One event, The Cotswold Art & Antiques Dealers’ Association Fair (CADA), has long championed the merits of stately surroundings. This event was previously hosted in the Orangery at Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire until renovations forced a search for a new home in 2019.
It now opens for the first time in Warwickshire at the impressive Compton Verney Art Gallery and Park. This restored Grade I-listed 18th-century mansion is surrounded by 120 acres of parkland landscaped by Capability Brown.
“Not only will our members put on a magnificent show with a great variety of fine art and antiques from across their individual businesses in the Cotswolds, all of which will be for sale, but visitors will also be able to enjoy Compton Verney Art Gallery’s exhibition and treasures, and a stroll through its Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown designed park”, says fair director Cathy Hunt of Catherine Hunt Oriental Antiques.
The ninth annual event runs from October 14-17 (the first edition since 2019 because of the pandemic) and welcomes around 30 exhibitors, mainly members of CADA, and a few specialist guest exhibitors.
A wide selection of antique furniture makes it to this year’s event including a rare William and Mary floral marquetry oyster veneered chest on stand, c.1700, in the manner of London cabinet maker Thomas Pistor Senior on Lennox Cato’s stand. The Edenbridge dealer also brings a Chinese export games table made from solid padouk wood with ebony stringing and a finely carved 16th century medieval walnut coffer.
Pistor is also the attributed maker on another piece of furniture: a William and Mary period kingwood fall front escritoire priced at £60,000 from English furniture specialist WR Harvey. The c.1690 piece is offered alongside an identically priced Charles II period escritoire of burr walnut containing some 40 drawers and secret compartments.
Other creations in wood include an oak bench with a woven leather top designed by Gordon Russell (1892- 1980) and dating to his first year of production in 1923, from David Pickup Antiques, and a 15th century Flemish oak angel carved in the round playing a musical instrument ticketed at £4450 from Shaw Edwards Antiques.
Fair goers will also be treated to a show on the celebrated 17th century master woodcarver Grinling Gibbons (1648-1721), the so-called ‘Michelangelo of Wood’, hosted by the Compton Verney Art Gallery as part of a year-long series of events to commemorate his tercentenary. Produced in partnership with the Grinling Gibbons Society, the exhibition focuses on his life and legacy and runs concurrently with the fair.
Dealers offer a wide range of other disciplines including oil and watercolour paintings, clocks and barometers, jewellery, Oriental ceramics, carpets and rugs, textiles, glass, silver, garden and architectural antiques, sculpture and more.
Of local interest is a complete album of 18 watercolours of Warwickshire landmarks and views by the Coventry-born artist Herbert Edward Cox (1870-1941) on Newman Fine Art’s stand, for sale at £1450. Signed and in mint condition, the paintings include views of medieval Warwick Castle, Shakespeare’s Birthplace and the Royal Pump Room in Leamington Spa.
Meanwhile, new CADA member Neil Schofield brings Modern British art including a pencil and wash drawing from 1951 by Wilhelmina Barns-Graham (1912-2004) that formed the basis for one of her best-known works, Cornish Landscape, Porthleven.
Unusual US sampler
Among the textiles adorning the fair is an unusual 19th century American sampler from Witney Antiques featuring a rare depiction of a military subject.
Worked by 15-year-old Hannah Stonehouse, it dates to 1808 – the beginning of the Peninsular War when the British, Spanish and Portuguese fought the armies of Napoleon.
Jewellery and watch highlights include a typical engraved Royalist silver locket depicting Charles I priced at £3950 from Howards Jewellers based in nearby Stratford-upon-Avon and a Hanhart German Luftwaffe pilot’s watch from the Second World War, priced at £5500 from Timewise Vintage Watches.
Joining these exhibitors are Trinity House Paintings, Freshfords Fine Antiques, Tobias Birch, Mark Goodger Antiques, Mayflower Antiques and Architectural Heritage among others. n