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Inherited Fur Coat


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I have inherited a Leopard fur coat from my Grandmother, made in the 50's, although no docs of sale to prove this. I do not wish to keep this coat and would like to sell it, although the furriers I have approached in Scotland say there is no market for the likes of this coat. Surely someone will buy a leopard coat and where can I find them or a furrier that will take it in the UK? Any help or advise would be most appreciated, thanks.

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If you do, indeed, have a leopard fur coat, you have something very special!

 

The reason why the furriers you spoke to gave you the "cool" treatment is because leopard is an endangered species which makes it subject to the C.I.T.E.S. treaty. (Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species.)

 

CITES is kind of complicated to explain but, the simple explanation is that it is illegal to kill or take an endangered species from the wild except under specific conditions. Products from those endangered species (e.g. fur coats) are also illegal unless they were obtained/made before a certain "grandfather" date.

 

If you have a "grandfathered" endangered species product, you may keep it but you may not sell it except under certain conditions and you must have proof that the item is grandfathered.

 

Now, can you see why a furrier would give you the "cool" treatment and say that there is no market for leopard fur coats? The market is largely illegal and a furrier would have to do a lot of paperwork to stay above the law.

 

My suggestion is to keep the coat and enjoy it. The leopard has been dead for decades. You might as well honor the spirit of the animal that gave you such a beautiful coat by wearing it. (When appropriate.) Would it not be an insult to the animal to keep such a rare and beautiful thing locked up where nobody will see it and it will only collect dust? Your grandmother has given (bequeathed) you something very special and very expensive, even in the days before the CITES treaty. You should make the most of what you have.

 

However, if you just can't see your way through to keeping it and wearing it, you might look into donating it to a museum or a historical society. If I remember CITES correctly, those are probably some of the few places where you can take an endangered species product without running afoul of the law.

 

Regardless of whether you keep it, sell it (legally) or donate it, I also suggest you have a competent furrier appraise, clean and, if necessary, repair the coat. After sixty years of being in storage, it likely needs some TLC. Most people don't realize that furs need regular maintenance and care.

 

Good luck with your wonderful coat!

 

Any chance of sending us a picture?

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