ONCE again Fran Foster of Centrex, the Birmingham NEC’s organising arm, has proved there is plenty of fair business in Scotland if the quality and mix of stock is right. Her fourth Antiques For Everyone – Glasgow, held at the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre from June 20 to 22, proved a success for the great majority of the 80 or so exhibitors and it was commented upon that this Scottish fair has outshone many events further south.
There was a large presence of Scottish dealers among the exhibitors, and most of the buying was also Scottish. And unlike a lot of English fairs straightforward period furniture was in demand, like the Victorian mahogany dining table Canning Antiques from Glasgow sold for £11,500. John Whitelaw from Auchterarder had his best Scottish fair to date selling a dozen pieces of furniture, six of them at the preview.
The Scottish love affair with Arts and Crafts is well documented and was reflected in sales. Local Arts and Crafts furniture specialist Strachan Antiques sold their stand twice over and ended up directing customers to their nearby shop.
Decorative Arts at Doune enjoyed excellent sales up to over £12,000 for their Arts and Crafts and Art Nouveau silver, jewellery and furniture, including a Nouveau fireplace surround at £3000.
As expected there was keen home demand for the plethora of Scottish items, with Becca Gauldie from Glendoick reporting records sales of Mauchline-ware and numbering the occasional American and Canadian among her trade customers.
Overall silver proved a disappointing area, although jewellery proved very popular. Making their debut Joseph Bonnar from Edinburgh proved why they are one of Scotland’s leading jewellery retailers with their staff of four kept constantly busy.
Against the trend at southern fairs, contemporary art was shunned in Scotland. But earlier fine art proved successful for several specialists, especially London’s Gladwell Fine Art who enjoyed a number of five-figure sales.
After the fair Mrs Foster said: “Our success in Glasgow has come as a real boost for many of our exhibitors. Above all everyone seems to agree that this fair exudes a strong sense of optimism that is particularly refreshing in the current
market.” More than 50 exhibitors immediately rebooked for next year’s Scottish fair.