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News & Fairs Previews


Penman Antique Fairs are organising a brand new summer event in the heart of beautiful Sussex Downs – Firle Place Antiques Fair from 1-3 July 2016 to be held in the Riding Stables at Firle Place, part of the Firle Estate, the country seat of the Viscount Gage and family for 500 years.  One of the key events at the fair will be a selling exhibition of Viscount Gage's own oil paintings and he will be represented at the fair by art dealer Nicholas Bowlby from nearby Uckfield.

Nicholas Bowlby Fine Art - Painting of Noah's Ark by Viscount Nicholas Gage

Image courtesy of Sussex Life

Viscount Gage, the 8th Viscount and owner of Firle Place, was fortunate enough to be surrounded by members of the Bloomsbury Group when he was growing up and Firle Place and  members of the Bloomsbury Group have been inextricably linked, ever since members of the artistic set arrived one day at the Gage Family’s ancestral Sussex pile, announcing themselves as the illegitimate off-spring of the 6th Viscount. “As my grandfather was extremely churchy, this was rather unlikely,” says Nicolas Gage. “But they loved pranks and rather enjoyed the act of poking fun at him.”

The leading Bloomsbury couple, Duncan Grant and Vanessa Bell, were so drawn to Firle that they rented a nearby farmhouse, Charleston. Grant came to Firle to work on the estate during the First World War when he was a conscientious objector, and ended up living at Charleston until his death in 1978. He even sat for Gage:  “He was never rude about my paintings and was highly amusing,” says the Viscount.

Newman Fine Art

Newman Fine Art - Therese Lessore - 1884-1945 "Brighton Beach, signed, priced at £1150

Fine art will also feature on the stand of Derek Newman from the Cotswolds who is showing a number of historic watercolour paintings connected to Sussex and Kent. These will include a view of the old chain pier, Brighton, attributed to John Skinner Prout, NWS (1805-1876); at £575; a view of Hastings Old Town by William Collingwood Smith RWS (1815-1887) at £1,200; and a stylish depiction of bathers on Brighton Beach by Therese Lessore (1884-1945) for £1,150 (shown here). Therese Lessor was the third wife of the well-known painter Walter Sickert who was a member of The Camden Town Group and an important influence on the avant-garde art of the early twentieth century.

John Bird Antiques

John Bird Antiques - Papier mache games box c1825, of the finest quality made by Clay & Son, Covent Garden, priced at £1250

Local Sussex dealers at the fair include John Bird of Petworth dealing in Country House furniture and decorative accessories, Henry Nicholls Antiques from Worthing, specialising in fine silver and jewellery and Gallery 16 from Lewes with glass and fine boxes.

From further afield will be Melody Antiques from Chester, with a range of country furniture, unusual decorative pieces, pottery and metalwork; Candice Horley, 20th Century Glamour from Surrey with named costume jewellery of the 20th Century and Boudoir Art, Parkside Antiques from The Cotswolds with period furniture, mirrors, paintings and textiles, Art of the Imagination from Salisbury with a display of fantasy art with a range of paintings and sculpture encapsulate everything from early 20th century original works by Edmund Dulac to contemporary works by leading book illustrators, Caroline Gee, specialising in early English and 20th century watercolours and drawings; Terry Robert from Norwich, showing fine jewellery; and Santiago Ventura Real, Antiques Art & Design.

Candice Horley 20th C Glamour

Candice Horley, 20th Century Glamour - A fine vintage costume jewellery necklace by Christian Dior.  Signed "Chr Dior" in drop and CD monogram hung from the clasp

Visitors can also take advantage of an appraisal service provided by four experts well-known from their TV appearances: Mike Melody, Mark Stacey, Ben Cooper and Henry Nicholls. Visitors can bring up to four pieces for appraisal by their favourite expert. Fifteen-minute appraisals will be undertaken by prior appointment at a charge of £5.00. (For appointment bookings Tel 01825 744074

For full information, times and exhibitor list, or to book an appraisal see Penman Antique Fairs