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Harrogate is synonymous with traditional antiques and if you cannot sell them here then you are unlikely to sell them anywhere. Certainly West Country organiser Louise Walker, who has been putting this fair together for the past 22 years, has no trouble attracting some 72 very good dealers to the show, with some equally good ones on the waiting list.

From the very top end of the London fine art trade MacConnal-Mason make their debut this May, and securing the St James’s gallery must be seen as something of a coup for Mrs Walker.

This may be MacConnal-Mason’s first time at the fair but it is most definitely not their first time in the picturesque North Yorkshire town. Founded in Northern England in 1893 the gallery was established in London just after World War II, but before the war it spent some years at Harrogate, an area where they still have a strong client base.

There are 10 others joining this spring fair for the first time, among them picture dealers Willow Gallery, George Babbington and Maurice Dear; London art pottery specialist Sylvia Powell; local silver and jewellery dealer Carlton Hollis and Bedfordshire furniture dealers S&S Timms, who are bringing what they claim to be one of the finest collections of miniature furniture currently on the market.

The fair is particularly strong on period furniture with David Gibbins of Suffolk, Lennox Cato from Kent, Elaine Phillips from Harrogate and Peter Bunting from Derbyshire among the regular specialists.

Louise Walker now has two Harrogate fairs. Four years ago in conjunction with BADA she launched a late September event at the same venue, which is slightly smaller and more traditional than the spring outing. Twentieth century (but not contemporary) items are accepted at the May fair.

The autumn staging is probably a bit more formal and glitzy than this spring fair which despite being prestigious is relaxed and friendly.

Note this year The Harrogate Antique and Fine Art Fair has added an extra day to incorporate the Monday Bank Holiday. Trade are admitted free with a card, otherwise entrance is £6.