“The level of spending was really high which of course is the most important thing for exhibitors.”
Fair organiser Ingrid Nilson is talking about The Petworth Park Antiques & Fine Art Fair she ran in June. One of the first vetted events to take place in 2021, it attracted multiple visitors happy to queue in the rain for a chance to peruse quality art and antiques in person once more.
Nilson is now gearing up for another event, The Northern Antiques Fair, which returns after a two-year enforced break from September 30- October 3. “Let’s hope that pent up demand is still there,” she says.
This year the fair takes place at The Garden Rooms at Tennants auction house in Leyburn, North Yorkshire – some 30 miles up the road from its traditional venue at the Harrogate Convention Centre, currently used as a Nightingale Hospital.
The vetted event, a regular in the fairs calendar since 1951, is the first of its type to be held at Tennants’ multi-purpose venue, which underwent a major redevelopment in 2015.
“The move to Tennants seems to have stirred a lot of interest,” Nilson says. “The response to advertising and request for tickets is at an all-time high.”
Ideally suited for large events, the venue has ample free parking and a café, bar and bistro offering catering throughout the day. Plans are already in motion to make the arrangement permanent with the same dates pencilled for 2022.
‘Closer to some customers’
Although a few “south centric” people have queried the move further north, Nilson is confident the relocation will be a success. “While it is further for people in the south, it is much closer for certain customers in the northeast and Cumbria. There are also a lot of fairs in the Harrogate area so being slightly further north gives us an edge,” she says.
The fair maintains its modest size with around 35 dealers – mainly BADA and LAPADA members – making their way to Leyburn with an assortment of art, antiques and accessories for the home set at varying price points (£100 to over five figure sums).
A handful of debutants join the exhibitor list including JA Yarwood Antiques, The Antiques Bazaar (see this week’s 5 Questions) and Julian Eade Antiques, the latter bringing an eclectic range of items for sale including a late 19th century Japanese large stag antler okimono of two toads on a lily pad, ticketed at £3385.
London-based Burlington, specialists in 19th and 20th century British and European oil paintings owned and run by Angela Hardy, also returns after a number of years away. Among the paintings picked out for the fair is The Homestead, a Dutch work by Adrianus Zwart (1903-81), one of the last painters of the Hague School. It is priced at £6750.
Returnees include the Blackbrook Gallery, which brings 19th century naïve animal paintings including one of a famous dairy shorthorn bull bred in Carlisle ticketed at £3750, and Roger de Ville Antiques, specialists in 18th and 19th century English pottery, offering several Yorkshire-made pieces including a Mexborough Pottery chapel money box, c.1820, priced at £875. As ceramic money boxes are usually broken to retrieve the contents, this is a rare survivor.
An Iznik dish dating to the mid-17th century and decorated with five hand painted stylised tulip flowers – the holiest flower in Ottoman culture – is destined for the stand of Hispanic Antiques from Sheffield while a selection of French Impressionist paintings by Achille Laugé (1861-1944), Paul Signac (1863-1935), Albert Guillaume (1873- 1942) and Marcel Dyf (1899-1985) are offered from long-time exhibitor Walker Galleries of Harrogate.
Other returnees include Ellis Fine Art, Graham Ruddock Antique Ceramics, Jack Shaw & Co and Solo Antiques.