If I walked into a provincial antiquities dealer's shop in the 1960s, what would I have found? My first visit was to one in Brighton in 1979, and I remember shabtis, scarabs and 'Luristan' bronzes - the man was very nice, served tea and explained that 'Luristan' was a trade cover-all term for "don't really know what this is and where it's from". I do not recall being then particularly shocked, this was a time when I was just beginning my 'adventure' with metal detectorists and visiting their clubs. There were two coin shops in my local town which had Roman and medieval coins among the shinier modern ones. The blokes that ran them were very nice - but then started saying too much about what metal detectorists were doing, and what they were bringing in which was a bit of a turning point for me. I recall stone axes in another shop about this time. What else? What would have been the ratio between 'local' and 'imported' antiquities on the trade as a whole in the UK?
Are there any studies on this I should try and get hold of?