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Nilson named Brexit “the new reality” and urged readers to take responsibility for the economic climate by spending on themselves, each other and those in need.

“By being proactive we may well kickstart an upturn in the economy, and we can and should take responsibility for how we deal with the changes now underway,” the letter says.

She later told ATG: “I have been concerned with the lack of confidence so evident over the past few years, so in the absence of a voice from the top, I simply decided to sit down and write to the FT.

She started noticing a tendency for caution at ADFL events and other fairs.

“The right visitors are turning up but some are reluctant to commit because it somehow doesn’t feel right to spend money on items they can easily afford,” she said. “If we can change this attitude, things will improve and even antique dealers can get spending again.”

The next ADFL fair is The Esher Hall Antiques & Fine Art Fair on October 7-9.