450...ficked-rosewoo

    I suspect that calling something "mahogany" in an ebay item description will trigger a review, in a way that actually carrying a wood item across a border in your baggage would not.

  10. #20

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    Re: Traveling across oceans with a Mahogany camera

    Quote Originally Posted by reddesert View Post
    The restriction here is probably due to the international convention called CITES (Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species). The intent of the rules is to restrict trade in large amounts of wood that can be environmentally damaging - apparently an enormous amount of rosewood was being used in furniture, for example. Small amounts of wood in finished products wind up being dragged in. Customs officials aren't in the business of making up exceptions, so reasonable accommodations have to be written into the rules and that takes time. Here's a couple of links about the mahogany and rosewood rules from the perspective of musical instruments:
    https://www.taylorguitars.com/cites
    https://www.npr.org/2019/08/27/75450...ficked-rosewoo

    I suspect that calling something "mahogany" in an ebay item description will trigger a review, in a way that actually carrying a wood item across a border in your baggage would not.
    When we first became the Wista distributor in the USA they made their wooden cameras from cherry wood, rose wood or ebony.
    A few years ago they told us that they could no longer get rose wood so they were replacing them with quince wood.

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