Known since its launch in 1986 as Antiques for Everyone, it has been redubbed Art & Antiques for Everyone, reflecting the rise in the number of art collectors, dealers and interior decorators who attend the event held three times a year.
For its summer edition, from July 19-22, it also features a weekend-only section, which was trialled in the previous staging and now returns as a permanent fixture. This section allows dealers to attend just two of the event’s four days.
Following the trial period at the last fair, it is now a fully vetted, table-top selection and offers visitors a wide variety of antique and decorative pieces.
As well as giving dealers with a less flexible schedule a chance to exhibit, it has tempted some who wish to have a trial run at the fair, either because they have never done it before or because they have not returned in a while.
Silver specialist Michael Baggott is in the latter category (it is, in fact, his first fair in a few years). In order to tempt collectors back in on a Saturday – the fair starts on a Thursday – he is offering a selection of previously unseen pieces that will only be available at the fair during the weekend as, what he calls, “a reward for attending in these days of online sales”.
Among other items, he brings a variety of provincial rarities including examples of work from Bath, York and Norwich, ranging in price from £4000-14,000.
Around 45 dealers are down to show in the new section such as Karen Dalmeny, Carol Tresor, Violet May Ceramics and Oakdale Antiques. The other two sections at the fair remain the same: in Section 1 there is no dateline, though all pieces are of high quality, and in Section 2 most stock predates 1970 with special restrictions in certain areas.
In total about 200 dealers will attend. Morgan Strickland Decorative Art, James Strang, Dansk Silver and Tim Saltwell Antiques are some of them.
First-time exhibitors include Steve Webster Antique Clocks, Sally Hoban bringing vintage clothing, textiles and accessories, Hispanic Antiques and ceramics specialist Ikenna Nwokike.
As usual, the fair features a loan display, this time featuring objects brought by The Buttonhook Society, with examples from its archives containing more than 50,000 buttonhooks and related pieces. The exhibition, Just a Hook?, has examples from across the country.
A number of talks by a variety of specialists are scheduled, such as Dr Sally Hoban speaking about key aspects of 20th century design and Paul Moorehead of the Buttonhook Society addressing the appearance of the buttonhook from the classical era to the 19th century.