LAPADA is so much more than an online antique store. It is the Association of Art and Antiques Dealers and has been a mark of quality in the world of antiquing since 1974. A golden chandelier symbol displayed in a window or at a fair signifies membership of this association and with more than 500 members it is the largest association of professional art and antique dealers in the United Kingdom. Members cover virtually every discipline from antiquities to contemporary fine art.
With such a wide range of items displayed for sale on LAPADA’s online marketplace, it can be hard to know where to start! One can head straight to ‘items for sale’ and be faced with a list of every item currently in LAPADA’s inventory, which is upwards of 30,000 antiques. The general categories listed on LAPADA’s online store are furniture, fine art, jewelry, silver, ceramics, glass, clocks, and more. Under each of these categories are many more sub-categories, so it is easy to narrow down your search when hunting for something particular.
Shoppers can be absolutely assured of authenticity and quality when shopping on LAPADA’s online marketplace. When you buy from a LAPADA member you will be given a written invoice stating their trading name, address and telephone number, date of sale, a brief description of the item(s) – including the approximate date of any major restoration or alteration to the item since original manufacture – and the price paid. All members have agreed to abide by a strict Code of Practice and in the unlikely event of a dispute, the Association offers a free Conciliation Service.
Membership to LAPADA, and therefore the ability to list items for sale on this prestigious online store, does not come easy. Dealers must have a minimum of three years’ professional experience, and have two referees, one of whom must already be a LAPADA member. A yearly fee is paid for membership, which does come with a number of perks such as legal assistance, discounted insurance, access to seminars, and more. An initial registration fee of £200 is also payable.
LAPADA has been acclaimed by the Financial Times as “a trusted website that promises accuracy and authenticity alongside rich historical information.” There is no doubt that this is the place to look for antiques of the highest quality. Collectors can easily navigate the site to hone in on specific kinds of items and are put in direct contact with the dealers themselves to purchase. With so much historical information given, it is also a great educational resource for antiques.