THIRD time lucky for the annual Antiques For Everyone – Scotland fair, held at Glasgow’s Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre from August 23 to 25.
To be fair, though, it was not really luck that made this event successful for a good proportion of the 100 or so dealers who exhibited.
Birmingham-based organiser Fran Foster has worked very hard at developing this venue and everyone I encountered after the fair praised the excellent publicity machine she had put into motion to herald the event, which is already Scotland’s top fair.
This Scottish fixture got off to a tremendous start in 2000
but faltered somewhat last year when some 150 dealers were in attendance.
Furniture and paintings did not shine this year, although there were some notable picture sales.
Sir Timothy Clifford, director of the National Galleries of Scotland, was among the buyers in this area making several purchases on behalf of the galleries.
Among them was a painting of musicians playing in the Bush Tavern, Glasgow by the 19th
century artist Neil Macdougall (1816-1843).
Sir Timothy bought the work for around £3000 from Perthshire art dealer Neil McRae who sold mainly Scottish paintings to clients old and new.
Which is an interesting point that the organisers were at pains to point out, that this is not just a fair for things Scottish. And while, of course, this is true, things Scottish did sell extremely well and the traditional Scottish love of silver and particularly Arts and Crafts and Art Nouveau were to the fore in the event’s purchasing profile.
With regard to silver, though, English work also found a market with Nicholas Shaw from West Sussex having yet another good fair. But nowhere near as successful as Decorative Arts at Doune, whose silver and jewellery with an Arts and Crafts and Scottish flavour gave them one of their best ever outings, certainly by far their best in Scotland. They also sold two pieces of Scottish Arts and Crafts furniture, one in the region of £5000.
The Doune firm also sold a pair of enamel buttons for around £900 and attributed to Glasgow School designer E.A. Taylor to an American member of a prominent button society. And, interestingly, this was not the only sale to Americans.
Art Deco ceramics, glass and sculpture also found eager buyers.
At the close Fran Foster said: “Our collaborations with SECC, Glasgow Museums, the Tourist Board and the Glasgow City Council are now paying
“Despite fewer exhibitors and difficult market conditions the fair is fast developing a distinctive Scottish character that makes it not only the best of its kind North of the Border but also more attractive to greater numbers of serious buyers from across the United Kingdom and, this year, from America and Europe.”
If there were any doubts last year that this is now a permanent fixture with a real future then after last month’s fair they are dispelled. But its strength, like it or not, is that this is in all respects a very Scottish affair.