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The fair was scheduled for January 21-30 at the Park Avenue Armory but organisers shelved it “due to the recent surge of Covid-19 cases in New York City and the high transmissibility of the Omicron variant”.

The fair, which is run and owned by charity East Side House, attracts an international roster of exhibitors and visitors.

Nearly 70 exhibitors were set to stand, many from the UK who had already shipped their stock.

London folk art dealer Robert Young, who is also co-chair of the fair’s vetting committee, said the delay “seemed the only responsible course of action to take, before any further logistical processes, admin and investment were made”.

He added: “The show is very well supported by its exhibitors and at the meetings there was a palpable enthusiasm and genuine appetite for an ‘in person’ show to take place early in 2022, so the organisers and charity are working to find alternative dates.

“Our consignment had not only already left the UK by the time the show was pulled, but had actually docked two days before the decision was made.

“Since we both hope and believe that it will be re-scheduled, we will leave our pieces under wraps in New York. As usual we had created a catalogue and have decided not to publish until we know more, so we will be able to exhibit the previously unseen pieces at the re-scheduled show. For the time being we are making no other contingency plans as we believe there is a real desire to put it on.”

Fellow London dealer Martin Levy of H Blairman & Sons had also sent his stock to the event.

He said: “As exhibitors we all hugely appreciate what the organisers do, and have done, to see that this very special fair continues after two difficult years. Fair organiser Helen Allen and her team really care about the exhibitors.

“We are greatly looking forward to doing the fair when it is rescheduled for March or April. In the absence of TEFAF Maastricht there is a convenient space in the calendar.”

The last physical edition of The Winter Show was in 2020, with an online version held in 2021.

It is the latest large fair to have been affected. Last month the March 2022 edition of TEFAF Maastricht was postponed, while BRAFA 2022 was also pushed back and rescheduled for June 19-26 at Brussels Expo.

However, two major ‘winter’ fairs in Florida are still on track to go ahead.

The Original Miami Beach Antique Show at the Miami Beach Convention Center is planned to take place on January 20-23. Mark Lind, group show director for US Antique Shows, said: “We are continually heartened to witness the excitement among our exhibitors and attendees for the return of in-person events and the inherent joy in connecting with one another.

“In accordance with mandates issued by the City of Miami Beach and the Miami Beach Convention Center on January 4, we will be requiring that masks are worn by everyone while in all indoor areas, regardless of vaccination status. The spirit of connectedness that we all felt when many of us came together for the Las Vegas Antique Jewelry and Watch Show in August was palpable, and we’re thrilled to continue that momentum of enthusiasm as we head to Miami.”

The Palm Beach Show will return live and in-person on February 17-22 at the Palm Beach County Convention Center.

Kelsi Hartmann of the Palm Beach Show Group said it will follow all “safety guidelines and protocols set by the venue, CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), WHO and government officials”.

However, neither the Naples Art, Antique & Jewelry Show (Palm Beach Show Group) nor The Miami Antiques + Art + Design Show (Dolphin Promotions) will go ahead this year.

Rosemary Krieger of Dolphin said: “We think Florida is too Covid-unstable at this time. We will return in January 2023.”

Back in New York, Asia Week New York is still scheduled for March 16-25.