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News & Fairs Previews

WHO SOLD WHAT AND WHAT WAS TRENDING AT BATTERSEA

Wakelin & Linfield Antiques
Wakelin & Linfield Antiques - Queen Anne secretaire with japanned decoration


Who needs to go to an antiques or decorative fair?  Why do visitors benefit from visiting antiques fairs? The reason is inspiration. Decorative antique dealers in particular are skilled in grandstanding their stock in room sets to ensnare prospective clients who don’t know where to start with a project, or are not yet ready to commit to buying and that is just what happened at the recent Winter Decorative Antiques & Textiles Fair, 19-24 January 2016 when a couple in their 30s, mid way through a major 2 year renovation of a house in London, happened by at the weekend to "get ideas".

Once inside the alluring and easy going environment of the fair, but with no plans to buy, they fell in love with several items of good antique lacquered furniture, including a red japanned Queen Anne period secretaire bookcase from Wakelin & Linfield for a five figure sum, which had been decorated in the 1920s - a detail that would make the piece ineligible to stand at datelined fairs, because the decoration was later than the piece, and a stunning C18th period lacquered Swedish chest on stand with ceramic pyramids above (for use as plate stands) decorated in blue chinoiserie, from Gaby van Schagen, with a ticket price of £40,000. 

GAby van Schagen

Gaby van Schagen Antiques - Swedish chest on stand with chinoiserie decoration

The couple told the dealers they had bought both items because visiting the fair made them realise if they didn’t buy them straight away, they may take years (if ever) to find similarly unusual items!

These two sales contributed to what was a stellar event for the popular Battersea Fair, now in it 31st year.  Organiser, David Juran told ANF: “Glamour is back in demand - buyers sought out Art Deco and Hollywood inspired furniture and accessories and sales of 20th century design proved strong but antique country and Continental furniture also sold well.  Alongside the decorators, trade and regular private buyers, it was very evident that young affluent couples are keen to attend the Fair, both for inspiration, and to shop.  Many exhibitors commented on what an enjoyable and positive experience the Fair was for them.  We’re delighted several of our brand new exhibitors have already re-booked for our Spring and Autumn events.”

Stand-out sales included a fine 18th century English painting by Francis Sartorious with an asking price of £44,000 to an American buyer sold by new exhibitors The Parker Gallery Ltd who told the organisers “We're over the moon with the success of the Fair.  We came with moderate expectations, as our stock is very traditional English 18th and 19th sporting art, but in fact we sold our star piece, and several other works, all to American buyers!”

Another new exhibitor Rupert Maas, of The Maas Gallery, said: “The Fair was great, and incredibly busy every day.  I met new customers, and re-connected with a number of clients I’ve not seen in a very long time.”

Nadin & Macintosh - Decorative Antiques & Textile Fair

Nadin & Macintosh Antiques - Sir Charles Berry bookcase by Holland & Sons

Long term regular exhibitors also enjoyed an excellent Fair including Nadin & Macintosh who said it had been their best first day ever.  Sales included many good-sized antique English mirrors, mostly gilded Regency designed; a good, large Howard & Sons sofa, a bookcase designed in a restrained style by Sir Charles Barry made by Holland & Sons, 1845, in maple wood, trade price £14,000, and a Georgian painted country house library bookcase with astral glazing trade price £4000.  Arts and Crafts pieces also sold well, including an oak library table trade price £3900, a pair of 1950 Cotswolds School drawers trade price in excess of £5000, and a Holland & Son sofa trade price in excess of £5000.  Patrick Macintosh commented that “baroque style is selling”.   Decorative dealer Martin D. Johnson Antiques Ltd, whose imposing and carefully choreographed stand near the entrance of the Fair has been known to stop visitors in their tracks, reported consistent sales every day, mostly to private clients.  On  the opening day they sold a group of four French late C19th mahogany farmhouse cabinets with glazed doors with a trade price of £7000, several upholstered armchairs and stools.  More unusual items sold were 22 very tall, 1970s Murano glass spill vases priced at £200 each. One customer bought 10 to place the length of their dining table. Mid Century dealer Paul King-No Shrinking Violet reported a near sell-out week, selling six drapers’ cabinets to one client (for use in children’s bedrooms), lots of glass and silver decanters and bar accessories including fine pieces by Baccarat, large mirrors, a Willy Rizzo cocktail table cabinet, 12 holophane ceiling lights to a restaurant designer, and a set of very unusual bentwood chairs, at prices from £150 to £8000.  Glass dealers M&D Moir also had a great week, selling glass of all styles and periods including a great deal of Lalique tableware, and French Bohemian pieces, to private buyers and decorators at prices from as little as £30 up to £2500.

Martin Johnson Antiques

Martin D Johnson Antiques - collection of hat moulds

The Spring event will take place from 19-24 April 2016 at Battersea Evolution, Battersea Park, London SW11.  A regal influence will be in evidence, as dealers will be asked to bring royal-themed or related pieces, as the Fair coincides with the 90th birthday on 21st April of H.M. The Queen. Tickets and times via The Decorative Antiques & Textiles Fair


Cover image: 

Streett Marburg Antiques

Pair of 1950s wrought iron chairs with original leopard-print upholstery. French.

Ticket price £1450