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This is the fair that first spotted – and deliberately catered for – the then emerging influence of the decorator in the antiques market. The fair has long attracted the interior decorating trade from both America’s East and West Coasts and in recent years it has become equally a mecca for the burgeoning home decorator trade.

Last year, in the wake of the September terrorist attacks in New York, the winter decorative fair was one of the very few events to attract US buyers and it was one of the few fairs in the first half of the year (or the second half to be frank) to enjoy seriously good business.

Unfortunately, the spring and autumn decorative events did not repeat that success, so let us hope this post-Christmas fair sets an upbeat tone for the year which will be sustained.

As usual, around 100 dealers will gather in the Harveys’ trademark large, luxurious marquee in Battersea Park, London SW11 with a stock which attracts buyers who very often do not visit the more mainstream fairs.

Decorators, naturally, are still a prime source of business but dealers, both home and overseas, also do their shopping here and, very significantly, there has been a marked increase in private buying.

The decorative fair does increasingly seem to reach buyers other fairs do not. There are many well-known trade exhibitors but there are also many who do not stand at other fairs or, indeed, have shops.

These include young dealers who are just setting up in business and tend to bring a more adventurous stock to the market.

It is always useful to see what looks are currently in vogue in the Battersea tent. Looking at the roster of exhibitors, you will find painted furniture still in demand and the rise and rise in interest in furniture and furnishings of the 1940s and ’50s is the most marked design fashion statement on many stands.

There will, of course, be plenty of antiques on sale, whatever your definition of the word. The point here is not age, it is look and style and indeed the mixing of the old and the new is the essential ingredient of this now seasoned event.

Stock is vetted by the fair’s standards committee, and admission is £6.