Bailey, BADA and local firm all in action making September a month the town will remember: Well-used to antiques as they are, the citizens of Harrogate will be spoilt for choice this month with two major fairs in different parts of town, mercifully with a five-day gap between them.
Combined, the two fairs bring some 140 dealers to the North Yorkshire town which is already blessed with a famously large quota of quality shops and galleries.
But Harrogate is arguably the antiques capital of the North and the locals are consistently strong buyers of traditional fare, so both events should find some business.
First up is the oldest, the 53rd Northern Antiques Fair which will be held at the Harrogate Pavilions within the Yorkshire Showground in Wetherby Road, from September 17 to 21.
Now owned by Essex organiser Robert Bailey, the Northern is the longest running provincial fair in the land and for decades was the top quality fair outside the capital.
It no longer enjoys that status, but you can always rely on Mr Bailey to put on a good, well-publicised show and he has brought together around 70 exhibitors for this one.
Ten dealers make their Northern debut, among them Callaghan Fine Paintings from Shrewsbury, John Noott Gallery from Worcestershire and the London jewellery and decorative objects firm The Gilded Lily.
New not just to this fair, but to any Bailey event, are Melody Antiques from Chester with period furniture and FJ & RD Story Longcase Clocks from Yorkshire.
They join such Northern regulars with rather further to travel like the Petworth silver specialist Nicholas Shaw; Broadway’s Haynes Fine Art and London specialist in jewellery and Fabergé Shapiro.
The Pavilions of Harrogate has extensive free parking but Robert Bailey has also arranged a regular courtesy bus service to the fair from the Tourist Information Centre in the middle of town. Admission is £10.
NOW in its fourth year, The Harrogate Antique Fair, organised by Louise Walker in association with the British Antique Dealers’ Association, will run from September 26 to 30 at the Harrogate International Centre in the heart of town.
This may be a relatively new event, but Mrs Walker knows the local antiques scene well, having organised a Spring fair in Harrogate for nigh on 30 years.
Expect some 70 dealers, more than half of them BADA members, and already a waiting list operates. Two who managed to squeeze in this year are Hawkswood Antiques from East Yorkshire and Corrine Soffe from Oxfordshire, both specialists in English porcelain.
They join some well-known trade names whose specialities cover most of the antiques field. Among them are Grosvenor House exhibitor in period silver J.H. Bourdon-Smith, Kent specialist in distinctive period furniture Lennox Cato, Nantwich oak
dealers Adams Antiques and West Yorkshire barometer specialist Kym Walker. Some of Harrogate’s own abundance of antiques businesses will also be at the fair.
Elaine Phillips will take a stock of mainly country furniture and there will be pictures from Sutcliffe Galleries and Walker Galleries, the latter with a good showing of Yorkshire artists.
A vetted fair with a friendly atmosphere, The Harrogate Antique Fair has found favour with the locals who pride themselves on knowing quality.
Certainly this is a distinctly upmarket fixture whose Gala Charity Reception on the opening night has become quite an event on the local social calendar. Admission is £7.50.
LOCALLY-BASED organisers Galloway Antiques Fairs hold a far more modest event than the other two Harrogate fairs at The Old Swan Hotel, Swan Road, this weekend from September 19 to 21, but you will find plenty of stock of some quality among the 35 exhibitors.
This Harrogate hotel has quite a history of fairs. I believe Robert Bailey used to do a fair here at one time. But Galloway have been hosting this one since 1998 and most of the standholders have become regulars.
However, there are a few newcomers and making their debut are Antiquités Françaises from Newcastle upon Tyne with late 19th century French furniture, Anne Drury of Guernsey with period furniture and Becca Gauldie from Perthshire with mainly small Scottish items.
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