Our campaign to get the government to support the fine art and antiques industry is gathering momentum. We have already receive considerable backing from press such as The Times, Antiques Trade Gazette, Country Life magazine and Retail Jeweller but we need to keep the support flooding in so that our petition can make a real difference to our industry. As the government’s latest budget report focused on incentives for those businesses that were ‘green’, they should also be focusing on the oldest method of recycling and one of the most environmentally friendly industries in the world.
Once we have over 5,000 names on our list, we will be taking the petition and your views to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Rt Hon Alistair Darling MP to gain his response. We’ve already garnered a plethora of support not only from the UK but also from antiques dealers and lovers around the world.
Here are some of the views from our supporters:
"Because it is so fragmented, with very few large businesses outside the few major salerooms to twist their arm, the government has done little or nothing to help the art and antiques trade although it is a major foreign income earner and provides many thousands of directly and indirectly related jobs including packaging and shipping, restoration etc. For most small businesses, import VAT, bureaucracy, rises in business rates, employment legislation (a lot of which comes from the EU) are hitting them hard when they are already struggling."
Ian Harris, N. Bloom & Son
"A great initiative....business rates are the killer for small businesses....I can't believe this new system of valuation on the rentable value was ever allowed. I know of a shop in Westbourne Grove paying £60,000.00 pa rates...it is not unusually large. No wonder the trade is in crisis."
Patrick Sandberg, Patrick Sandberg Antiques
"My gallery is situated in sunny Tel-Aviv, Israel. I used to bring large groups of antique and art collectors, including many foreign dealers, into the UK four to five times each year to buy their art and antiques for their galleries overseas. But in the last five years, it became so difficult we just stopped coming. Many of the dealers we used to work with closed their business and the ones who stayed became so expensive. It is just not worth coming to England to buy anymore. The antique trade in the UK brings so much money into the country and so many tourists. I think you had better take care of it before it will be too late."
Yariv Egozi, Egozi Gallery, Israel
If you provide a conservation/restoration service for antiques then we'd like to hear from you. We get inundated with requests from buyers about where to find the best conservators so we decided to start a directory of our own. If you can mend Victorian saddles, bring paintings back to life or provide any type of conservation service and would like to be listed please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Celebrate The Queen and Commonwealth on the Royal Tour
This year marks the 60th anniversary of the formation of the modern Commonwealth and in celebration of this event, a special exhibition will be unveiled at this year’s Summer Opening of Buckingham Palace. It will evoke some of the most important Commonwealth tours undertaken by HM The Queen during her reign. Accompanied by The Duke of Edinburgh, The Queen has made over 170 official visits to Commonwealth countries, constituting a third of all her travels abroad.
Queen & Commonwealth: The Royal Tour will bring together twenty-seven dresses worn by Her Majesty on Commonwealth tours over the past six decades, including evening gowns and daywear by the royal couturiers Norman Hartnell, Hardy Amies and Ian Thomas. The exhibition will include over a hundred gifts presented to The Queen by the people of the Commonwealth, to mark the important principle of friendship that underlies Her Majesty’s visits. These will be set against a backdrop of archive material, photographs and film footage.