NOW in its 13th year, the BADA Antiques & Fine Art Fair has become not just an established but a highly regarded fixture on the British quality fairs scene.
It's a status which the exhibitors hope will be enhanced from March 9 to 15 when it runs in its usual venue, a grand tent in the Duke of York Square, London SW3, not far up the King's Road from Sloane Square.
More than 90 exhibitors, all members of the British Antique Dealers' Association, will be on parade and if the fair's track record is anything to go by then expect a good-looking, glamorous display with much character.
In a very crowded fairs scene the BADA fair has developed a distinctive look and feel, a tribute to the adroit and dedicated direction of Gillian Craig, who has been with this fair since its inception.
BADA may be traditionally the most upmarket of the trade organisations, although noticeably it has become far more broadly based in recent years. Members were selected certainly for the quality of their stock, but the association always had, and even nurtured, a very conservative image.
A purely BADA fair could have fallen prey to acres of brown furniture dotted with the occasional piece of fine porcelain or candelabra. Instead, an eclectic and eye-catching range of goods has emerged, presented in a well-designed and markedly salubrious environment.
The fair is vetted but there are no datelines, which means that among this year's 13 newcomers is The Metal Gallery from London who highlight ultra-contemporary metalwork and sculpture. Designer silver will also be on the stand of Georg Jensen specialists The Silver Fund of St James's and Oxford's Payne & Son, who both show for the first time.
Also making their debut are Kensington period furniture specialists Lewis & Lloyd, London's Mark Gallery with icons and Cheltenham miniatures dealers Judy & Brian Harden. Picture dealers W.H. Patterson, The Taylor Gallery and Jonathan Cooper also join.
BADA regulars include Jonathan Horne, Norman Adams, Mark J. West, Lennox Cato, Peter Lipitch, Antony Preston and Raffety & Walwyn.
Admiral Lord Nelson will again be to the fore with a loan exhibition of memorabilia from the National Maritime Museum and Lloyd's of London among other places, and on the evening of March 10 Lady Helen Windsor will be the guest of honour at the glittering charity gala champagne reception and dinner, which has become an important feature of the event.
There were doubts a while ago whether the BADA fair could continue at its present location. The word was that the owners of the development, Cadogan Estates, had misgivings, and local residents were reportedly not too keen on the tent.
I am told these difficulties have been resolved and the fair is on course for at least the next few years. I wonder what Caroline Penman thinks about this? Wags have suggested that she is only launching her Kings Road Fair up the road at the same time so she has a March Chelsea slot if BADA should have to relocate.
Admission to the BADA fair is £10.