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The event brings together over 40 of the UK’s top dealers for the four days showcasing the very best in art, antiques and design. Dating back to 1951, it is Harrogate’s longest standing art and antiques fair and holds an enviable reputation in the north of England as the town’s most prestigious antiques fair.
Held in association with BADA, the UK’s highly respected trade association of dealers, the fair is the perfect choice for the discerning interior decorator, collector and private buyer looking for distinctive, unusual and individual pieces for the home or as a unique gift. The fair is vetted by specialist committees enabling the visitor to buy with complete confidence. Prices range from £100 to five figure sums.
New stands around the fair this year include Burton Antiques from Driffield represented by Simon Wingett, who is a third-generation member of a family that has been in the antiques trade since 1910. He recently joined Harry Fell, whose family own Burton Antiques, and the combination of generations brings a dynamic and eclectic range of stock including furniture, paintings, sculpture, works of art, textiles, clocks, silver, ceramics and garden statuary. Something, which is sure to stand out, is a pair of famille verte Lowther Castle fish bowls on Victorian George II style giltwood bases, c 1820, price £65,000. Another northern dealer making a debut at the fair is Hispanic Antiques from Sheffield bringing fine quality Spanish and continental antiques ranging from the 15th to the mid-20th centuries. A highlight on this stand is an early 16th century polychrome figure of St John the Apostle which came from an old private French collection and beautifully depicts the anguish of the saint. It is priced at £6,000. From London comes The Antique Enamel Company with the most stunning range of objects of vertu such as an extremely rare turquoise ground honeysuckle snuffbox from Battersea, c 1760. From the south of England the fair is welcoming S & J Abbott Ceramics Plus from Winchester with their eclectic range of 18th to 20th century ceramics, prints, silver and collectibles and Berlin Walls Gallery showcasing late 20th century works on paper by artists with a Berlin connection.
Other returning dealers, based in the north of England, include Bryan Bowden Antiques, Elaine Phillips Antiques, Ellis Fine Art, Graham Ruddock Antique Ceramics, Howell 1870, J Dickinson Maps & Prints, Jack Shaw & Co, John A W Briggs, Mark Buckley Antiques, Roger de Ville Antiques, Rowles Fine Art, Sutcliffe Galleries, T L Phelps Fine Furniture Restoration and Valerie Main Ltd.
Collectors are often drawn to items with a local provenance and interesting highlights around the fair include a Regency bracket clock made by John Garth of Harrogate around 1825 from Olde Time. Watchmakers and Clockmakers of the World lists John Garth as working in Harrogate from 1790 and it is also known he owned a shop in Knaresborough High Street from 1822-1844. Burton Antiques is showing an oil on canvas of Knaresborough, for £5,500, by William Greaves (1852-1938) who was born in Leeds, studied at Sheffield College of Art and mostly painted oils of the Yorkshire area. Bryan Bowden Antiques is displaying fine examples of Rockingham porcelain which was famous during the 19th century for manufacturing pieces worldwide. Jack Shaw & Co is bringing a York canteen of fiddle design cutlery for 12 settings dated 1812-48 by Barber, Cattle and North. York was one of the seven provincial assay towns of England until its final closure in 1858.
Granta Fine Art is a gallery that always promotes interesting artists at affordable prices and this year there is a charming oil by Lionel Bulmer (1919-1992) entitled Buoys and Lights, Walberswick for £2,850. For the keen ornithologist, Ellis Fine Art is bringing two watercolours of Bullfinches and Redstarts by Archibald Thorburn (1860-1935) and, for a contemporary show-stopper, Red Crowned Crane by Jim Starr, £8,500 at Rountree Tryon Galleries. Brian Shields (1951-1997) aka Braaq, is one of the most popular northern artists and Rowles Fine Art is showing an oil entitled Gerr Off for £9,500.
Marris Antiques is exhibiting a wide range of 18th and 19th century English and Irish wine glasses, decanters and collectable glass. Amongst the offerings are early examples of English shouldered decanters, dating from 1760, which are quite sought after by today’s collectors. It was the custom at the time to engrave the name of the intended contents on a faux label on the body of the decanter. Names commonly found are Claret, Lisbon, White Wine, Port and Madeira. From S & J Abbott Ceramics Plus is an amusing etching, published in 1803 by William Holland of Cockspur Street, Pall Mall showing John Bull clipping the Corsican’s Wings – a comment on the possibility of a French invasion of England, priced at £750.
The combination of mixing the old with the new is well represented by Elaine Phillips Antiques, who divides her stand into three or four room sets highlighting different periods. With an eye for exceptional objects, Louise Phillips cleverly combines an 18th century Spanish walnut table with a contemporary Guy Taplin bird sculpture. John A W Briggs is bringing a Qum silk rug from Iran which took the weaver, Razavi, two and a half years to complete, such is the density of the knots per square metre. The Iranian city of Qum is famous for its beautifully fine and intricate weaving. The rug comes with a price tag of £8,750.
Buying period pieces from the top jewellery houses is very much on-trend and Howards Jewellers has been sourcing various exceptional items to show exclusively at The Northern Antiques Fair including a diamond-set bracelet by Van Cleef & Arpels, c 1955 and a gold desk clock by Cartier dated 1954. More exceptional pieces are to be found with Greenstein Antiques and Shapiro & Co, both from Grays antiques centre in London and from Howell 1870.
A highlight from T L Phelps Fine Furniture Restoration is an early 19th century Mendlesham inlaid fruit wood armchair from Suffolk, priced at £985. Mendlesham chairs are a unique style of Windsor chair. Another very popular area of collecting is the Art Nouveau and Art Deco periods and a superb choice is available from Solo Antiques and Hickmet Fine Arts.
The fair’s nominated charity Dementia Forward will be present throughout the event to raise awareness of the tremendous support work they achieve throughout North Yorkshire for people living with and affected by dementia. Dementia Forward provides a high response, personalised information, advice and signposting service to anyone whose
everyday life may be touched by the condition. This is achieved through its experienced team of dementia support advisors, a local helpline, a dementia specialist nurse, home visits, wellbeing activities and educational programmes.