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Perhaps the biggest change comes in the category of general antique dealers; last year it consisted of two awards, one for London and another for the rest of the UK. This year there are now four, as indicated by the list below. The same change has been introduced for auction houses, whose category has also lost the Specialist Auction House Department, won last year for ceramics at Woolley and Wallis.

Under the Specialist Dealers category, the organisers have opted for more traditional divisions than before. Gone as individual awards are musical instruments, Art Nouveau/Deco, sculpture, costumes and textiles and post-war design. New awards include ones for glass and jewellery.

Antiques Centre award

The Associated Awards category has been cut from seven to five prizes. Gone are Fair of the Year and Journalist of the Year, and two of the other awards in the category have changed slightly. BBC Homes & Antiques magazine, who sponsored last year’s award for the Most Friendly Antiques Shop, have changed to an award for the Best Shopping Street for 2003. Meanwhile, last year’s award for the Best Antiques Town, won by Saffron Walden in Essex, has been replaced with an award for the best Antiques Centre.

Entry forms will be sent out to over 7000 antiques dealers and auction houses throughout the UK. Entry is free and open to all members of the trade. Dealers and auction houses are encouraged to nominate themselves as well as colleagues.

Entry forms may be copied and displayed within antiques shops for customers and the general public to vote for their local dealer. The closing date for entries is February 28.

Eric Knowles continues as chairman of BACA, and will head up the judging committee who have been carefully selected to review and judge all the nominations received.

The committee includes Margie Cooper, Gordon Foster, Jonty Hearnden, Anthony Lester, Fiona MacSporran, Madeleine Marsh, David Moss, Adam Schoon and Chris Spencer. Judging will be finalised by mid-April and a shortlist released thereafter.

List of Awards for BACA 2003

Category 1:
General Antiques Dealers
1. UK: North of M62
2. M62 south, to M4/M25
3. Inside M25
4. South and South-west of England

Category 2:
Specialist Antiques Dealers
1. Furniture
2. Collectables - (Sponsored by eBay)
3. Silver & Plate
4. Prints
5. Watercolours
6. Ceramics
7. Glass
8. Jewellery

Category 3:
Auction Houses
1. UK: North of M62
2. M62 south, to M4/M25
3. Inside M25
4. South and South-west of England

Category 4:
Associated Awards
1. Antiques Trade Gazette Award for Best In-House Exhibition
2. AON Award for Auctioneer of the Year
3. Award for Antiques on the Internet
4. BBC Homes & Antiques
magazine Award for Best Antiques Shopping Street
5. Award for Antiques Centre