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The fair runs from October 22 to 28 (with the glittering gala preview on the evening of October 21) and, as usual, some 70 of the world's very top dealers will be on parade.

It was at the first of these events, all those years ago, that the Haughtons introduced vetted, quality fairs to Manhattan and, subsequently the show became not just the top fair in the city but one of the top fairs in the world.

It retains that mantle and one merely has to glance at some of the exhibitors to see why.

For instance, from London come Richard Green, Agnew's, Mallett, Wartski, Partridge, Pelham Galleries and Jeremy; from Paris Ariane Dandoise, Patrick Perrin and Vallois; from Belgium Philippe Denys and Axel Vervoordt, and from New York Ralph M. Chait, The Chinese Porcelain Company, Hirschl & Adler, Hyde Park Antiques and Shrubsole.

Just five exhibitors join the fair for the first time this year, four of them from London - art dealers Jean-Luc Baroni of St. James's and John Mitchell of Bond Street, furniture dealers Ronald Phillips of Mayfair, and clocks specialists Raffety & Walwyn of Kensington.

The other firm making their debut are New York Art Deco specialists Maison Gerard.

A truly international fair, the show brought the international concept to the American scene.

It remains deservedly at the top of the tree and therefore it is invidious to try and pick out any highlights. With just a handful of exceptions every stand will have works of world-class merit.

To quote the august New York Times in its comments after last year's show: "Outside of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, there is probably not a more awesome collection of beautiful, rare, valuable, exotic and weird objects gathered together under one Manhattan roof".

There certainly will be plenty of museum quality and this is no shopping spree for the faint-hearted.
While six figure price tags (dollars, pounds or euros) are commonplace, seven-figure ones here are not unusual.

But the buyers know they are purchasing some of the very best currently on the market, and visitors know they are looking at the best.

However, it remains to be seen whether the best will actually sell. There have been murmurs that business is on the mend in New York City and, if there is any recovery, I am sure it will be apparent at this, the city's showcase event.

I look forward to reporting on it in a future issue.

Admission is $16 throughout for mere mortals but for those who have more than mere means the gala evening preview is a typical American charity bash at a cool $1000.