HONITON in Devon is the first town to announce a major festival to mark National Antiques Week.
With its 85 dealers, two firms of auctioneers and numerous associated specialist firms, from November 14-20, the first ever Honiton Antiques Festival will showcase events ranging from special dealer exhibitions to talks a fair and auctions.
The initiative is backed by Honiton Town Council and its Mayor, Councillor Vernon Whitlock, Honiton Chamber of Commerce, Honiton Museum and Honiton Tourist Information Centre.
"Honiton is the jewel in Devon's crown when it comes to hunting for antiques." said organiser Elizabeth Chilcott. "By joining forces, we the traders in antiques-related businesses in the town, intend to attract a big influx of collectors and enthusiasts during the seven days of the Festival."
"We also hope to showcase the diverse range of skills and knowledge our people have about antiques and fine art from all periods in history. We're sure there will be something to interest people of all ages and tastes," added dealer Valentine Butler.
The festival will also promote the "Antiques are Green" message and encourage new, young collectors who might be looking to turn their hobby into a career. The organisers will communicate with careers advisers in the county and students from Honiton Community College will film events during the week.
Exhibitions happening all week in Honiton include: Chairs from 1650 to the Twentieth Century at Roderick Butler, Marwood House; Clarice Cliff Pottery at Upstairs Downstairs Antiques; Prints and Maps of Honiton at Graham York Rare Books; Contemporary Art at The Grove Antiques Centre and, on the quirky side, Skirt Lifters and Glass Hats, also at The Grove.
Honiton's auctioneers are also backing the festival. Bearnes, Hampton and Littlewood will hold a series of free specialist valuation days culminating on Friday, November 18 with a reception and auction preview, while Chilcotts will auction the important Carl Rosen Collection of Honiton Pottery on Saturday, November 19.
Antique shops and both auction rooms will be open on Sunday, November 20 and Honiton Museum is opening specially, with the Tourist Information Centre opening for longer and offering help to guests and visitors throughout the week.
Another innovative event is the Restoration and Renovation Fair at Mackarness Hall on Saturday, November 19. Local specialist restorers of furniture, silver, ceramics, pictures, paper, clocks, textiles, rugs, books, stained glass and gilding will demonstrate their skills and offer advice to anyone looking to have a treasured possession repaired or renovated.
A 'Guess the Value' competition, will run throughout the week.
For further information, visit www.honitonantiquesfestival.com