Sales of high value items, art and good furniture bring sunshine to many exhibitors at the Spring 2024 Decorative Fair

Sales by Florence Evans Fine Art, Wakelin & Linfield and Joshua Lumley (details in release/notes) 

A strong opening day for the majority of exhibitors got the Spring Decorative Fair, held in Battersea Park  from 7-12 May, off to a flying start. The week brought serious buyers, decorators working on projects, and  trade customers looking for fine and unusual furniture, mirrors, lighting and elegant C20th furnishings. Art  in various disciplines sold well including sets of prints; modernist objects and works of art proved very  popular, with a notable interest in Brutalist designs; traditional English antiques and upholstery was in demand. Numerous dealers reported selling to US buyers and international private clients. Almost every exhibitor said they had made sales to new customers. A flourish of serious business on Sunday afternoon  brought a good uptick for many at the close of the Fair. 

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Among dealers reporting a very good Fair were Justin Evershed-Martin (C20th design & antiques), Sans  Pretention (mainly C20th), Joshua Lumley (rugs & tapestries), Schmid McDonagh (C20th design & art), Nick  Jones (antiques & C20th), Cal Smith Gallery (modernist art & design), Hudson Antiques (antiques & C20th),  L&V Art and Design (C20th), Streett Marburg & Charlotte Casadejus (antiques & C20th), Mary Cooke  Antiques Ltd (antique silver), Mark J West Ltd (antique glass), L Prentice Art & Antiques (mainly C20th), Catharine Miller (contemporary art), The Home Bothy (antiques & folk art), and Florence Evans Fine Art (modern art).  

Lesley Ferguson (decorative antiques), standing at the Fair in her own name for the first time, said she was  “absolutely delighted” with the experience and with sales which were primarily to trade buyers. Richard  Price, another new exhibitor, said: “It is a joy to exhibit, the organisation is extremely good, it is effortless  to move in and out, and the parking is fantastic. I sold my bigger, more impressive clocks, mostly to new  clients, at prices from £2500 to £10,000.” 

Stand out sales reports from furniture dealers: Wakelin & Linfield had a brilliant opening with many sales  of fine antique furniture including a Dutch marquetry escritoire, an oyster veneered early chest of drawers  and an outstanding set of eight Regency gothic chairs at prices to around £7000; Cal Smith Gallery sold a  set of Brutalist coffee tables by Lothar Klute ticketed at £14,500; new exhibitor Stephane Olivier sold an  elaborate contemporary decorative mirror by French artist Edouard Chevalier TP £14,000 and took a  commission for another; Sans Pretention sold a pair of commodes ticketed at £28,000, Caroline de  Kerangal a pair of bronze floor lamps after Giacometti for a five-figure sum, new exhibitor Beton Brut a  1970s German sofa and ottoman TP £16,000+VAT, and Nick Jones a spectacular parquetry centre table TP  £14,000. Chalet White sold an important pair of Morel & Hughes Regency armchairs to a new collector  priced in five-figures. 

Among collectors’ items and art, big ticket sales were reported by Mary Cooke Antiques Ltd (new) who  sold their star piece and multiple collectors’ items at prices up to £10,000; Florence Evans Fine Art sold  several of her major works at prices to £18,000; Mark West sold a group of 13 Val St Lambert vases on  

opening day to a new customer and Richard Price (new) sold his bigger, more impressive clocks, mostly to  new clients, at prices to £10,000. 

More dealers reporting a good Fair included Dorian Caffot de Fawes, Jenna Burlingham Gallery, Joost van  den Bergh, D J Green Antiques, Sandy Stanley, Dee Zammit, Florence Evans Fine Art, Galerie Arabesque (in  particular their offering of Delft ceramics), Macintosh Antiques, Philip Varma, Richard Steenberg, Interior  Boutiques, Town & Country, Form & Function, Tom Rooth, Saunders Fine Art, Tom Hurst, S&S Timms,  Hossack & Gray and David Brooker Fine Art. 

The Arts & Crafts foyer display enjoyed a number of sales including a Shapland & Petter of Barnstaple Arts  & Crafts oak buffet with copper repousse panel c1900, TP £1650, to a new UK client as well as a part upholstered high backed chair (James Miles), an Islamic octagonal occasional table (Patrick Macintosh), an  oriental framed mirror and smaller frame (Peter Last Ltd), a glazed ceramic jardiniere on stand (Julian  Simon Fine Art), and a rare Sussex chair by Ford Madox Brown (Justin Evershed-Martin). 

The House Directory LIVE debuted on the mezzanine with nine exhibitors and 14 further brands  showcased. Talented craftspeople came to demonstrate their skills during the week, and talks involving the  likes of Edward Bulmer, John Cullen Lighting, Cox London, Salvo and Decorative Fair exhibitors Harald  Altmaier and Joe Chaffer (Vagabond) brought in new audiences. The double book launch of ‘The  Restoration Guide’, a collaboration between The House Directory and Salvo, was a highlight of the event. 

Angel Tan of The House Directory said: “It was a privilege to be invited to curate the mezzanine of The  Decorative Fair this spring. Our aim was to pull together established and emerging interiors brands and  suppliers, as well as to host talks and workshops that were aligned with the ethos of the Fair, that would  also capture the interest of both longstanding and first-time visitors. We are so proud of the rich resource  that is The House Directory online, and it was a joy to curate a live event that celebrates our members’  skills, expertise and stories. We are looking forward to building upon this foundation, and growing the  event in the future.” 

Some well-known faces spotted at the Fair were actors Emerald Fennell and Andrew Scott, Sir Paul Smith,  designer Julien McDonald, Jenny Éclair, entrepreneur Liz Earle, TV personality Mark-Francis Vandelli, artist  and interiors writer Luke Edward Hall, and ‘the king of clubs’ Robin Birley (possibly buying for his new  project Maxime’s in NY?). 

Designers and trade buyers noted as being in attendance: Nina Campbell, Rita Konig, Kelly Hoppen, Saskia  Haining of Martin Brudnizki Design Studio, Duncan Campbell of Campbell Rey, Vicky Davar of Maison  Artefact, Spencer Swaffer, Max Rollitt, Edward Hurst, Ray Azoulay of Obsolete (USA), Martyn Lawrence  Bullard, Paolo Moschino, Salvesen Graham, Alice Crawley, Jane Churchill and Hollie Bowden Interiors. 

Organiser Jane Juran commented: “A combination of the first warm weather of the year plus train strikes  on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evidently did not deter quality buyers keen to attend and make  acquisitions, though it may well have affected day trip buyers from out of town. The free entry after 4pm  continued to attract evening visitors, in particular a younger clientele (other than Friday night by when the  weather was hot and drinks outside were no doubt preferable!).” 

Darren Hudson, Organiser, added, “We were glad to welcome a number of exciting new exhibitors who  brought fresh looks to the event, which was much commented on by our regular and trade visitors. As  usual, dealers pulled out all the stops in terms of presentation and effort, for which we thank them, as they  give The Decorative Fair its unique character and appeal.” 

The Autmn Fair will take place from 1-6 October 2024, and the Winter Fair from 21-26 January 2025. ENDS 

THERE FOLLOW INDIVIDUAL DEALER REPORTS

Cal Smith Gallery had a very successful Fair. On opening day sold a one-of-a-kind set of coffee tables by German brutalist artist Lothar Klute (b. 1946) in bronze and hand-cast glass, which were monogrammed  and dated 95, with an asking price of £14,500. Sales continued strongly throughout the week and  weekend, of lighting and artworks including an important museum poster, with good sales made on  Sunday too. Numerous works were also reserved immediately after the Fair. 

Later painted George III chest sold by Drennan & Sturrock TP £4400. Brutalist tables by Lothar Klute sold by Cal Smith  Gallery, TP £14,500. An important royal silver gilt bowl sold by Mary Cooke Antiques Ltd 

L&V Art and Design were very happy, making good sales of larger items including pairs of chairs, furniture,  lighting and mirrors, with serious buyers continuing to spend with them throughout the Fair.  

Streett Marburg & Charlotte Casadejus were very happy, a busy opening day of sales across the board  from furniture and lighting to objects and contemporary paintings. They had a very good week with strong  sales of furniture and art, amongst which were two large Italian gilt frames with mirrors, and two rare sets  of 1935 chairs designed by Robert Mallet-Stevens, father of French art deco architecture, to private buyers  ticketed at £5500 and £7500. 

Mary Cooke Antiques (new): “We’re very pleased!” Made sales of significant silver to very good new  clients (all but one new) including a pair of rare Paul Storr magnum wine coasters, TP £9000, three early  C19th gold collectors’ boxes, and a set of Hester Bateman stirrup cups TP £7000. They also sold their star  piece that had featured in pre-Fair editorial seen by a client, who came to view then purchase the item  later in the week. The silver gilt bowl was made for Prince Frederick, Duke of York & Albany (1763-1827),  and had a ticket price approaching £10,000. Neil Shepperson said after the Fair “The calibre of the visitor  was excellent. We sold to new clients, which is one of the main reasons for doing the fair… It was a lovely,  friendly, event to be involved in and I look forward to exhibiting again at future fairs.” 

Stephane Olivier (new, from Paris) made several sales of furniture and garden statuary, and a pair of highly  ornate and unusual contemporary artist candlesticks by Edouard Chevalier on the first day. Sales  continued well, of statuary, garden decoration, and furniture, including a rare pair of Regènce period  paintings of pigeons with a long provenance associated with the entourage of Marie Antoinette, TP £8800, and a large mirror by Edouard Chevalier, ticketed at £14,000, to a new client, plus a commission for a  similar mirror from a leading UK decorator. 

Lesley Ferguson (new) had a very good start, very pleased, selling mainly garden furniture and decoration.  Sales continued well during the week, especially to the trade. “I was absolutely delighted.” 

Caroline de Kerangal: Among early sales was an important pair of bronze floor lamps after Giacometti,  limited edition, 1970s, selling for a five figure sum.  

Wakelin & Linfield enjoyed one of their best opening days. Sales included a pair of tapestry-covered tall  armchairs, four pretty painted Georgian chairs, a farmhouse dining table with a rare set of eight Regency  gothic chairs, a wonderful Dutch marquetry escritoire (going to Bahrain) ticketed at £5000, and an oyster veneered chest to an existing client (TP £6000). Sales were mainly to new, UK clients. Further traditional  pieces sold later in the week including a dresser base.

Set of eight Regency gothic chairs sold by Wakelin & Linfield, TP £6950. Galerie Arabesque had great success selling  Delftware. Outstanding French parquetry inlaid centre table c1870, sold by Nick Jones TP £14,000.  

Brown Elliott had a busy opening, selling a lovely bow front Georgian chest on chest and a William IV  period rosewood library table both priced around £4000, a pair of wall sconces, and lamps. Noticed more  American buyers this time, including decorators attending with their clients. The Fair continued well. 

Hossack & Gray were happy with sales in particular of mid-century brutalist style metal accessories  (lighting, objects) and furniture. 

Vagabond: among opening day sales was a large Irish circular mahogany centre table, c1835, asking price  £8450, which sold to a new UK customer. 

Béton Brut (new) early sales included two 1960s large glass pendant lights (a single and a trio) by Italian  designer Dominioni priced around £1500 to £4000, and a large 1970s curved upholstered sofa and  accompanying circular ottoman by German designer Hans Hopfer ticketed at £16,000 + VAT. Met lots of  decorators, names they knew or had had previous dealings with but had never met in person. 

Richard Steenberg was happy with sales; upholstery and traditional furniture sold well, including several  Howard & Sons upholstered pieces priced around £10,000. 

Hudson Antiques: One of their best ever opening days. Made strong sales to good private clients, of both  larger furniture items – a pair of bookcases, a pair of commodes, as well as smaller furniture items  including pairs of benches, side tables, bedside cabinets, with customers happy to pay asking prices. Had  numerous decorators buying for client projects. Sales continued well all week. 

Nick Jones had his second best ever Fair, and reported serious buyers in attendance, UK and international,  trade and private. A very good opening day with sales including a very unusual parquetry table. “Good  trade buyers continued to visit throughout the week too.” 

Richard Price (new): Delighted to sell a really good late C19th lion clock on the first day. “I’ve met lots of  completely different and ‘new to me’ people interested in my stock, which is exactly what I hoped for.” He  had a good Fair with strong weekend sales such as a wristwatch to a new international buyer and a good  red marble and bronze decorative clock to a new customer, with many enquiries to follow through. “It is a  joy to exhibit, the organisation is extremely good, it is effortless to move in and out, and the parking is  fantastic. I sold my bigger, more impressive clocks, mostly to new clients, at prices from £2500 to £10,000.  I’m perfectly pleased and am booking to do all three Fairs a year.” 

McBain & Byrne: Happy with good opening day sales which included two sets of mid-C18th hand-coloured  botanical engravings of apples and pears by Johann Hermann Knoop (1700-1769) ticketed at £2800 and  £1950 both to private clients, one new; an incredibly rare late C18th Rouge Languedoc marble sink, French  c1780-1800, bought by a private client shopping with their decorator; a c1800 lambing chair TP £5800, and  two large county wall maps. 

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Joshua Lumley had a really good first day, very happy. Sales of both rugs, and tapestries in particular  including several verdure examples priced between £4000 to £9000. He continued to experience a very  good week and enjoyed one of his best Fairs.

Stephane Olivier sold a large mirror by Edouard Chevalier TP £14,000. One of the verdure tapestries sold by Joshua  Lumley. C18th Venetian gilded gesso mirror, original glass, TP iro £10,000 sold by Justion Evershed-Martin 

Owen Parry got off to a good start with sales such as a pair of early C18th crewel work panels to an English  decorator TP in region of £6000, an early Coptic textile to a UK dealer, and a nice C16th tapestry fragment. 

Mark West: On opening day sold 13 Val St Lambert glass vases to a new client from India along with many  additional items. Very happy with the Fair. 

Su Mason sold good items on opening day including an exceptional pair of Cornely work curtain panels to  a good existing trade client TP £1150 and higher priced items remained popular. 

L Prentice Art & Antiques: Pleased with many sales of C20th paintings, ceramics, engravings and  sculpture. 

Schmid McDonagh: A very good opening, made sales primarily of furniture (in January they sold mainly art  and objects), including several German 1950s upholstered pieces (sofa, several chairs), a 1940s French  credenza by Maison Ramsay in lacquered wood TP in region of £9000; a large architectural Italian 1950s  ‘chairman’s desk’ TP £8500. Sales were to new and existing buyers including decorators shopping with  their clients. The Fair continued very well for them. 

The Home Bothy sales included the wall lights, pair of chairs and the sculpture on table. Large mirrors sold by Streett  Marburg & Charlotte Casadejus. 

The Home Bothy was very pleased with sales throughout the week with trade customers continuing to  buy at the weekend as well as weekdays. A collection of impressive French cinema wall lights were bought  in pairs by several customers fetching a combined five-figure sum, and a charming pair of needlework high  back chairs sold early in the week, plus a group of stone sculptures to an important client. 

Sans Pretention reported a week of good sales amongst which was a pair of French 1950s lacquered  commodes ticketed at £28,000.

Joost van den Bergh sold pieces on opening day and made sales every day, including a textile work to an  existing client priced around £6000. The two-fold textile screen was by Umeda Miharu (b. 1946) based in  Japan. A nice anecdote about the sale of an Udaipur Cities painting: a visiting decorator posted a picture of it on their Instagram, where one of their followers saw it who then contacted Joost to purchase it  immediately.  

Catherine Miller was very pleased with sales, with an “excellent start and flying finish” at the weekend.  “I’ve sold to high quality visitors.” Among one of the larger works sold was a polychrome plaster relief by a  young French artist, Thibault Perrigne, ticketed at £4800. The new owners are taking it back to France! 

Florence Evans Fine Art sold this work by Hedwig Pillitz (1896-1987) TP £18,000; a contemporary polychrome paster  relief sold by Catherine Miller; Joost van den Bergh sold this work by Japan-based artist Umeda Miharu (b. 1946) 

Anthea AG Antiques reported good sales from the opening day onwards, and enjoyed a particularly  buoyant Saturday, reporting demand for high quality items and diamond-set jewellery. 

Justin Evershed-Martin got off to a flying start and a very good Fair, with sales of C20th chairs, accessories,  tables, and lights counterpointed by traditional antique pieces, such as a very good C18th Venetian gilded  gesso mirror with original glass, ticketed around £10,000, to a private buyer. 

Chalet White reported a high calibre of buyer at the Fair. Among sales was an important pair of recently  discovered Regency sleigh back armchairs by Morel & Hughes, Royal cabinet makers to George IV, unseen  on the market in their history and thought to have been supplied to the Cavendish family for Devonshire  House. They sold at the weekend to a private customer for a five-figure sum. 

Florence Evans Fine Art had a solid Fair selling a number of key works and plenty of her smaller, ‘entry  level’ pieces which together made for a more successful week than the Winter Fair. Sold to new and  existing clients met at previous editions of Battersea. “The Fair has been consistently good to me since I  started exhibiting,” said Florrie, “and my Charleston House/Bloomsbury aesthetic seems to appeal strongly  to the visitors.” Amongst sales were two works by London artist Hedwig Pillitz (1896-1987) ticketed at  £18,000 and iro £10,000, and another work by her is on reserve.  

Brillig & Borogrove reported a very good Fair, better even than January, and they were very happy to have  networked with high end designers. The focus of the stand was ceramics, and sales included most of a  large and extraordinary collection of French Palissy ware (featuring three-dimensional decoration) at prices  from around £400 to £1800. Also sold was a grotto table, a grotto chair, and a pair of large terracotta  eagles with the Paris mark ticketed in four figures. S&S Timms sold every day a wide variety of reasonably priced traditional English antiques both country  and formal to UK and export buyers.

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