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Digital Subscriptions > Antiques Trade Gazette > 2353 > Ivory: trade plays a waiting game

Ivory: trade plays a waiting game

Sales show buoyant bidding in the short term but clouds are gathering as a ban approaches

“I would say in the short term it hasn’t put buyers off but I don’t have a crystal ball so I don’t know what the future will hold.”

Auctioneer Henry Meadows’ take on the forthcoming ivory ban will be shared by many a regional auctioneer in the wake of summer sales.

He was speaking after taking the Dominic Winter (20% buyer’s premium) sale in South Cerney, near Cirencester on July 19 where one of the better sellers was a 17th-18th century ivory Buddha.

Carved in the Shan States of Burma with the young Buddha seated on a pedestal decorated with three elephants, the 51/2in (14cm) figure had considerable age and a sound provenance. But would it be judged to be of ‘outstandingly high artistic, cultural or historical value’ – the subjective criterion to be applied under DEFRA’s proposals (ATG No 2337)? Unlikely, perhaps.

However, as things stand, it merited a £1500-2000 estimate and sold to a Chinese collector in the room at £5200.

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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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