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Organisers Miller’s have ended months of speculation about the future of the awards, which are usually announced in early spring and culminate in a black tie ceremony and dinner at the Dorchester in London in June.

This year, however, after some initial organisational difficulties, the launch of the awards has been put back until now, with winners being announced on the BACA website in August.

Although there will be no awards ceremony this year, BACA say they plan to host an awards dinner outside London for 2005 and beyond. This will make it easier for more nominees from all over the country to attend, they say.

As usual, BACA chairman Eric Knowles has brought together a highly experienced team of judges from across the industry. The judges include dealers Margie Cooper, Gordon Foster, Fiona MacSporran, Diane Theophilus and Jonty Hearnden, auctioneer Adam Schoon, journalists and consultants Anthony J. Lester, Madeleine Marsh and Chris Spencer.

Nominations are being accepted on the BACA website at www.baca-awards.com. They must be submitted by May 7 in time for judging on May 10, when the shortlist will be drawn up.

The categories for BACA 2004 are as follows:

Category 1: General Antiques Dealer
• UK: North of the M62
• M62 south to M4/M25
• Inside M25 sponsored by Christie’s
• South and South West England

Category 2: Specialist Antiques Dealer
• Furniture
• Collectables
• Silver & Plate
• Art Nouveau & Art Deco
• Oil paintings
• Clocks, watches & scientific instruments
• Jewellery
• Ceramics

Category 3: Auction Houses
• UK: North of the M62
• M62 south to M4/M25
• Inside M25
• South and South West England

Category 4: Associated Awards
• In-house exhibition
• Auctioneer of the Year
• Miller’s Club Best Town/Village
• BBC Homes & Antiques Best Antiques Centre – voted for by readers of BBC Homes & Antiques
• Miller’s Lifetime Achievement