A dealer shakes hand with a client

For complete peace of mind when buying fine art or antiques, it is essential to work with reputable antique dealers. With so many dealers in the market, how can you find the one that’s right for you?

Trade associations

Find a dealer who is a member of a respected trade body, such as BADA (The British Antique Dealers' Association). Our members are vetted for their knowledge, integrity and expertise and adhere to BADA’s strict code of conduct.

In the unlikely event of a dispute BADA also provides a free arbitration service so you can buy with total confidence from a BADA registered dealer.

Use specialists

Many BADA members are specialists in their chosen field, with years of expertise and a wide range of contacts within the trade. They will not only be able to offer advice on a new purchase but can also provide guidance on care and repair, shipping, security and insurance.


When purchasing, make sure that your invoice contains all the relevant information about your item, such as any restoration that may have been indicated by the dealer and the date and maker of the item.

This information will act as proof for insurance purposes, provide future provenance for your item and protect both you, and the dealer, from any misunderstandings which may occur later.

Avoiding confusion

If you have any questions during the sales process, don’t be afraid to ask. For example, if you have paid a deposit and your item is damaged in transit before you have paid in full, you may find yourself liable for repairs, so be sure to clarify all aspects of your transaction before completing.

Golden rule

Any dealer will tell you that you should always buy what you like. Antiques may not always increase in value, but if you buy items that you love, you will never be disappointed.

For advice on buying antiques and fine art click here

For advice on selling antiques and fine art click here

For advice on buying antiques or fine art for export click here

For advice on caring for antiques  and fine art click here

For advice on insuring antiques and fine art click here