Law, crime and regulation

Legal cases, stolen art, regulation and tax issues remain important part of the art and antiques sector.

This category ranges from the levy of the Artist’s Resale Right to controversies over fakes and forgeries.


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STOP PRESS: Dealers and collectors win High Court permission for judicial review of ivory ban law

15 July 2019

A High Court judge has given the go-ahead for a full hearing on the legality of the controversial Ivory Act, due to usher in a near-total ban on the UK trade in antique ivory when it comes into force later this year.

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Egypt threat of legal action adds to ‘politicisation’ of antiquities

15 July 2019

The Antiquities Dealers’ Association (ADA) has said dealers and auctioneers should stand up to “the politicisation of the antiquities trade” in the wake of a row surrounding the sale of a £4m sculpture.

Tutankhamun head at Christie's

Christie’s counters Egypt’s threat to sue over £4m sale of Tutankhamun head

09 July 2019

Christie’s has reiterated that it “carried out extensive due diligence” into a head of Tutankhamun after the Egyptian National Committee for Antiquities Repatriation (NCAR) said that it will instruct a UK law firm to file a lawsuit over its £4m sale.

A lawyer writes: The concept of ‘relative title’

08 July 2019

Case from way back in 1722 underlines this sometimes baffling aspect of English law.

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Appeal for help to trace stolen snuff shoe from antiques fair

04 July 2019

A snuff shoe belonging to dealer J Collins & Son was stolen at the IACF Ardingly fair in West Sussex from a stand in the Norfolk Pavilion.

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Antiques dealer appeals for help from trade to locate stolen Japanese bronze from Portobello Road

03 July 2019

Antiques belonging to dealer John Langin of RA Barnes Antiques were stolen on two occasions from outside his stall at Portobello Road market last month.

Men charged over 2017 Feltham book theft

01 July 2019

Two men will appear in court in connection with the 2017 theft of rare books from a west London warehouse.

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Ministers block export of 18th century watercolour by “genius” landscape artist

29 June 2019

An 18th century watercolour by the artist who John Constable described as a genius has been barred from export in the hope a UK buyer can be found.

President Donald Trump

Trump's proposed US tax on Chinese art imports ‘would harm local trade and benefit China’, trade officials told

28 June 2019

A renewed threat to tax Chinese art imports into the US, including those from the UK, would harm the local antiques trade and instead benefit China, US trade officials have heard.

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International organised crime group arrested in €2m rare books heist

27 June 2019

Members of a crime gang believed to be behind the 2017 theft of 260 rare books in west London have been arrested in a joint operation with authorities across Romania, the UK and Italy.

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Appeal to trade to help find bronze statue stolen from Bedfordshire church

26 June 2019

A bronze statue of St Michael the Archangel that had previously been taken 19 years ago has been stolen again from its place at the top of a war memorial in the churchyard of St John the Baptist Church in Eversholt, Bedfordshire.

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Stanley Gibbons Group says Mallett claim now resolved

24 June 2019

Stamp and coin dealership Stanley Gibbons Group is due to receive £850,000 to resolve “all outstanding claims involving certain former directors of Mallett”, it announced on June 14.

Crab

Record-breaking Martin Brothers grinning crab barred from export

18 June 2019

A ‘colossal and extraordinary grotesque grinning crab’ by the Martin Brothers that sold at auction last year has been temporarily barred from export from the UK.

Chippendale

Victoria and Albert Museum acquires Chippendale's Harewood House pier tables and mirrors for the nation

18 June 2019

A set of pier tables and mirrors from the Thomas Chippendale workshop has been accepted in lieu for the nation and allocated to the Victoria & Albert Museum.

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New association for catalogue raisonné creators ‘will help stem flow of art fakes onto the market’

12 June 2019

A new international body is being set up to promote and support the creation of catalogue raisonnés.

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Pick of the week: Restituted Swiss self-portrait lights up saleroom

10 June 2019

Berlin auction house Grisebach posted an auction record for the Swiss artist Karl Stauffer-Bern (1857-91) on May 29 when it sold a self-portrait which had been recently restituted to the family of its original Jewish owners.

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Bought for £5 in 1964: 'Lewis Chessmen' piece comes to auction with estimate of up to £1m at Sotheby’s

03 June 2019

Dating from the 12th and early 13th centuries, the Lewis Chessmen collection was rediscovered on Lewis in 1831 and is among the most famous archaeological finds.

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Stolen Asian art recovered but much still missing from museum's collection

03 June 2019

Police have recovered a haul of stolen Asian artworks and returned them to the Museum of East Asian Art in Bath.

Thérèse Coffey

Consultation on the trade in non-elephant ivory launched by government

30 May 2019

A consultation into the trade of non-elephant ivory has been launched to find out whether the government should take further action to restrict the trade in ivory.

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Antique weapons will be permitted in the post

27 May 2019

A significant amendment means that the new law governing the sale of bladed items will not impact buyers of antique weapons as once feared.

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