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Digital Subscriptions > Antiques Trade Gazette > 2291 > United we stand or going it alone: whither the trade after Brexit?

United we stand or going it alone: whither the trade after Brexit?

Dealers tell ATG what it will take for the trade to handle market challenges and seize the digital initiative

The state of the trade

The debaters: Back l-r: Roland Arkell (ATG), Helen Linfield, Patrick Sandberg, Claudia Hill, Noelle McElhatton (ATG editor and round table host). Front row l-r: Robert Young, Alastair Dickenson, Frances Allitt (ATG), Julia Boston, Ian Butchoff.

It could be argued that when dealers of a certain generation gather, they are wont to complain about their lot. A favourite theme is nostalgia about ‘the good old days’ of the 1970s and ’80s when business boomed, before i-thingies and the internet wrought seismic changes in consumer behaviour and swung the power pendulum away from seller to buyer.

Another tendency has been to view the trade associations in a tribal fashion: the ‘establishment,’ venerable, 100-year-old British Antique Dealers’ Association (BADA), contrasting with the nimbler LAPADA (the Association of Art & Antique Dealers), a relative youngster at 42.

Recently, though, a new sense of practicality and urgency for change seems to permeate the trade, forged perhaps by a non-stop emisson of new regulations from Westminster and Brussels, together with the challenge posed by Brexit. Subjects that were once taboo, such as BADA working more closely with LAPADA, perhaps even (whisper it) merging to become one body, are now openly discussed.

How far this mood of pragmatism extends was tested when ATG hosted its first dealer-only round table in April, with participants grilled on the state of the market and their willingness to build common ground.

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About Antiques Trade Gazette

Antiques Trade Gazette is the essential publication for everyone with a serious interest in art, antiques and collectables. Every week it is packed with up-to-the-minute news on the market, with individual items beautifully illustrated throughout. Since 1971 it has been the most reliable source of information on what is really happening at auctions in the UK and around the world. Each issue is filled with auction advertisements and detailed auction reports written by expert journalists. The Dealer’s Diary section keeps readers constantly updated on what is happening at the fairs and markets and in the galleries and shops. Market professionals and serious collectors throughout the world rely on ATG to keep them informed on developments and issues which shape the art market. It is here that they learn about the prices achieved at auction in every area - from antiquities to pop memorabilia, from impressionist paintings to Chinese art. With 500 or more art objects pictured, every issue is a treat to the eye and a visual education. Whatever the topic Antiques Trade Gazette is well-informed, up-to-date and entertaining.

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