Vagabond Antiques brings this original Queen Anne walnut armchair with ‘rose garden’ upholstery to the Decorative Antiques & Textiles Fair in Battersea, where it is priced £3850.

Enjoy unlimited access: just £1 for 12 weeks

Subscribe now

Dealer Joe Chaffer of Vagabond Antiques describes the piece, made in England, c.1710, as having “a generous scale for a chair of this period, which can usually be quite narrow”. It is offered for £3850.

The modern faded rose-patterned upholstery designed by Osborne & Co makes the chair a fitting addition to this year’s Alice in Wonderland-theme showcase, reminiscent as it is of the Queen of Hearts’ garden. However, Chaffer adds that it can be re-covered to suit the buyer’s taste.

A popular destination for buyers and exhibitors alike, Battersea Decorative is known for its relaxed atmosphere and policy of welcoming dogs (many exhibitors bring their own pooches for the event) as well as the variety of offerings. The next staging runs from January 21-26 in London’s Battersea Park.

The theme is a homage to John Tenniel (1820-1914), the original illustrator of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1865) by Lewis Carroll, preceding a major exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum in June.

This year marks the bicentenary of Tenniel’s birth.

Other objects in the showcase are a set of early-20th century French apothecary jars from Joseph Berry Interiors and a variety of garden flamingos brought by Nick Jones.

The fair hosts 149 exhibitors as well as the 18 standing at The London Antique Rug & Textile Art Fair (LARTA), which takes place on the venue’s mezzanine (see stories on facing page). Rugs and textile dealers who also regularly stand at Battersea Decorative include Katharine Pole, Su Mason and Rhona Valentine.

In a recent round-up of trends at last year’s autumn Decorative fair, organisers reported strength in textiles, with buyers seeking out lengths of printed French cottons and embroidered silk panels with decorative possibilities.

However, the report singles out traditional English and Continental antique furniture as one of the best-performing areas, attributing demand to decorators working in clients’ country homes.

Interior designers are once again going for a ‘layered’ look in these homes, the report says, going for upholstered seating, decorated furniture and traditional accessories. During the last event there were also sales of large centre tables and Regency drum tables (also see Dealers’ Diary, ATG No 2424 for more evidence of this trend).

Offerings dating from the 1700s to 1970s are available throughout the fair at a variety of prices. Exhibitors include The Parker Gallery, exhibiting Old Master paintings, Sisi Tatu with a mix of ethnographic objects and textiles and Brian Watson Antique Glass.


Offered for £5500, this 19th century papier-mâché stationery cabinet from Kashmir is offered on the stand of Joost van den Bergh at the Decorative Antiques & Textiles Fair.

New to the event is Living in Style Gallery which offers Mid-century Italian design furniture, lighting and objets d’art.

Change is coming to the event later this year. Its spring staging moves from April to May, altering its traditional Tuesday to Sunday run to Thursday to Monday (May 14-18) instead.

The adjustment is in response to long-running requests from exhibitors, shifting the event away from conflicting moments in the calendar such as Easter.

Themes for the next events are The Secret Garden in the spring and Retail Inspiration at the autumn event, which runs in its traditional format from September 29-October 4.