On the eve of setting up our first London event, my team and I are very excited about the launch of The Mayfair Antiques & Fine Art Fair this Thursday 10 January 2013. For four days, we are taking over the glamorous Westminster Ballroom at The London Marriott Hotel Grosvenor Square, London W1K 6JP (the entrance is in Duke Street).
As a former dealer in decorative antique prints, I am fascinated by a rare watercolour drawing for the ground-floor and garden layout of Brighton Pavilion by royal architect, Henry Holland (1745-1806), which contains a clue to a royal secret to be found on Charles Plante’s stand. Few of Holland’s drawings survive, and even fewer outside public collections. The client was the Prince of Wales, the future George IV, who made frequent changes to his ‘Marine Pavilion’. It is labelled ‘Brighthelmston, general plan of the house and stables and grounds next the Stein’, and can be dated c1801. Intriguingly, boscage and trees in the garden are shown, indicating the route to the house next door, inhabited by Maria Fitzherbert, a rich Catholic widow whom ‘Prinny’ clandestinely married, but could not acknowledge in public.
Another print and map dealer exhibiting is Angelika CJ Friebe Ltd, who has a spectacular copper engraved map ‘Carte Tres Curieuse De La Mer Du Sud’ from Atlas Historique by Henri Abraham Chatelain (1684-1743), Amsterdam, 1720. It focuses on the American continent, depicting California as an island, with beautiful illustrations of animals, peoples and customs as well as portraits of explorers. Antiquarian book specialist Nicholas Daly Books also sells a few prints. Other picture specialists include Piergabriele Vangelli Gallery, Paul Mayhew Fine Art, Atelier Ltd, Cambridge Fine Art, Art of the Imagination, The Hunt Gallery, Ashleigh House Fine Art & Antiques, Willow Gallery and Haynes Fine Art of Broadway with a magnificent oil painting of ‘Idle Sails, Loch Etive in Calm’ by Montague Dawson (1895-1973).
I am also intrigued to learn that Wakelin & Linfield are bringing an exquisite English walnut and marquetry writing table, which was probably created a few hundred yards from the fair, as it is attributed to George Blake of Mount Street and was almost certainly commissioned by Edward Holmes Baldock. Other furniture dealers include WR Harvey & Co (Antiques) Ltd, S&S Timms Antiques, David Foord-Brown Antiques, Walton House Antiques, Peter Bunting Antiques and dealers in Art Deco furniture and objects, Jeroen Markies and Gazelles of Lyndhurst. Stylish music lovers cannot fail to be drawn to the 1930’s tubular chrome and ivory lacquered Carl Ebel baby grand piano with matching piano stool, If only I could play!
European bronze sculpture and art glass are on Hickmet Fine Art’s stand, including a 42cm high bronze and ivory ‘Butterfly Dancers’ on a Brazilian green onyx plinth signed by Professor Otto Poertzel, one of the most important sculptors of the Art Deco period. ArtCast21 is marking its London debut at The Mayfair Antiques & Fine Art Fair. An offshoot of the family owned Garret & Hurst Sculpture, which specialises in bronzes and sculptures by the master sculptors of the 19th century, ArtCast21 focuses on contemporary works by three female sculptors – Annie Tempest, Domenica de Ferranti and Margot Homan, who recently had a bronze of Dutch politician and first female secretary of the Netherlands, ‘Marga Klompé’, unveiled by Queen Beatrix of The Netherlands.
Mario’s Antiques specialises in 18th and 19th century Meissen, Vienna and Sèvres porcelain and is bringing a Meissen ‘Artisan Sword Maker’, modelled by JJ Kaendler, c1755. Mark J West has 18th to 20th century glass including a Stuart bowl made for Liberty, c1905, and a pair of French amethyst glass scent bottles, c1830. Art pottery from AD Antiques includes work by William Moorcroft, William De Morgan, Pilkington, Doulton, Wedgewood and London pottery manufacturers Martin Brothers.
Hampton Antiques, known for its antique boxes serving many purposes, has an elegant Victorian decanter box, brass-bound with a beautifully curved lid. Veneered in exotic Coromandel, the front of the box swings open to reveal four superb crystal cut hobnail decanters. Two spirit glasses are also stored in the underside of the lid. Unusually, the hinges are engraved and gilded with a pretty floral design, 1870. Clock specialist Richard Price has exhibited his fine and unusual antiquarian clocks at a couple of our fairs in the past. Regular exhibitor Stephen Kalms Antiques has an exceptionally rare pair of silver enamelled bowls by Gerald Benny, dating from the 1970s. Other silver specialists exhibiting include Mary Cooke Antiques, JH Bourdon-Smith and Vine Antiques with British and Irish silver and silk Stevengraphs.
I am always amazed how beautiful textiles from different regions can transform a room. Marilyn Garrow Fine Textile Art and Mary Deeming both have impressive collections, whilst M&N Oriental Rugs have carpets and rugs to soften floors or to hang on the wall. Galerie Arabesque from Stuttgart is bringing Asian artefacts and works of art, including a large Chinese Imari vase, Kangxi dynasty and a 17th century tapestry fragment from Brussels.
An unusual object from jewellery specialist T Robert is a rare Norfolk silver counter/snuff box by Thomas Havers with engraving on the lid, c1703 and an amusing erotically enamelled 18ct gold vesta case, c1890. Simply Antiques comes with it eclectic collection of calling card cases. I have a soft spot for jewellery, as do many women. Other jewellery specialists at this fair include Anthea AG Antiques, Plaza, Markov and Sue Brown, who is bringing her superb collection of unusual antique jewellery.
I am sure male visitors will be fascinated to find the rare vintage watches on show from Anthony Green Antiques, including an early waterproof Rolex Oyster pocket watch, c1926. Even though the gentlemen’s wristwatch had become popular in civilian life after WWI, the pocket watch was still the timepiece of choice for most gentlemen in the late twenties. In addition, there is an extremely rare vintage Rolex ‘Hermetique’ waterproof wristwatch, c1923, which was produced before patenting in 1925 and introduction in 1927. The development of the Oyster case with the screw-down crown to fully waterproof the watch, and its adoption by Hans Wilsdorf in 1925 were probably the most important events in the history of the Rolex company.
We have a full house with more than 40 specialist dealers bringing a wide array of their finest stock, all members of either the British Antique Dealers’ Association or LAPADA The Association of Art & Antiques Dealers.
We are thrilled to have the support of a number of dealers who exhibit at most, if not all of our events. Several dealers have long been encouraging me to open an event in London, so we hope you will come along and see the Mayfair Fair for yourself.
With best wishes for a successful New Year.
I am delighted to offer AAD readers two tickets for the price of one to the fair. Admission is £10 per person, which includes a visitor programme and re-admission throughout the four days. Simply print out this page and present it at the ticket desk upon arrival at the fair to get two entries for £10.
The London Marriott Hotel Grosvenor Square
London W1K 6JP
10–13 January 2013
Fair Opening Hours:
Thursday 12.00 – 21.00
Friday 10.30 – 19.00
Saturday 10.30 – 18.00
Sunday 10.30 – 17.00