TL Dallas tells its story to the PBFA

TL Dallas supplies specialist books and collectables insurance policies that are approved by the Provincial Booksellers Fairs Association (PBFA).

This month Molly Jones, from TL Dallas in London, provided a blog for the PBFA’s website and has also attended the York National Book Fair at York Racecourse. 

Molly said: “Having developed a suite of specialist policies for collectables, we feel privileged to have protected hundreds of book shop owners, book dealers, book binders and private collectors for over 30 years.

“Our book dealer policy was one of the only ones to pay out for business interruption due to Covid-19 during the three lockdown stages, so we know how valuable our advice and cover has proved for so many. At the present time, over £2.5 million has been paid out to our clients in relation to these claims. 

“We are also proud to support and join you at several of the book fairs taking place across the country this year. 

“When it comes to insuring valuable collectables, we understand no item or client is ever the same. A bespoke approach is always needed with someone knowledgeable and experienced on the end of the phone a must – not some centralised call centre or online only contact form! We also pride ourselves on offering a personal service with our in-house claims team. 

“As you would expect we insure against flood, fire, theft, damage and losses, but we also help our clients with other insurance policies, including household insurance and can make sure any specialist collectable items in the home are well protected. As part of the household policy we provide, book dealing or book binding activities at home are all covered without affecting the household policy, which is something that some insurers do not allow. 

“Dealers, collectors, binders and shop owners have faced so many challenges of late, due in part to the pandemic, but the determination and passion for what you do is clear for all to see. 

“We understand that when you need to get precious cargo from A to B quickly and insure the books you are taking to a book fair, sending to buyers or storing away, you want to call us, tell us how much they are worth and get an immediate quote – without time consuming valuations. We also still accept cheques as payment – something we know appeals to many of our clients! 

“We also provide insurance cover that protects you if you have unwittingly sold or bought a stolen item. The defective title cover came in handy for two of our clients recently, one who had bought a book and another who sold it not knowing it had been stolen many years ago. The cover allowed the book to be returned to its original owner with no financial losses for either party, as the policy paid out. 

“Over the years we have handled many interesting and unusual claims. On one occasion a man came into a book shop from a neighbouring pub and mistakenly thought he was in the lavatory, relieving himself across a shelf of valuable books!

“There was also one claim where a book dealer was doing some “DIY” around the home and the hammer he was using flew out of his hand right into a cabinet containing rare vases. The hammer hit one vase and subsequently knocked the other three over, one by one!

“As well as books, we are also experienced in insuring unusual collectible items including gaming cards. Over the past few years, the trading card game (TCG) market and sports cards market has boomed. With prices at all-time highs, collections are worth more than ever before! 

“This year it was confirmed that a collector, named Logan Paul, had broken the record for the most expensive Pokémon trading card sold at a private sale with a coveted PSA Grade 10 Pikachu Illustrator card selling for $5,275,000 (which is £3,862,424!) To illustrate the growth in the market, a SGC Grade 2 Honus Wagner card (a baseball player from the early 1900’s) sold for $1,000,000 in the year 2000 – that same card has since sold in 2022 for $7,250,000! 

“Now, your average collector will not hold a PSA Grade 10 Pikachu or a SGC Grade 2 Honus Wagner, however their collections are still their prized possession, and more and more collectors understand the importance of insuring their cards, due to the drastically increasing market.

“We are also seeing huge demand for retro toys and other sports memorabilia including Lego and Scalextric. Some Star Wars Lego sets can be worth thousands of pounds, and clothes worn by famous sports stars like Michael Jordan, Babe Ruth and Muhammad Ali can amass millions of dollars. 

“There are regular conventions held in the UK where collectors and vendors browse a huge range of new and old collectibles, in which our insurance is imperative, and we know from client feedback that the peace of mind it gives them is invaluable.” 

Contact our London office on 020 7426 5330, email or or visit

The true value of collectable watches

Collectable timepieces continue to be popular with investors looking for alternative assets with real growth. We look at how the values of items can change within such a profitable, yet volatile marketplace.

Time is money

As the old saying goes, time is money, and the increased popularity of including fine timepieces in your investment portfolio is a testament to this. Collectable watches take up little space and incur no Capital Gains Tax and promise strong appreciation, not just at the high end of the spectrum but also some of the most basic models too!

Is now the right time for an up to date valuation?

When considering this volatility in the market, it is essential to ensure you have sufficient policies in place to cover your timepiece should the unexpected occur. A recent valuations of a client’s Rolex collection from our partners, Doerr Valuations, demonstrated some items increasing by as much as 296% since 2000.

Gentleman’s steel Oyster perpetual bracelet watch, ref 116000

£1,970 in around 2000
£2,340 in around 2005
£3,600 in around 2015
£4,100 today – 108% increase


Gentleman’s steel Oyster perpetual Submariner bracelet watch, ref 14060
£1,450 in around 2000
£1,970 in around 2005
£4,500 in around 2015
£5, 750 today – 296% increase


Gentleman’s 18 carat yellow gold Oyster Cosmograph Daytona bracelet watch, ref 116528
£10,500 in around 2000
£13,370 in around 2005
£23,060 in around 2015
£27,650 today – 163% increase


Get in touch with your TL Dallas contact today to discuss a revaluation of your private collection.

No place like home – keeping art properly protected on the move

When a piece of art is static and in its regular ‘home’ – whether that’s a painting on a wall or sculpture on a plinth, it is usually well protected and unlikely to get damaged. It’s when clients need to move their art – either to a different home, overseas or to an exhibition or museum – we see increased risk to these valuable pieces.

When people think about threats to artwork, front of mind is usually theft and fire, but it’s more mundane risks like moving art when we see the most damage, and these claims are often the most challenging.

High profile examples of damage to masterpieces and ancient works of art in transit shows how real this threat is. In 2001 Rembrandt’s ‘Portrait of an Elderly Woman’ arrived in Moscow from Houston with a large gash in the canvas. In 2000, the 9th Century Book of Kells was reportedly affected by vibration after a flight from Ireland to Australia. If damage can occur to such pieces, it drives home the need for every owner of art to ensure they are doing everything to mitigate risk when their pieces are on the move.


Leave it to the specialists

Clients should be just as discerning about their transit company or shipper as they are about their art collection. The art market is, after all, completely unregulated. There’s no code of conduct, so you rely on the specialist knowledge and experience of shippers and packers. Fine art shippers can work with auction houses, curators and collectors on a loss prevention analysis to assess the best way to move the item and to arrange for adequate handling and storage throughout the journey. However, there will always be times of increased risk, particularly with international transit. Curators and owners often choose to travel with artworks but even they can’t go in the hold! A condition report can be carried out on both sides, before the piece travels and when it arrives, much like when you hire a car on holiday, which gives both the owner and insurer peace of mind.

“We always advise our clients – commercial and private – to use a professional shipping company who specialise in transporting different types of collections. Nevertheless accidents can still happen. Many of the losses you see in transit are down to human error such as a third party putting a forklift through a crate or dropping an artefact while being carried.”


Preparing to manage moving art

We appreciate our clients may often have more than one property and will want to move their art or antiques between homes, sometimes overseas. There can also be frequent movement between galleries and museums.

There are three key areas to think about:

• Collectors often don’t think about insurance from the moment of purchase. Once bought, at the auction house or a private sale, it is the collector’s asset and needs to have cover in place, especially when it is being transported. You should be aware of insurance policy conditions following new purchases. Some policies provide automatic cover for newly acquired art and antiques up to 30% of the total sum insured under this section provided your insurer is advised within 60 days of the purchase.

• Artwork is at its most vulnerable when it is being moved, so it is vital to use a professional and specialist transit company who will treat the item like it is their own. Auction houses and dealers will be able to make these recommendations, as will your insurance broker who will have personal knowledge of the leading international fine art shippers and packers.

• Collectors are increasingly buying art as an investment. Whatever their motives for collecting it is important they maintain up to date valuations for their collection.


For further information contact Michael Gregson, TL Dallas Private Clients on 0131 322 2634 or email


Source: Dr James Lindow, Underwriting Director, Ecclesiastical’s Art and Private Client Team