A large Chinese Kangxi Period porcelain barber’s bowl, c.1720, is among the offerings at The Winter Art & Antiques Fair 2019, which returns for its second run in an altered format this year.
The bowl, offered for £1450 by ceramics specialist Philip Carrol Antiques, is in the classic shape of a European shaving bowl, with a shallow basin and an indentation to the rim so that it fits against the customer’s neck.
It is thought that the semi-circular notch may also have been used as a place for resting a patient’s arm during bloodletting, because barbers still doubled as surgeons in the 18th century.
This example, made for the European market, is painted with flowering plants in the Chinese Imari taste (dry iron red enamel highlighted with gilt), with a continuous Ruyi (or ceremonial sceptre) head motif to the rim.
The run-up to Christmas
Carrol is among 70 UK dealers standing at the 29th edition of the antiques fair, running from November 5-10 (trade preview day November 4) in west London’s Olympia exhibition hall.
As well as attracting collectors and decorators, it has long been geared towards Christmas shoppers as one of the last major antiques events before December. Its place in the calendar makes it an important opportunity for exhibitors, who last year proved their loyalty by committing to attend in a changed format rather than lose it altogether. It now takes place on the gallery level of the National Hall above the Spirit of Christmas Fair. Both are run by Clarion Events.
Following dealer feedback from last year, several changes have been made to the next staging. As well as increased space at the champagne bar and a more extensive menu, there will be clearer signs and a doorman on duty.
Objects are available from £100 to hundreds of thousands of pounds and include jewellery, furniture, clocks textiles and more.
A French Napoleon III tortoiseshell Boulle centre table is among the highlights. The Regence-style piece is in the manner of Befort Jeune but made in France c.1850- 70. It is offered by Robin Martin Antiques for £7000.
Meanwhile, newcomer RKade Antiques brings a Guglielmo Ulrich chaise lounge covered in silk fabric designed by Fornasetti. Made in Italy c.1940, it is offered for £7000.
In jewellery, Anthea AG Antiques offers a 1970s tassel necklace suspended from a gold chain.
Haynes Fine Art brings a variety of paintings and works on paper including the 1918 drawing Two Views of Mother and Child by Henry Moore.
Other exhibitors at the event include Garret & Hurst Sculpture, M&D Moir, Markov and Wimpole Antiques.
Beyond the commercial element, visitors can attend tours of the event and talks by various industry experts. These include Investing in the Decorative by British Institute of Interior Design member Rachel Laxer and Emperor Qianlong’s Hidden Treasures by Dr Nicole Chiang, held in association with the Museum of East Asian Art.
Market expert Judith Miller presents 40 Years On: How the Antiques World has Changed, in which she looks over her career of producing guides and discusses trends and developments in the market.