An artist's impression of how the entrance to Masterpiece will look at the site of the former Chelsea Barracks.

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As ATG went to press, 85 top international dealers had signed up for the fair, which will be held in a purpose-built pavilion at the site of the former Chelsea Barracks, SW1 from June 24 to 29 with a preview on June 23.

However, with contracts coming in by the day, the organisers say they are certain to hit 100 by their deadline on March 31.

Masterpiece conclude their recruitment of exhibitors less than two months after announcing they had planning permission to go ahead on the Chelsea site. Firm bookings immediately flooded in from some of the trade's biggest names, confirming that the top end had been waiting for the verdict on planning before firmly committing themselves to any of the June fairs.

Billed as "the best of the best", Masterpiece was conceived as a fair combining art and antiques with luxury goods. However, for this first airing the exhibitors list is totally dominated by art and antiques dealers, with the expectancy that some wine dealers will join by March 31. A spokesman says this is hardly surprising since three of the five founders are long-established London antique dealers.

As we went to press, the latest recruits to Masterpiece are Galleria Gracis of Milan, who deal in English antiques, and from London, picture dealers Osborne Samuels and silver specialists Koopman Rare Art.

To indicate the scale of the new project, some 4200 sq m of stand space has been sold, two-and-a-half times the size of Grosvenor House.

By David Moss