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"As a dealer-led fair and being antiques dealers ourselves we are aware that, generally speaking, fairs held on Sundays are becoming increasingly quiet. So after discussions with exhibitors at York this year we have moved our fair from a Saturday and Sunday event to a Friday and Saturday one.”

So says Morgan Denyer of Rose Antiques Fairs about his stand-fitted antiques, decorative and fine art fair at York Racecourse on Friday and Saturday, June 8-9.

Two floors of trade

This is the third of these annual events and will extend over two floors at the venue.

Returning exhibitors include the splendidly named Wigs on the Green with a selection of rare portrait miniatures, Not Chelsea offering 18th and 19th century treen, Garth Vincent at the sharp end with arms and armour and J Dickinson Maps and Prints offering one of the earliest Elizabethan maps, created by Christopher Saxton, c.1577.

Generally speaking, fairs held on Sundays are becoming increasingly quiet

Blue John exhibition

This year too there will be a selling exhibition by Treak Cliff Cavern in the Derbyshire Peak District, one of only two working Blue John mines in the world, which was discovered by lead miners in the mid-18th century.


An early photograph of Blue John miners at Treak Cliff.

One of the earliest references to Blue John is in a 1768 letter by industrialist Matthew Boulton. He used the prized semi-precious mineral with its distinctive purple-blue veins to create ormolu decorative vases for the homes of the seriously rich.

In the 19th century Blue John was mined for use as ornamental pieces ranging from knife handles to chalices. Among the items in the exhibition is a striking contemporary Blue John chalice, priced at £2295 and made by Peter Sharp in the workshops at Treak Hill Cavern.