As to whether auctioneers should be qualified or not (ATG No 2298), there should be a form of apprenticeship where the person progresses from valuer to fully fledged auctioneer.
How this apprenticeship would be administered should be left to the trade bodies to determine, but it will bring a standard to the auction trade.
Many of us have experienced poor and indifferent auctioneers with a small amount of bidders in the room, while the excellent auctioneers attract bidders into their auctions where standing room only is the order of the day.
Once qualified as a valuer, they can specialise should they so desire, but the majority of auction houses need general valuers as well as those with a speciality.
Secondly, those dealers who melt down items made from precious metals (ATG No 2300) are making a rod for their own backs and for future generations.
Once it is melted down, the dealer will have an immediate return on their outlay, but also make what items remain even more valuable when those articles are back in vogue. As we know, everything is cyclical, and when items such as silver teapots return to favour they will command high prices.
As most of us realise, we are simply guardians of the past for future generations, but there are scavengers who do not care about the future and only want to make a quick profit by any means they can.
These dealers do not have to buy the items offered to them, so why destroy them for future generations?