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Thirty four per cent of members responded to this year’s Association of Art & Antiques Dealers survey.

The majority of members, 68 per cent, deal from a shop or gallery, with another 11 per cent operating from an antiques centre at a time when the owners of two key London venues, Antiquarius and The Mall, want to cut back their antiques profile.

A total of 62 per cent of respondents exhibit at fairs where 39 per cent of sales are made compared with 54 per cent in shops or galleries, four per cent over the internet and only two per cent at auction.

The majority (54 per cent) of members’ clients are in the 40-50 age bracket and 40 per cent are furnishing a home, compared with 25 per cent who are collectors. The United States remains the most important overseas market for 74 per cent of respondents, followed by the European Union at 15 per cent.

Special questions in the 2007 survey included a poll on the Artist’s Resale Right (Droit de Suite) and CITES licences.

Although the number of LAPADA members who are affected by the Artist’s Resale Right is relatively low (8.5 per cent), the levy has had a significant impact on the way some galleries conduct their business. Previously an average of 28 per cent of stock was bought directly from artists. Since the introduction of the levy, that figure has dropped to only one per cent, with most preparing to sell on commission. A further 83 per cent report that the levy has deterred them from buying works liable for the Artist’s Resale Right elsewhere (e.g. at auction or from other dealers).

With DEFRA threatening to increase the cost of issuing CITES licences for export from £10 to £68, it was interesting to note that 39 per cent of LAPADA dealers sell items containing CITES specimens such as ivory, tortoiseshell, rosewood etc. Such a huge rise would be a very unwelcome additional financial burden.

Roland Arkell