Today’s Antique Market -The British Antique Dealers Association

Today’s Antique Market -The British Antique Dealers Association

Top Antiques Dealers

In our special series on the world of antiques and the antique market Nicholas Wells Antiques is delighted to present specialist blogs on leading fairs, dealers, and the preeminent organizations and associations, such BADA (British Antique Dealers’ Association).

Founded in 1918, BADA British Antique Dealers Association is considered one of the top antique dealer associations and includes approximately 350 international dealers, galleries, and antique shops. In this blog, we will showcase some of our favourite dealers specialising in various fields of collecting from fine art, arms and armourantique furniture and of course the most unusual works of art.

BADA – A Rigorous Set of Standards

BADA has a rigorous vetting process. Every BADA antiques dealer offers an extraordinary inventory that expresses outstanding craftsmanship and beauty. These dealers are considered to be leading experts in their fields and place works in important museums worldwide. In an ever-broadening antiques market, BADA holds a high standard of professional integrity.

 Leading BADA Antiques Dealers

There are number of fascinating dealers with exceptional expertise and inventories and we are pleased to highlight some of our most admired antiques specialists …From artist led galleries to the most established antique dealers in the world, BADA antique dealers are a fascinating group….

  1. Armour and Military Expertise

From armour, swords, guns and other military campaign items, this area of collecting demands a high level of expertise and a network of stellar sources as such items are highly rare.


Military History – The Armoury

Based in St. James, the Armoury specialises in royal, naval, military and political history and offers a significant inventory from the Napoleonic wars to the mid twentieth century including ceremonial and royal presentation items and objects featuring historic figures such as Churchill, Nelson and Wellington as well as fine art, military brooches, porcelain, and bronzes. The gallery is frequently called upon by auction houses and other organizations for their expertise in this special area of antiques.


Peter Finer Ltd

For over 40 years, Peter Finer has led the field of antique arms and armour offering the most outstanding items such as beautifully crafted weapons: swords, daggers, long guns and pistols as well armour, shields and helmets. Such items are extremely rare, and highly desired. Finer has placed items in top museums and institutions such as The Victoria & Albert Museum, The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, The Philadelphia Museum of Art, The National Army Museum, as well as the Naval Museum, UK.



  1. Unusual Inventories

From Asian fine art from the 17th century to modernist practice from all over the world, these BADA antique dealers offer an astonishing and carefully sourced wealth of items.


Leading with An Artist’s Eye -3Details Ltd

Founded by Peter Woodward 3Details Ltd specialises in contemporary 20th-century design, antiques, and fine art, and brings a unique combination of artist training with over twenty years of business experience. In addition to his own atelier practice, Peter participates in the Decorative Arts Fair, BADA Fair as well as the LAPDA Fair. Based near Henley on Thames in Oxfordshire.


Spencer Swaffer Antiques

Renown for a glamourous sensibility, this antiques dealer has been in business since 1973 and has earned a reputation for a highly coveted and extraordinary inventory of English and European Antiques. The dealer purchases every item himself and is widely respected as a source for the most remarkable items on the market and is often referred to as a dealer’s dealer -such is Swaffer’s instinct for the most unusual of items.  

Asian Art -George Baker Asian Art

Located in Kensington, Baker offers one of the most comprehensive stocks of antique Japanese paper screens from the 17th, 18th and 19th century Edo period pieces, and Meiji works as well. In addition to these beautiful screens, the gallery also specialises in Buddhist art, metalwork, sculpture, lacquerware, cloisonné, scrolls, scholar’s objects. Baker also has a selection of items from China and Korea, and post war Japanese fine art. A resource for museums and institutions worldwide as well as private collectors, the gallery is world renown for the outstanding aesthetic of their inventory.



  1. Outstanding Antique Furniture and Decorative Objects

For those interested in antique English furniture and continental items, these dealers lead the way in classic furniturelightingmirrors, and decorative items.


Classic Antiques -Adrian Allan Gallery

Recognised as one of the world’s leading antiques dealers Adrian Allan’s family run business was established in 1964 and is located today in Mayfair London. Known for expert sourcing of furniture and other items for both private collectors and key museums, the gallery has one of the largest inventories in the business. Notable antique furniture, decorative objects, and fine art such as mirrors, chandeliers, porcelain, and statuary are among the many outstanding items the gallery offers.

British Art and Antiques -Godson & Coles

Based in London and with over 30 years of expertise, Godson & Coles specialises in 17th-early 19th century English furniture as well as mid 20th-century British art with an emphasis on the St. Ives movement. The dealer’s inventory is distinguished by outstanding design, high craftmanship and unaltered colours and patination. Today the business is run by Richard Coles who serves on the Council of the British Antique Dealers’ Association and is a former chairman for the BADA Fair. Coles has also served on important vetting committees for Masterpiece, the BADA Fair, as well as Grosvenor House and serves as a BADA assessor for antique furniture restoration course, West Dean.  

Five Generations of Furniture Expertise- James Brett

Established in 1860 and spanning five generations the James Brett family endeavour began with the 19th century John Brett, followed by the founding of the furniture making company by the chairmaker’s sons. In the 20th century the business extended to antiques and today the antiques dealer is based in a private Georgian residence in Norwich. Known for his eclectic and discerning taste, Brett offers antique English and Continental furnishings, sculpture, metalwork and more.

Exceptional 18th-19th Century Furniture – Thomas Coulborn & Sons

Jonathan Coulborn leads this antiques business specialising in 18th-19th century English and Continental furniture, gilt mirrors and fine art. Established in 1930 by Thomas and Mary Coulbourne, the gallery is recognised as an important resource for historic items. As a leading expert in the field, Coulborn has lectured worldwide and placed important works at international museums. The gallery has participated in key antique fairs including Masterpiece, BADA and Grosvenor House Antiques Fair (Gold Medal for Object of the Year, 2009).  

Expanding Your Antiques Collection?

For those interested in any of these stellar areas of collecting, Nicholas Wells Antiques Ltd also offers a fine inventory of antique furniture, decorative objectsfine arts and military and historic items for the discerning collector or institution.