What is the Salvo Code

Posted on | By Sara Morel aka Reclaimed Woman
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London West, UK - The Salvo Code is a voluntary code for good practice in stock purchasing for dealers who buy and sell architectural salvage, antique garden ornament and reclaimed building materials. The Salvo Code aims to give customers greater confidence.

The Code flags to customers that a business has standards and gives them the choice of buying from relatively safe and responsible sources. Many dealers have already established a sensible buying procedure but the Salvo Code makes this more formal, understandable and obvious to the buying public. It is particularly reassuring to know that items have not been stolen or removed from protected historic buildings, without permission. All Salvo Code members are immediately notified by email when a Salvo website 'Theft Alert' advert is posted which includes the crime reference number.

Look out for the Salvo Code crane logo used exclusively by Salvo Code businesses. Each Salvo Code dealer has a crane logo certificate which is issued annually to display in their showroom or yard and a crane logo will be displayed on their website. The crane logo appears on their Salvo directory entry and on all their for sale adverts on the Salvo website. The crane was chosen because it is an ancient Chinese and European symbol for vigilance. The Chinese legend says the crane sleeps with one eye open and holds a stone which, on falling asleep with both eyes closed, it drops and wakes up - possibly because it drops the stone onto its other foot!

The Salvo Code started in April 1995 after a three-year consultation process by a steering group of long-established dealers, comprising of Salvo founder, Thornton Kay, Adrian Amos, Tim Seago, Charles Tolley, Nick Gifford-Mead, Rick Knapp and James Ryland, who initiated the sales of Garden Statuary at Sotheby's. They were to be joined by Simon Kirby, an antique sanitary ware specialist who went onto revive the high quality British made reproduction bathroom range of Thomas Crapper. English Heritage and the Council for the Prevention of Art Theft were also involved in the early stages. Salvo has been instrumental in forming the Code and promoting it to the Trade.

Many of the architectural salvage dealers who joined in 1995 have remained Salvo Code members such as Antique Buildings, Architectural Heritage, Dorset Reclamation, Nicholas Gifford-Mead, Olliff's Architectural Antiques, South West Reclamation and Tower Reclaim. Some of the original Salvo Code member group have either discontinued trading, changed their business or left temporarily often to return at a later date. For example, James Ryland, then at Sotheby's, went on to set up the Summers Place Auction House, now a Salvo Code member itself and the world's leading auctioneer of Garden Statuary and Natural History.

Over the past twenty years the Salvo Code membership has grown and now includes members worldwide in France, Luxembourg, Italy and the USA plus further clauses have also been added in relation to fair trade and modern slavery. The enforcement of the Salvo Code is entirely voluntary by the signee and Salvo has not visited all the businesses listed to ensure that they are carrying out the procedures and are aware of their responsibilities. Although Salvo would like to have been able to establish local monitoring groups this has so far not been possible. Salvo cannot therefore vouch for Salvo Code dealers nor their stock bu the code does encourage sensible working practices. However, in the event that it becomes clear that a Salvo dealer is not carrying out the procedures contained in the Code, Salvo will take action to remove them from the list. Thornton Kay is the current administrator of the Salvo Code. Existing Salvo Code businesses are polled and consulted to maintain standards. New Salvo Code applications are also reviewed by an advisory network of long-established Salvo Code dealers.

The Salvo Pocket Guide is a directory of Salvo Code Members given free in hard copy or in pdf format on request to renovators, designers, architects, builders and other dealers. It has also been distributed free at many shows and fairs such as Battersea Decorative, Bath Decorative, Modern Shows (Dulwich/ Haggerston), The First Edition has proved very popular and the Second Edition will be out later this year. Printed copies of the first edition have unfortunately already gone but please let us know if you would like a pdf of the First Edition. Or you can email to reserve a free printed copy of the Second Edition with your full name and address.

Salvo Code member dealers benefit from prominent exposure across SalvoWEB with exclusive access to the new Salvo Shop for direct sales and all listings highlighting their business name. Only Code dealers can have a link to their website from the SalvoWEB home page and can contribute to SalvoNEWS for free, members also receive preferential rates on advertising, Salvo Fairs and affiliated events.

Salvo founder, Thornton Kay and the Salvo team represent and support Salvo Code dealer member interests. We are also happy to help Salvo Code dealers with any personal advice on the latest issues effecting the trade and tries to keep them as informed as possible through SalvoNEWS. As such Salvo Code membership is the nearest thing the architectural salvage trade has to a trade body. For example, Thornton met with the Business and Climate Change Dept last year in London re: support for the trade/reuse for 2050 net zero carbon targets.

This year we are rolling out the Truly Reclaimed label, which is a product certification only available for Salvo members. The label helps people distinguish Truly Reclaimed from new products that are made to resemble the old, highlighting the environmental benefit of choosing materials that really are reclaimed for reuse.

Salvo Code membership is a social and support network. Thornton has periodically organised group chats either in person or online with members to enable discussion among members and for any trade tips you are happy to share. If you would like to suggest a topic for the next Salvo member group discussion please get in touch.

If you are interested in joining the Salvo Code please get in touch [email protected]

Salvo Code Dealer List
Salvo Pocket Guide, First Edition

Story Type: Reference