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Mr Lester has long nurtured an ambition for a prestigious Manhattan event and at his recent fair at Palm Beach, where top international dealers were exhibiting, he issued standholders with forms tentatively booking space at a New York fair in October 2000.

Conspicuously there was no mention of venue or dates but the organiser is known to have been examining the possibilities of a marquee in Central Park. Last week Mr Lester told the Antiques Trade Gazette: “I am still exploring the whole issue and have not yet finalised a location or dates.” The organiser insists his New York fair will have only top-quality exhibitors and said “we have the clientele”.

However, when it was suggested that he would have to move extremely quickly to get a launch for this October under way, Mr Lester told us: “I would like to do it this year, but if not I will do it next year.”

He has proved his ability to pull in some of the world's leading dealers with his successful Palm Beach Fair, and with that fair he has proved that in three years he can create a world-class fixture.

October in New York, though, is when London-based organisers the Haughtons mount their hugely successful International fair at the Park Avenue Armory; it will be staged this year for the 12th time from October 20 to 26.

David Lester has finalised plans for a Texas fair and launches the Dallas International Art and Antique Fair from October 26 to November 2 2000.