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Over 65 dealers headed to Hertfordshire on Sunday, February 26, where organiser Paul Bishop holds a twice-yearly specialist glass fair in the 400-year-old Knebworth Barns after his previous venue, Chilford Hall Vineyard, Linton, was destroyed by fire in 2012.

Antique and modern vessels nestled side by side at this selling show, the fifth at this venue, with a number of glassmakers, such as Vic Bamforth, in attendance.

Drinking glasses, vases, bowls, candlesticks and decanters as well as paperweights, jewellery and decorative glass were spread over four large halls, encompassing all ages and genres of glassware.

TV collectables expert and author Mark Hill launched his new book Sklo: Czech Glass Design from the 1950s-70s, and specialist organisations such as the Glass Association and the Paperweight Collectors Circle were also kept busy with visitor enquiries.

Bulb vases

On the stand of Tina Neale were these bulb vases. The taller blue hyacinth vase dates from c.1830, the green example from c.1880-1900, each selling for under £40. Patricia Coccoris, a researcher and author attending the fair from Haarlem, Holland, explained that bulb vases date from the early 18th century and over the years have developed from a practical implement into an art form. More information on this niche collecting topic can be found in 'The Curious History of the Bulb Vase', available from Patricia via pmantiec@yahoo.com

This was definitely a small-dealer fair with many exhibitors only trading via specialist fairs such as this, online and via word of mouth recommendations.

I caught up with Bishop at the end of a busy day. He said: “We have been really pleased with visitor footfall today and most of the exhibitors seem happy with sales and collector interest.”

“This February slot works well for us. We are also looking for a new venue in north London to launch another fair in September as demand is so high.”

Next event - National Glass Fair, National Motorcycle Museum, West Midlands, Sunday, May 7 (10.30am-4pm). More details at nationalglassfair.com