NOW in its 13th year, the BADA Antiques & Fine Art Fair has become not just an established but a highly regarded fixture on the British quality fairs scene.
It's a status which the exhibitors hope will be enhanced from
March 9 to 15 when it runs in its usual venue, a grand tent in the
Duke of York Square, London SW3, not far up the King's Road from
More than 90 exhibitors, all members of the British Antique
Dealers' Association, will be on parade and if the fair's track
record is anything to go by then expect a good-looking, glamorous
display with much character.
In a very crowded fairs scene the BADA fair has developed a
distinctive look and feel, a tribute to the adroit and dedicated
direction of Gillian Craig, who has been with this fair since its
BADA may be traditionally the most upmarket of the trade
organisations, although noticeably it has become far more broadly
based in recent years. Members were selected certainly for the
quality of their stock, but the association always had, and even
nurtured, a very conservative image.
A purely BADA fair could have fallen prey to acres of brown
furniture dotted with the occasional piece of fine porcelain or
candelabra. Instead, an eclectic and eye-catching range of goods
has emerged, presented in a well-designed and markedly salubrious
The fair is vetted but there are no datelines, which means that
among this year's 13 newcomers is The Metal Gallery from London who
highlight ultra-contemporary metalwork and sculpture. Designer
silver will also be on the stand of Georg Jensen specialists The
Silver Fund of St James's and Oxford's Payne & Son, who both
show for the first time.
Also making their debut are Kensington period furniture
specialists Lewis & Lloyd, London's Mark Gallery with icons and
Cheltenham miniatures dealers Judy & Brian Harden. Picture
dealers W.H. Patterson, The Taylor Gallery and Jonathan Cooper also
BADA regulars include Jonathan Horne, Norman Adams, Mark J. West,
Lennox Cato, Peter Lipitch, Antony Preston and Raffety &
Admiral Lord Nelson will again be to the fore with a loan
exhibition of memorabilia from the National Maritime Museum and
Lloyd's of London among other places, and on the evening of March
10 Lady Helen Windsor will be the guest of honour at the glittering
charity gala champagne reception and dinner, which has become an
important feature of the event.
There were doubts a while ago whether the BADA fair could continue
at its present location. The word was that the owners of the
development, Cadogan Estates, had misgivings, and local residents
were reportedly not too keen on the tent.
I am told these difficulties have been resolved and the fair is on
course for at least the next few years. I wonder what Caroline
Penman thinks about this? Wags have suggested that she is only
launching her Kings Road Fair up the road at the same time so she
has a March Chelsea slot if BADA should have to relocate.
Admission to the BADA fair is £10.
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