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THE British Antique Dealers’ Association have announced the launch of a 50-stand fair at Sotheby’s New York from January 17-21 next year.

The BADA’s new winter fair – backed unanimously by the association’s council – will take place at Sotheby’s US headquarters in York Avenue on the Upper East Side. It will celebrate the 400th anniversary of the founding of Jamestown, Virginia – the first significant settlement of the English in America.

It means the fair, which will launch with a charity benefit evening on January 16, will coincide with the well-established Winter Antiques Show, which headlines the annual New York Americana Week, including important sales at Sotheby’s and about half a dozen other fairs.

BADA Secretary General Elaine Dean has been working on the project for about a year, following requests from members for the association to organise a US fair.

Negotiations started with Sotheby’s in New York following a suggestion from the auctioneers’ European chairman, Henry Wyndham, and the final agreement was drawn up at the end of February.

Elaine Dean sees the New York event as a major opportunity for her members, saying it will complement the Winter Antiques Show.

“January is a very dead month in England so the dealers don’t mind their stock being out of their shops,” she told ATG.

Sotheby’s have all the loading, packing and security facilities needed, as well as a high-profile, purpose-built exhibition space and a grand entrance.

The four-man fair committee is made up of Richard Marchant, Richard Courtney, Jonathan Horne and Charles Truman.

Gillian Craig, who has successfully organised the BADA Fair in London for a number of years, will also mastermind the New York event. Respected and trusted by the dealers, she is acknowledged as having overseen one of the three most successful top-end fairs in the country last year in the 2005 BADA London event. And she appears to have repeated the triumph in Chelsea this year, as other fairs elsewhere across the country do less well.

She will employ the services of a leading New York-based exhibition designer to develop the overall presentation of the show, and an extensive promotional campaign is already planned.

While the success of the London fair has proved vital to BADA exhibitors, crucially it has also acted as a beacon of hope that the appetite for top quality traditional antiques is still there.

With an increasing number of leading British dealers setting up a base in New York – many of them BADA members – the January fair at Sotheby’s will offer them a unique showcase alongside their peers, and it will give American buyers the chance to appreciate British talent at its best on their own turf.