Last month, we reported on Sue Ede’s purchase of The Bath Decorative Antiques Fair from Robin Coleman, the Bath-based dealer who has organised the event for the past 23 years.
It's an area of the country that Somerset-based Sue knows well,
as she already organises around eight giant flea markets a year at
The Royal Bath & West Showground near Shepton Mallet.
Also nearby, but at a much higher level than these markets, is
Sue's The Cotswolds Decorative Antiques & Fine Art
Fair near Tetbury, which is now over 20 years old and
organised by Sue under her Cooper Antiques Fairs
banner for the past ten.
This event was rebranded to include the magic word 'decorative'
a few years ago but, despite their similar titles, the Bath and the
Cotswolds fairs will remain quite different animals, as Sue points
out that Bath will stay an independent event with its own unique
style and not be subsumed into the Cooper Fairs stable.
But back to The Cotswolds Decorative Antiques & Fine Art
Fair. The tri-annual event has its second edition of 2012 from
August 17-19, as usual at the attractive venue of Westonbirt
School, near Tetbury in Gloucestershire, set within scenic parkland
and, of course, its own arboretum.
In a central and affluent area, well known for its antiques,
it's in an excellent location and the summer fixture benefits from
being one of the very few UK fairs to be taking place in August.
Consequently, the next event has grown from last year and has 48
exhibitors, spread around the central hall and rooms of Westonbirt
School, a Grade I listed Elizabethan house which is now a strange
but appealing mix of ornate painted plaster ceilings, carved wood
panelling, institutional lino and games notices.
Due to the expiry of the lease on her premises in Kensington
Church Street, glass specialist Jeanette Hayhurst
has recently relocated to Tetbury, just ten minutes away from
Westonbirt, where she now has stock in Long Street Antiques. She is
among the five new exhibitors at Westonbirt this year, with the
remaining four being Colin Brand Antiques from
nearby Stow-on-the-Wold (period furniture and collectables);
HD Asian Art of West Yorkshire; J.C.
Antiques of North Yorkshire (town and country period
furniture, metalwork, clocks and pictures) and Cooper Fairs
regulars Balmain Antiques from Cleveland, dealers
in art and sculpture.
There is a broad range across the regular exhibitors, with eight
specialists in period furniture this time including John
Collins & Son from Devon, In Vogue
from Surrey and Mark Seabrook from
There are not that many specifically 'decorative' dealers per
se, but those with a quirky bent to appeal to the home furnisher
include Something Different from Somerset, with a
mix of unusual art and antiques, and Paul Burnett
of Gloucestershire with vintage furnishing, while Bristol-based
interior designer Stephanie Fisher of Eclectique
Interiors is also taking a stand.
But art dealers are more plentiful, with Modern and Contemporary
dealers including Callaghan Fine Paintings from
Shrewsbury; West Midlands-based Orangehat Contemporary Art
and Ceramics with pictures by Ruskin and the St Ives
School and ceramics from the Winchcombe pottery, Troika and Carn,
and Price Davies Art from London with Modern
British works. Meanwhile, Ryland Fine Art from
East Yorkshire offer 18th and 19th century pictures and
Aquila Fine Art of Buckinghamshire have
watercolours and etchings from the late 19th to mid 20th
Among those with smaller cabinet pieces are scent bottle and
continental glass specialist Richard Hoppé from
Devon; London silver dealers Stephen Kalms and
Malka Levine; David Scriven
Antiques from Gloucestershire with British pottery and
porcelain from 1750 to 1850; jewellers Scarab and
Plaza, and Parkstile Antiques of
Lincolnshire with silver and glass.