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Digital Subscriptions > Antiques Trade Gazette > 2322 > Key moments

Key moments

Punctuated by moments of real drama, the past 12 months have been as lively as any other in recent memory for the art and antiques trade. Here, ATG journalists analyse some of the high points and challenges
Photo from the office of Rachel Maclean MP
ATG’s story on public figures backing trade in antique ivory made media headlines

Ivory consultation launched

There are relatively few issues around which most dealers, collectors and auctioneers can find common ground. But ivory is one of them.

A blanket ban on the sale of antique ivory of the kind mooted in 2017 by celebrities, parliamentarians and conservationists alike would impact businesses large and small – from the humble stall at a showground fair to the carpeted, gilded halls of TEFAF.


The ivory debate had its near pantomime moments this year, underlining once more that CITES can create legal knots. In February, it required 10 officers to raid the premises of a clock dealer selling a Victorian barometer fashioned from an ‘unworked’ tusk.

Every newspaper was keen to carry the story of an ivory gong removed from display at Sandringham House in April, on the grounds that, as an entrance fee was charged, it was being used for commercial purposes.

“The year started hopefully for ivory with much positive energy at ATG’s Seminar on CITES event in Westminster

The year started hopefully for antique ivory, with much positive energy at ATG’s Seminar on CITES in January (below). In February, national media picked up the Gazette’s story on support from well-known faces for the continued trade in antique ivory.

However, since then it has proved more difficult for the trade to be heard on its core message – that antique ivory is no threat to current elephant populations.

In November, as the consultation got under way, a group of leading trade figures were invited to make their pitch to MPs – proposing for the first time (in public at least), the idea of an ivory licensing scheme.

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About Antiques Trade Gazette

Published every week since 1971, Antiques Trade Gazette is affectionately known as ‘the Bible of the antiques trade’. A long tradition of authority, integrity and accuracy, makes it the essential read for everyone who loves antiques. With a subscription to Antiques Trade Gazette, you’ll stay ahead of all the developments in the art and antiques market, plus you’ll enjoy • A comprehensive auction calendar – see when and where every sale will be happening • Exclusive interviews with dealers, giving you the inside track on the trade • Breaking news on key industry developments • Secrets, stories and tips from leading specialists and collectors • Top lots advertised by auctioneers • Previews of the best art and antiques fairs and markets • Special supplements focusing on specific collecting areas

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