Detail of a regency gilt mantle clock

A BADA guide to help you in achieving the best possible deal when selling antiques, treasured family heirlooms and fine art.

Arrange valuations

When it comes to selling antiques, several opinions are always better than one.

The best way to start is to take your item, or a photograph of it, to your local dealer or to an auction house.

If you are advised that your item is rare or valuable, consult a specialist for expert advice.

BADA members specialise in every field of fine art and antiques so our online Dealer Search is a good starting point.

Request descriptions

Always ask for a detailed description with your valuation so that you can compare notes from different dealers.

This will help to protect you against any unscrupulous dealers who might otherwise offer you below market value.

Hidden costs of selling antiques

Whether you choose to sell to a dealer or to an auction house, remember they will need to make a profit too.

Selling antiques to a dealer means you usually get paid immediately and the dealer will factor a profit into their purchase price.

Alternatively, if you sell at auction, you will have to pay vendors’ commission and catalogue fees which will eat up a significant percentage of the hammer price.

Unsolicited enquiries

Never consider selling antiques to ‘dealers’ who call at your door on the off-chance that you have something to sell.

Reputable dealers never make unsolicited anquiries and it is most unlikely that you will receive a good deal.


For advice on buying antiques and fine art click here

For advice on choosing an antiques or fine art dealer click here

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

For advice on caring for antiques or fine art click here

For advice on insuring antiques and fine art click here