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The idea is a very good one. Florida-based Lester envisages an Olympia-style event for dealers in the middle to upper ranges who wish to take advantage of the increasingly important New York market.

With the fairs at the Seventh Regiment Armory, the upper end of the British trade have realised for more than a decade that the big American buyers, especially the private ones, are no longer automatically going to cross the Atlantic to shop. We now go to them.

More and more English dealers have been finding success at not just American fairs but at special exhibitions in galleries borrowed for the duration from their American colleagues.

This development has resulted in firms like Mallett from Bond Street and The Silver Fund from St. James’s opening permanent Manhattan showrooms.

The Mallett premises are yet to open but on Madison Avenue I hear that The Silver Fund is already doing roaring business. So the scene was set for a broader New York fair to accommodate the British dealer.

Mr Lester’s event was called The New International Art and Antique Exposition, a bit of a mouthful, and the dates were September 10 to 15. Naturally there were serious worries about what business would be done during the first anniversary of the September 11 attacks.

However, a few weeks ago Mr Lester secured a new date at the Javits, September 18 to 23, and he has renamed the event The Fall Fair for International Fine and Decorative Arts.

This eliminates any conflict with September 11 remembrance activities which was recognised as a major dealer concern.

Bound to be called The Fall Fair, the event now has real potential and by the middle of last week bookings were coming in at quite a rate.

The UK end of bookings is in the hands of Victoria Borwick, until last autumn head of the Olympia fairs, and she has just been joined by her old Olympia colleague Louise Burns.

Lester’s firm is owned by DMG, and Victoria and Louise also work for DMG, so there is no shortage of funds for promoting this new event. If the middle area of the British trade have found a New York outlet at a new venue this can only liven up the already lively Manhattan fairs scene.

With a new name and, more importantly, new dates, this could prove an unmissable opportunity.