UK Trade & Investment, the export directorate of the Department of Trade, has offered, through the British Art Market Federation, a grant of £25,000 to be shared among 19 UK dealers showing at the eighth annual Chicago Antiques Fair from April 29 to May 2.

The grant goes towards the cost of shipping, stand rental and associated costs such as lighting.

Thirteen of the exhibitors are members of LAPADA and Sarah Percy-Davis, chief executive of our largest dealer association, has been instrumental in further initiatives to boost business for members travelling to the fair.

She said: “With America being such an important market for art and antiques, we are delighted that the DTI is assisting UK dealers with a grant. The British consul in Chicago has further embraced this by agreeing to host a reception at his residence for UK exhibitors and their top clients.”

LAPADA also commissioned research from the British Consulate General in Chicago to identify top interior designers in the Midwest.

They will be encouraged to visit the fair with a special reception held in their honour, which should emphasise the UK trade’s participation to the right clientele.

Among LAPADA members off to Chicago are Hallidays, who feature strongly in this week’s Diary; London art dealers Gladwell; antique boxes specialists June and Tony Stone, who seem to do much of their business out of US fairs, and Kensington jewellery dealer Didier.