BADA, the British Antique Dealers Association, is the highly respected trade organisation for antique dealers in the UK. If you see a BADA dealership in Preston or Cumbria, it means their antique desks and Victorian dining chairs can be bought in confidence, with no doubts of integrity on the part of the dealer, or the quality, authenticity and pricing of their furniture.
To support their members and the public, BADA has a useful website that contains advice and trade news. In July 2010, they published a report commissioned by the British Art Market Federation, which painted an interesting picture of the British antiques trade today. It is currently being updated, but so far the news is promising.
For example, Britain is the second largest antiques market in the world, with 29% of global art and antiques trade. Much of this is cross-border trade, with exports slightly higher than imports in value. The third largest global trader is China – the largest buyer of exports, next to the US.
By buying a set of modest Victorian dining chairs in a Preston antique shop, you’re aiding a small business economy worth £5.2 billion a year. There are around 10,000 dealers in the UK, mainly small businesses of fewer than 20 people. Around £7.7 billion in art and antique sales are generated in total, the rest being from auctions – again, mainly small businesses.
When you are shown a selection of antique desks by a Cumbrian dealer, you are helping to keep one of over 60,000 people in employment. Employment opportunities in the North East are lower than average; by buying Victorian dining chairs from a Preston dealership, rather than new from an online outlet, you are reversing this trend.
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