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It will take place on Saturday, April 18, next year, at the same venue: the Pillar Hall at the Olympia Exhibition Centre in west London.

This venue is handily just round the corner from the 25 Blythe Road auctions ‘collective’ run by Thomas Del Mar, the organiser of this new fair. He plans to hold them twice a year. The aim was to “revitalise and encourage new interest in the once musty world of martial objects hailing from centuries ago to the First World War”.

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Thomas Del Mar, the organiser of the Olympia Antique Arms Fair.

To “add gravitas”, a “substantial fair guide” was produced with articles by world-leading curators and academics in the field including Tobias Capwell, curator of arms and armour at the Wallace Collection, Ian Eaves, former keeper of armour at the Royal Armouries, and Erik Goldstein, senior curator of mechanical arts and numismatics at Colonial Williamsburg, to name but a few.

Stands full

Del Mar reports that all stands sold out (around 70 tables taken by over 40 dealers), with many established firms taking part such as Runjeet Singh, Peter Finer, Michael German, Patrick Mestdagh, Magazin Royal, West Street Antiques, Garth Vincent Antique Arms and Armour and Hatford Antiques.

More than 200 people came including “a number of leading collectors, curators and the very welcome newcomers to the field”.

Early reactions seem very positive, Del Mar said. “As a first fair this was a great success. I was delighted with the universal enthusiasm and hugely encouraged by the reaction of the dealers and visitors that took part in the day.

“There appeared to be a great deal of business going on throughout the event as well as that followed up afterwards via our website.

“Such a great result could not have been achieved without the extraordinary hard work of my colleagues, including Patrick Shutt who did such an outstanding job in creating the guide as well as in numerous other aspects of the day.”