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The fair, which launched in 1950, runs from March 20-24 at Chelsea Old Town Hall on London’s King’s Road. It coincides with the BADA Fair (March 20-26), held a few hundred yards away.

Jewellery, rugs, glass, fine art, silver and much more is on offer from the 30 or so dealers attending.

Among the stand-out pieces offered by Jupiter is a c.1765 Isleworth shell dish painted in underglaze blue with a central flower, which is offered for £1395.

This is one of the 433 pieces now in the hands of the dealership from the collection of the late Dr Trevor Darling (also see Letters this edition).

This academic collector enjoyed the process of attributing unmarked pieces and the dealership’s Brad Dover recalls that “he once remarked that just like his day job, it was the diagnosis that intrigued him”.

When it came to early pieces from the 18th century, “he liked doing the research to find things out himself”, adds Jupiter’s Kevin Pearcy.

“A lot of 18th century porcelain isn’t actually marked so you have to look at the individual characteristics – the body, shape, painting and decoration – to define what it is.”

Offering this range of private collections is a chance to bring something unusual and fresh: many of the 50 works featured in this catalogue have not been on the market for 15-20 years.

“Most of the people we work with have been collecting for some time and they want something out of the ordinary,” Pearcy adds.

“Private collectors tend to be specific with what they’re buying, focusing on pickle dishes and sauce boats, for example. When we send out our catalogue we hope it will tempt them to come see more.”

Other highlights in the specialist show include a rare Longton Hall porcelain sauceboat styled after Staffordshire saltglaze models and a Vauxhall teapot and cover from the Colin Hanley collection.

Items from the Darling collection are offered at the fair for the first time, supplementing the wider selection, but a subsequent catalogue of objects he amassed is planned to follow in a few months.

More on offer

Elsewhere in the fair, porcelain is also on offer from dealers such as Roger de Ville and Philip Carrol Antiques.

Visitors will find several newcomers this year such as Rug Addiction, Shine on Design, Thomas Spencer Fine Art and Brown Elliott, which specialises in jewellery, silver and period furniture.

When Penman Fairs took over the event in the early 1980s, all exhibits except art were required to predate 1830.

Today no dateline is imposed, though the fully vetted event maintains its focus on quality.

Therefore, while buyers will still delight in traditional antiques, such as an impressive 19th century silver-gilt nine basket epergne from Paul Bennett Antique Silver, they can also indulge in some more recent pieces.

Racing drama

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Available for £5750, this Bugatti poster by Hunziker Gerold is offered by Barclay Samson Vintage Posters.

Among the selection of objects on offer from the 1930s is a Bugatti poster designed by the Swiss painter and illustrator Gerold Hunziker (1894-1980).

This was his most famous poster design, using a dramatic angle and unexpected colours to depict the Bugatti type 55 Roadster. This lithograph, dating to 1932, is available for £5750 from Barclay Samson Vintage Posters.

Richard Hoppé Antiques, meanwhile, offers a 1930s ovoid blue overlay crystal Deco vase. The unmarked vase is a Val St Lambert piece thought to have been designed by Charles Graffart and is offered for £725.

penman-fairs.co.uk