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Rook, Do & Swizzum

Rook, Do & Swizzum - Phoenix Productions

* ‘Whistleblower reveals £30 million antiques scam ‘- See Sunday Times News April 6, 2008

Hugh Scully then employed by the BBC as the presenter of the hugely successful programme on antiques”Going for a Song” starring Arthur Negus, did his best to persuade Angela Halsey (1913-2002) and her son John Halsey to write and co-present an expose of the antiques trade during the mid-1960′s. Based upon their own experiences, general knowledge of the business and leading personalities of world famous antique firms .

Whilst impractical at the time due to their position as prominent members of the British Antique Dealers Association and C.I.N.O.A, combined with professional courtesy towards their peers, it has only now become practical to write such a book. Containing a detailed insight into the fascinating workings of certain aspects of the antiques trade. Whilst illuminating many sharp practices concerning the manipulation of prices obtained for items sold under the hammer at auction. It also portrays the inner workings of the international auction houses, most of which still remain a mystery to the great majority of private buyers and collectors.

** NB. ‘Caveat Emptor’ -Let the buyer beware!The principle that the buyer must bear the risk for the quality of goods purchased.
This is an extra-ordinary illuminating article/expose linking Christopher Gibbs, John Hobbs and Dennis Buggins. However there is nothing new concerning the practices portrayed in this article whatsoever. As similar practices have existed over many years within the antique and fine art business, that have involved many luminaries.

Those involved have simply been fortunate in never having been unmasked in such a manner as this, with regard to important examples of fine antique furniture. When it comes to paintings, fraudulent practice has been rife for years, having of course been oft’ exposed. For legal reasons it has often been extremely difficult to expose such practices.
Sothebys and Christies both found themselves in very difficult position with the American authorities in recent years which has been well recorded and featured in a book. Therefore that scenario does not merit further comment here.

John Halsey/ Onetime youngest ever elected member of the British Antique Dealers’ Association in his own right and the principal of his own firm in London. Proposed for membership by two past presidents of the association one of whom was a founding member of the BADA. Henry Rubins and Samuel Wolsey, respectively. John Halsey was also the youngest ‘guest expert’ to appear with Arthur Negus on the very first BBC series onantiques ever titled: ‘Going for a song’. Arthur Negus described John Halsey ‘ A great pleasure to meet one so knowledgable and yet so young.’ 15th May 1969. The relavent BBC producer wrote of John at the same time ‘ Judi who invited him to do the ‘Going for a Song’ show and was so proud to have done so.’