Panthers were all the rage at the eighth edition of the Petworth Antiques & Fine Art Fair.
Running from May 19-21 on the grounds of Petworth House and Park, the event organised by The Antiques Dealers Fair Limited hosted more than 60 exhibitors.
At least three panther-inspired objects sold on the second day of the fair, including a French c.1925 bronze panther signed by Rudens from Jeroen Markies Art Deco for £4300 (pictured top).
Elsewhere at the event, David Hickmet of Hickmet Fine Art sold two chrome 1920s panthers to an existing client for £2000.
These transactions were part of a larger trend, observed across the fair, for smaller decorative items, while furniture sales were more difficult.
For example, Callum Jackson of Jacksons Antique sold a pair of satsuma vases for a price in the region of £6000 to a local couple who were downsizing their apartment and looking for smaller items to decorate with.
Having taken his card, Jackson was optimistic that they would become future clients.
He had only good things to say about the fair. “It’s a mix between Olympia and Battersea”, he told ATG. “It’s high end but also very pretty.”
On the Sunday, he sold another three Satsuma vases, all from the Meiji period to new clients, each within the region of £3000-£6000.
Small is beautiful
Joanna Hamlyn from Augustus Brandt, a local dealer in antiques and bespoke furniture who was standing for the second time, was among those noticing that there was “definitely” a pattern in buyers’ demands – even among the trade.
She sold a mother of pearl Arts & Crafts box to another dealer within the first 10 minutes of the fair.
Dr Shanshan Wang of W Shanshan sold several small figure pieces, but also parted with a large 2000-year-old double-handled burnished red earthenware jar.
Shanshan said she was pleased with the calibre of visitors at the fair and she connected with many new clients.
Dealers from jewellery specialist Gråsilver shared such thoughts, mentioning “good, quality people who are interested and knowledgeable about gold, different things and the big and bold”.
Ads pay off
The pre-fair advertising had also led to successful sales for many of the dealers.
Mark Goodger sold both a green tea chest (listed for £3500) and a century box tea caddy (listed for £3000) that were placed in the front of his flyer for the event.
John Jaffa of the Antique Enamel Company also sold a Viennese enamel carriage for a price in the region of £8000 to an American client through pre-fair advertising.
One piece from Mark J West had been featured in ATG; a bowl for the coronation banquet of Queen Victoria which was marked for £2500 and sold to someone who had seen it in the Gazette and attended to pick it up.
Modern British art dealer Freya Mitton was also facilitating pre-fair sale pickups at the event.
A late 1980s Frederick Gaul piece sold for a high four-figure sum, and a local couple were pleased to be able to come and collect it.
Mitton also sold a British seaside view for £2000 on the first day to an American couple visiting the UK on their honeymoon.
Like Mitton, many fine art dealers enjoyed robust sales at the event. Blackbrook Gallery, a regular at the fair, sold an 1850s picture of a Spaniel that was ticketed at £1250; Kaye Michie sold a drawing of Anna Pavlova by Dame Laura Knight for $500; and Lucy B Campbell sold Mrs Lancaster’s Dogs by Contemporary artist Diana Cook while the artist was in attendance.
Despite the heat of the spring weekend, Elford Fine Art sold a watercolour Christmas picture, The Holy Seller by George Goodwin Kilburne (1839-1924), for £4800. The dealership almost chose not to bring it because they didn’t believe such a work would sell at this time of year.
While furniture sales were more difficult this year, some good pieces were snapped up. Nicholas Arkell of Walton House Antiques, for example, sold a large Georgian oak dresser base for £2500 and a matching pair of bedside tambour fronted commodes, c.1795, with an asking price of £4000.
All set for next year
The next Petworth Fine Art & Antiques Fair will be held from May 17-19, 2024.