A very happy Christmas to all the organisers of such events, as well as those hard workers running antiques centres. I look forward to writing about you all in 2018. Keep the news coming.
International Antiques and Collectors’ Fairs (IACF) dominated the fairs scene this year with the announcement in November that it is withdrawing from the antiques markets the organiser launched at Sandown Park Racecourse in March.
IACF instead will increase focus on its antiques and collectors’ fairs at the Newbury Showground and ‘Runway Monday’ at Newark.
The Sandown Park antiques markets will continue, with Sunbury Antiques running a monthly Tuesday event here in tandem with its fortnightly “trade favourite” antiques market at Kempton Park Racecourse.
Earlier this year the Jockey Club announced that the racecourse could be earmarked for development, but there has been no further news on this at the time of writing.
A healthy crop of new fairs featured in the Fairs & Markets column this year. In April Alan Cartwright of Jaguar Fairs launched an antiques and collectors’ fair at Nottingham Racecourse.
In the same month, Louise Sweeney as Sweeney Fairs ran her first antiques and vintage fair at the Derby Conference Centre.
Keeley Harris of Discover Vintage is doing so well with her homewares fairs that she has added two new venues: the Bath Pavilion and the Sports Connexion in Coventry.
In June, Oriental carpets and antiques dealer Mal Cannell organised a small antiques fair in the grounds at Bayfield Hall on the north Norfolk coast.
Decoratives dealer John Durrant used the restored Ely Maltings in Cambridgeshire to launch a new antiques fair for the Real Antiques and Fairs Dealers Association (RAFDA).
In September, for the first time, the British Horological Institute hosted a 40-standholder clock and watch fair at its HQ, Upton Hall, near Newark, which attracted plenty of interest.
Gary Sheridan of GNB Fairs announced an addition next year to his six-venue fairs’ portfolio with a new one-day fair at the Dover Cruise Terminal.
Dealer David Steel, who runs the online antiques site Tree of Ages, launched a new antiques fair in December at a country house venue, Robert Denholm House, in Nutfield, Surrey.
A fairs change announcement came in September when Salvo Fair organiser Thornton Kay announced that he will be taking a year’s sabbatical in 2018.
To be called Décor Salvo, the annual fair will be run next year by Lord and Lady McAlpine at their Fawley Hill estate, near Henley-on- Thames, where the event has been held for the past three years.
Plenty of news developed on the markets front, including Bowman Antiques Fairs. Bowman organisers Helen Bowman and Ben Wray were so impressed by the success of other large fleamarkets, notably B2B’s fleamarket at the Malvern Showground, that they launched their own flea in Yorkshire.
This biannual event is held at the Skipton Auction Mart at Skipton in Yorkshire.
In November Arthur Swallow held the first of its ‘winter quarters’ indoor antiques markets at Stoneleigh Park Estate in Warwickshire. The organiser will return to its regular antiques market venue in the summer.
Maxine Stonehill of Pop- Up Vintage Fairs launched a vintage market at the Mercato Metropolitano, an Italian restaurant in London.
As ever, specialist fairs featured in the column this year, including: the Textile Society, World Paper Money, Midcentury Modern, BBR’s bottle and advertising material events, Antique Scientific Instruments and the Ephemera Society.
In May, we ran a story about a sketchbook by the Bavarian artist George Johann Scharf (1788-1860) whose widow sold 1000 of his drawings and watercolours to the British Museum. The sketchbook was found by the Ephemera Society’s chair, dealer Val Jackson-Harris at a Sunbury Antiques Market, and this story was picked up by the national press.