LAPADA, The Association of Art & Antiques Dealers, has approached its members about the events – one new and another returning.
The new event, to be held in May in Hampstead Heath, would host around 120 exhibitors, both members and non-members of LAPADA.
The LAPADA team will manage the event working with Ramsay Fairs, the new owner of the British Art Fair and long-time organiser of the Affordable Art Fair (an edition of which is staged in the same Hampstead location).
Members of LAPADA will have preferential rates and priority for booking.
The other proposed event would mark a return to Berkeley Square, where the association’s f lagship event took place until 2019. Last year it was suspended as production costs soared and the association confined itself to stands within The Game Fair. instead.
However, by partnering with Stable Events, owner of The Game Fair, the popular outlet could return next September or October with 90-100 stands, again open to members and non-members.
Prices would still be high – around £875 per square metre for LAPADA members and £925 for non-members. But for those unable to justify stands at that level, the Hampstead Heath fair offers stands at around £550 for members.
The possible return of large, traditional antiques fairs to London will be welcome to many dealers.
At one time the LAPADA and BADA fairs dominated this landscape. However, the BADA spring event, now The Open Art Fair, has not run since a truncated staging in 2020 and the probability of its return is uncertain.
LAPADA CEO Freya Simms says: “Providing retail opportunities for members is written into our articles. We’ve gone out to our members to be sure we are providing that, and now we have two, one that is more affordable. We’ve tried to find something that is as good for furniture dealers as well as picture dealers.”
She added that the team is “in a good position to make both events happen provided there is sufficient dealer interest”. So far the outlook is good, with many members responding to the Expression of Interest Form on the morning it was sent out – some signalling interest in participating in both events.
Meanwhile, LAPADA also has been having preliminary talks with the organisers of the catalogue-led Armchair Art Fair about a future collaborative event.
The next appearance for the association is The LAPADA Village at the Welsh Game Fair on September 9-11.