The trade have strongly backed our comment last week calling into question the reliability of claims that 40% of antiques on the UK market are fakes or forgeries.

Writing on this week's Letters page, Mark Dodgson, Secretary General of the British Antique Dealers' Association, echoed many of the comments, stating:

"I feel bound to add to your own scepticism of the 40% fakes figure claimed by the television series, Treasure Detectives. Bearing in mind BADA members annually sell antiques and fine art worth £822 million, it is worth noting that in some years I receive no queries and in others a maximum of two or three queries about the validity of items sold by the membership. The average number of such complaints upheld amounts to fewer than one a year.

"I am fully aware that BADA members are not representational of the entire market, but I think anyone with the slightest knowledge of the subject would seriously question the validity of the 40% figure."

ATG have received no response from UKTV, makers of Treasure Detectives, or from its presenter, Curtis Dowling.