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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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

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‘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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Art Business Conference highlights: changing auction buyers and the challenges of European export regulations

05 September 2019

Held at Church House Conference Centre in Westminster, the 2019 Art Business Conference took place yesterday just a stones throw from parliament where politicians were discussing a bill ruling out a no-deal Brexit.

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US tariffs on Chinese art widened to include books and increased to 15%

02 September 2019

A tax on imports into the US of art, antiques and objects made in China took effect today.

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Bid to list the extinct mammoth as a protected species withdrawn from CITES summit

02 September 2019

A proposal to class the long-extinct woolly mammoth as ‘endangered’ in order to regulate trade in its ivory was withdrawn at the global CITES summit, pending further research.

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Rare late Anglo-Saxon and early Norman conquest coin hoard discovered in Somerset valued at £4m

29 August 2019

A Bath museum hopes to acquire a rare hoard of coins found in a Chew Valley field that could be valued at £4m.

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ATG letter: Your ARR review missed out exemption at auctions

26 August 2019

MADAM – What wasn’t mentioned in your review of Artist’s Resale Right (ARR) in ATG No 2404 is that the ‘first sale’ exemption also applies to auction houses, so any lots from a studio sale which make over €1000 are exempt from ARR.

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Mammoth ivory should be regulated, global CITES convention hears  

22 August 2019

The mammoth, a trunked animal species that last roamed the Earth 4000 years ago, may soon be classed as ‘threatened’ in order to regulate trade in the extinct mammal’s ivory.

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Fresh government warning ahead of Brexit for import and export of CITES-listed natural history specimens

22 August 2019

Defra has issued a fresh warning for the antiques trade on the import and export of CITES-listed natural history specimens ahead of Brexit.

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Plea to keep £9.5m Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood painting in the UK

19 August 2019

A Sir John Everett Millais (1829-96) picture valued at £9.5m will be exported overseas unless funding can be raised to keep it in the UK.

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Renewed threat of US tax on Chinese art

19 August 2019

A UK dealer is considering moving Chinese objects to the US earlier than planned in the hope of staying ahead of import tariff changes.

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US antiques dealer lawsuit against New York's ivory ban gets green light to proceed

15 August 2019

US antiques dealers have been granted permission by a court judge to go forward with a lawsuit challenging New York's complete ban on the trade of elephant ivory and rhinoceros horn, regardless of age, within state lines.

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