Crowds inside the IACF Celebration of Antiques fair in Stoneleigh.

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Attendees were in high spirits at IACF’s new Stoneleigh Celebration of Antiques fair in Warwickshire, with just over 500 stallholders to welcome visitors.

The event was held over the Easter long weekend for the first time, from March 29-30. Many of those in attendance were hoping that it would be a good replacement for the Festival of Antiques at Peterborough which held its last event in April 2023 (IACF took it over in 2019).

This new fair was launched at the National Agricultural and Exhibition Centre (NAEC) at Stoneleigh, south of Coventry. It marks a return to Stoneleigh for IACF which first held events there (when it was part of DMG Fairs) from around 1993 to 2000 and made a brief return from 2013.

Great potential


Mair Griffiths, who specialises in porcelain, on her stall at the Stoneleigh fair.

One stallholder, Mair Griffiths, who specialises in porcelain, said that Stoneleigh has the “potential to be a Peterborough” and that many of her regular Peterborough customers had come to find her at the new venue which has given her the confidence to come back.

She sells around 60/40 to trade/ public at the fairs and is planning to book again for the October edition. Some of the visitors that IACF spoke to shared similar sentiments. Pete Grundy from Derby, who used to be a regular attendee at Peterborough, has brought his business to Stoneleigh.

He said that he never comes with a plan but always buys “half functional and half daft things… We come with our friends each year and have ridiculous dream lists.” One of the items that he had picked up was a Chinese bronze dragon stamp for £100.

Tarquin Thomas, one of Grundy’s friends who regularly attends fairs with him, found a decorative Jello mould which he bought for £70. He said it would “be beautiful on the kitchen wall with the copper half teapot from the last one”, referring to one of the purchases he picked up at Peterborough.

Steve Cloonan from Live for Tweed was pleased with the new venue and the building. “It’s very bright in here. It used to be so dark at Peterborough in the shedding,” he said. Cloonan specialises in saving vintage jackets and coats from landfill and refurbishing them for sale and can expect to sell around 30-40 items across the weekend. His tweed jackets are priced £40-180 as an example.

Howard Emmerson from Class Antiques was really pleased with the footfall and the pieces that he had already sold. One of the first to get away was a Liberty of London Hippopotamus which was almost 3ft long. He sold this to a fellow trade buyer for a price in excess of £700.

Emmerson also sold an Austrian solid silver lemon Guilloche enamel card case c.1890 which went for a sum in excess of £1000 and said that the new owner was “over the moon with it”.

Another pair of dealers doing well were Michelle Stephenson from Durham China & Silver and Derek Stephenson from Stephenson & Sons Silver. Michelle said: “There are a lot more inside stalls and great footfall.”

One of her Friday sales was a Lalique swan which went for £2800. Derek also did well with the swan theme and sold a pair of silver hallmark swans to Chinese trade for £1250.

While the inside traders were very happy with the footfall and trade attendance, there were fewer stalls outside than anticipated. Dean Colenso from Colenso antiques said the outside stallholder turnout was poor but “the footfall has been brilliant with good advertising”.


Ollie and Libby Collins with a set of three antlers they had purchased from Colenso Antiques for £450.

He sold a set of three antlers to couple Libby and Ollie Collins for their new equestrian-themed rental in Northamptonshire for £450. They had come to Stoneleigh specifically to find a statement piece for the wall and left thrilled with their purchase.

Dealers Markus and Gayna Pinney from Pintiques in Market Harborough and Kidworth had come to buy but were pleased with the offering. They also said that while the parking for visitors had been fantastic, there were more outdoor stalls at Peterborough.

The duo had bought a storage trunk for £20 and knew that they could make a profit on it in their shops.


Visiting dealers Markus and Gayna Pinney from Pintiques with their storage trunk which they bought for £20 and plan to resell in one of their shops.

Room to grow

The next fair at the new venue will be held on October 25-26. IACF managing director Will Thomas said: “I would like to say a huge thank you to our amazing stallholders and buyers for supporting the launch of the Celebration of Antiques at Stoneleigh. The buyers in attendance were really strong and the number of visitors beat our projections.

“The reason we chose Stoneleigh was because it gives us the opportunity to grow in future, with more halls and outside pitch options.

“After such a great launch we definitely plan to expand there.”