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ATG’s first-ever edition. The row over the introduction of VAT had well and truly begun.

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With a cover date of September 18 1971, Antiques Trade Gazette was greeted with delight – and a smattering of concern.

At last, dealers could easily find in one place all the sales coming up; no longer would they have to trawl through local newspaper listings or use press cuttings services.

On the other hand, ATG also brought a new level of transparency to a previously opaque market. Why was all this information being made so widely available?

As our longest-standing subscribers explain on pages 20-28, it soon became clear that the advantages outweighed any lingering worries. ATG brought the trade together as a community like never before.

Half a century later, this edition – also with a cover date of September 18, following our time-honoured tradition of using the Saturday after an issue comes out as our front page date – celebrates 50 years of not just ATG but the antiques trade as a whole.

Thank you to all our readers and advertisers. Here’s to the next half century.

Anniversary section: The story so far... 50 years of headlines