|The Italian Antiquarians Association (Associazione Antiquari d'Italia) was established on 10 October 1959, in a gesture intended to support and share the spirit and ideals of the Florence International Antiques Fair. The Fair is the feather in the cap of the Association, and over the years it has endeavoured to consistently raise the level of quality, identifying with the aims and ambitions of its members and succeeding in consolidating its status as one of the most authoritative events on the international scene. The objective was, first and foremost, to offer prestigious antiquarians an institution and an event in which they felt they had a voice and which was able to listen, understand and represent them beyond a market experienced at the time as a blurred and confused muddle.
In this sense both the Association and the Fair (which is on record as being the first antique art fair in the world) immediately made their mark, established as a model of quality and morality not only on the Italian scene but also on the international stage, like all the events that were to follow.
Fairness and clear perspectives are therefore the hallmark of the attitude that the Association has always had towards its members, both in the case of disputes – in which it plays a role of conciliation and mediation between the adversary parties – and in terms of supporting and protecting its members in the case of clearly prejudicial actions or measures.
Transparency in the trade of works of art is indeed one of the fundamental benchmarks of the Association, together with the severe prosecution of any unfair dealing or underhand expedients, which it has always staunchly fought against, even through legal measures: a stalwart and resolute stand in defence of antique art and the enhancement of its heritage.
Today, the Association numbers 160 antiquarians, belongs to the International Confederation of Art and Antique Dealers' Associations (CINOA), is involved in the organisation of prestigious cultural events, sponsors lectures and conferences designed to foster and spread a knowledge of antiques and antique dealing. Finally, it also offers scholarships, awards and certificates aimed at stimulating the culture and knowledge of the heritage of antique art.