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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Revised anti-money laundering rules: five tips for auctioneers at the NAVA Forum

15 October 2019

A change to EU law, requiring auction houses, dealers and agents in art and antiques to carry out checks on transactions and customers, will come into force in January 2020 – regardless of Brexit.

ATG letter: When is a sale not a sale?

14 October 2019

MADAM – It’s good to see the Irish applying ARR as it was intended ie the seller pays and no charge on estate sales (ATG No 2409).

Lavery painting

Missing painting by John Lavery discovered by Dublin auctioneer Whyte's

04 October 2019

A painting by Sir John Lavery (1856-1941) consigned to Irish auctioneer Whyte’s by a man in Lancashire, has been identified as having been stolen 25 years ago from a British public school.

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Bristol University to buy judge's copy of 'Lady Chatterley’s Lover' from famous obscenity trial

02 October 2019

Fundraising led by writers’ association English PEN has helped save for the nation the judge’s annotated copy of 'Lady Chatterley’s Lover'.

A lawyer writes: Sort out the paperwork to avoid years of stress

30 September 2019

Property case also has lesson for the art trade when it comes to handshake deals

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South London pair jailed after selling £145,000 worth of antique ivory to overseas buyers on eBay

27 September 2019

Two men from south London have been sentenced for selling antique ivory fans on eBay to buyers in China and the US. The items were illegally exported without the required export permits.

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Reward offered for return of antiques stolen from Sudeley Castle

26 September 2019

The antiques trade has been asked to help spot antiques from Sudeley Castle in the Cotswolds near Winchcombe, Gloucestershire, which were stolen earlier this month.

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New guidance for jewellery dealers after hallmark launched for jewellery stamped outside UK by Birmingham Assay Office

26 September 2019

The British Hallmarking Council has issued new guidance for jewellery dealers on articles hallmarked outside the UK by the Birmingham Assay Office.

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Call for antiques trade to help find stolen south London cattle troughs

25 September 2019

A south London community is calling for the antiques trade to look out for a stolen cattle trough.

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Government increases number of ports for CITES-listed natural history specimens ahead of no-deal Brexit

19 September 2019

Defra has added Dover and the Eurotunnel to the list of ports that will accept the import and export of CITES-listed natural history specimens.

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Irish dealers pitch environmental credentials to win VAT-free status ahead of Brexit

17 September 2019

The Irish Antique Dealers Association has written to Ireland’s finance minister to press for VAT-free status as a green retail business, to relieve them of the 13.5% value-added tax they currently pay.

ATG letter: When I add value, it costs me more

16 September 2019

MADAM – Last year I bought a basket-case of a canvas from an artist’s estate for £400. I then spent many hundreds of pounds on a new support, re-stretching, cleaning and re-framing and eventually sold it for a profit.

Artist's Resale Right: It’s so much simpler in Ireland

16 September 2019

Further to our article in this section in last week’s issue about who pays Artist’s Resale Right and how it applies to sales in the UK where the seller is an artist’s estate, ATG contacted Ireland’s collecting body The Irish Visual Artists Rights Organisation (IVARO) to clarify how this is dealt with in the Republic.

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My shoe is back – thanks ATG

16 September 2019

John Biggs Snr is celebrating the return of his stolen snuff shoe. The proprietor of dealer J Collins & Son in Bideford, Devon, was reunited with the French ebonised item by the police.

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Ivory nutcrackers could become a museum piece

16 September 2019

Entered by a vendor who hated them, a pair of 6in (15.5cm) long 19th century nutcrackers reflected in their way two different aspects of auctioneering today: how smaller country firms see their future and what will happen to antique ivory items when most of the trade in them is banned.

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Interview: The lawyer and coin collector in the eye of a storm over trading tariffs

16 September 2019

Peter Tompa, cultural property lawyer and coin collector, on the US rules around three key collecting areas

Joshua Reynolds portrait

‘Stolen’ Joshua Reynolds portrait at centre of controversy between UK family and Japanese museum

12 September 2019

A Japanese museum has claimed it bought a painting by Sir Joshua Reynolds “in good faith and without fault from a respectable art dealer” after it was identified as being stolen from a UK stately home.

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Plea to antiques trade to help find stolen paperweight collection

11 September 2019

The owner of a collection of paperweights is calling on the antiques trade to look out for items that have been stolen from a car in south London.

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Social media storm stops Maori cloak auction

09 September 2019

Sussex auction house Burstow & Hewett has withdrawn a rare Maori cloak after its imminent sale was met by online threats and abuse.

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How resale right can apply to fresh-to-market lots from an artist's estate

09 September 2019

Following our guide to Artist’s Resale Right (ATG No 2404) and now published in the Guides section of this website, we have a received a number of enquiries from readers asking for further information.

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