• is the trade body for the British antiquities trade.

• vets all members, who include dealers and auction house specialists, for suitability.

• sets out standards of ethics and behaviour by which it insists all members abide.

• acts as a mediating service between members and their clients in the event of complaints or disputes.

• works with academia, law enforcement bodies and government agencies to support rigorous policing of the international movement of antiquities.

• supports museums, archaeologists and public institutions in researching, maintaining and developing their collections.

• actively encourages the conservation and preservation of ancient sites.

• embraces, encourages and supports scholarship. Members are highly qualified in the world of academia themselves.

• promotes fair, honest and legitimate trade.

• believes that a fair, honest and legitimate trade is the best way to foster continuing interest and scholarship in antiquities, as well as to keep institutional collections alive and relevant.

• advocates the legal market for the controlled sale of ancient art and archaeological materials as an effective means of preventing looting.

• believes that collectors also play their role in maintaining support for developing scholarship and understanding, as well as preventing public collections from falling into irrelevance and disuse through lack of funding or diminishing interest.


our History

The Antiquities Dealers’ Association was founded in May 1982. It is an association with expertise in Antiquities of the Ancient World, from Egypt, Europe, the Near East and the Classical World and represents professional dealers (and auction specialists) of antiquities in the UK.

Our founder George Lambor, who sadly passed away in 1997, was a pioneer in many ways. He decided to set up the ADA after becoming concerned about the number of unjustified accusations of illicit dealing aimed at the trade. A robust code of conduct was the centrepiece of his plans – a code recently updated to address 21st century issues – and George acted as secretary for six years and then as a committee member.

The idea of setting up a register of antiquities is nothing new. George proposed just such a scheme in the early days of the association. His aims are the same as those mooted now: to support genuine provenance and research while deterring criminality.

He was also farsighted in his desire to end infighting and bring together the trade, academics, curators and archaeologists for the common good. He made significant strides in the interests of study and access to collections with the formation of the Antiquities Liaison Group in the early 1990s, but eventually it foundered. Today, we are actively seeking to revive the initiative of bringing all sides of the debate together.

This website acts as a point of contact for the British antiquities trade, as well as serving as a source of information and mediation for the wider public. 

ADA chairman Joanna van der Lande sets out the history and future of the Antiquities trade in this three-part article from 2021, written on commission for UNIDROIT
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

The full text of the UNIDROIT article, which first appeared in Cultural Property News, is available here.

You can contact the ADA Secretary, Madeleine Perridge, at

The Antiquities Dealers’ Association (ADA) was founded in 1982 as an unincorporated association.  It is now incorporated in England [and Wales] as a company limited by guarantee with registered number 14117486.  The business of the ADA was transferred to the company with effect from 27 May 2022 and, from that date, each existing member of the unincorporated association was enrolled as a member of the company.  Its registered office is at Rutland House, 90/92 Baxter Avenue, Southend on Sea, Essex SS2 6HZ.  References throughout this website to the ADA or the Association are references to the unincorporated association up to 27 May 2022 and to the company as from that date.