So says Will Thomas, IACF managing director, as he vows to continue the Peterborough Festival of Antiques’ eclectic mix of fine decorative antiques and collectables, garden ware, metal advertising signs and industrial furniture, available at varying price points.
Inside and out, ATG found items for as little as £1, right up to a rare ceramic piece ticketed at £28,000.
Making a statement
“Buyers want statement pieces” was many sellers’ mantra and those signature items were to be found on grass pitches as well as indoors in the Exhibition Hall, Cambridge Suite and the showground’s sheds.
Relic Revolution, which trades online and at IACF Ardingly, stalled out at Peterborough on grass, selling rustic and industrial items, kitchenalia and garden ware. Among their sales were two 1920s cinema seat sets, ticketed at £350 each.
On another allocated grass pitch, Dutch dealer Luuk Nijssen of Antiques Forever was selling signed Belgian and French bronze sculptures and paintings, with little on sale for under £100.
“I was late booking and didn’t make it into the Exhibition Hall,” Nijssen explained, as he sold an Art Deco bronze nude statue by Belgian sculptor Paule Bisman to a regular dealer client. Ticketed at £2250 and measuring 2ft 4in wide x 14in high, the bronze is numbered 8/12.
Among the sellers congregating in the Exhibition Hall was British art pottery dealer Baz Stock from Oxfordshire, selling pieces by Martin Brothers, Doulton, Moorcroft and Compton and Elton.
Stock calculates he spent £350 to stand for two days at Peterborough, including £154 (inc VAT) for a glass cabinet to house late-19th and early-20th century Martinware, ranging from eccentric face jugs and grotesque wally bird jars to more conventional pots and vases.
The outlay proved “a fantastic investment,” Stock says, after he sold a 9.5in (24cm) high Martin Brothers wallybird tobacco jar, ticketed at £25,000, and a stoneware grimacing face jug, for which the dealer was asking £9000, both to an existing female collector client.
Having a glass cabinet took the stand “to a different level,” he adds, with the pottery display stopping many visitors in their tracks.
“Martinware is a great example of objects that can generate intensity and emotion in a huge room like the Exhibition Hall, in a way that other ceramics don’t,” Stock says.
Back to school
In an era before Facebook and smartphones, the class photo – with their line-ups of gap-toothed, eager smiles – was the main visual keepsake of school days.
That is the collecting attraction for locals Alison and Nigel Watts from Warmington (above), who regularly attend the Peterborough festival and this time came away with a 1968 example for £1.