January is a funny time of year. I always feel that I have been hibernating over the Christmas and new year period and it take a few days to shake off the lethargy and return to normal working life. Most of the last week or so have been spent re-connecting with people who I feel that I have not seen in months, but who in reality I was in touch with last only back on the 23rd December!
Anyway, apart from going to visit Woolley and Wallis, my local auction house who always have a New Year sale, where viewing is rather like the last drinks party of the Christmas season, I have been more or less office bound, so it was with some excitement that I found myself wandering the streets of london in a cold east wind, to find the London Marriott Hotel. It was not a hotel that i was familiar with, but the location is in fact remarkably central, only a stones throw from the new Victoria’s Secret in Bond Street. The Hotel and the organisers have done a good job of welcoming you to the hotel, with a huge illuminated sign right in side the front door. Sometimes Fairs in Hotel conference rooms are hard to find and you feel that you might end up in a Wedding reception if you are not careful, but this was seamless and welcoming
INTIMATE AND WELCOMING
The fair itself is relatively small but the quality and variety on display very good so obviously many of the dealer fraternity have been quicker off the post Christmas mark than I!. The atmosphere friendly, intimate and welcoming. I was there on the first afternoon between about 3 and 5 pm, so I had missed the first rush, and the evening visitors had not yet arrived, but there were a good crowd of informed potential collectors.
Amongst the stands that caught my eye were David Foord-Brown, where I spotted a lovely burr yew card table, Mary Cooke silver who had a gorgeous little silver chamber stick, which I might have added to my personal collection had I seen it before Christmas (I have a little collection of these for some strange reason!). Marilyn Garrow had just sold a fabulous pair of 18th century floral needlework panels, which were gorgeous, and might have worked in the home of one of my walnut collectors had i got to the fair a bit earlier! It was also nice to see some good Deco Furniture and objects. In the past I might have scoffed at mixing the 20th century with the traditional look of a fair like this, but here it worked well, and i found myself drawn to a lovely desk with Gazelles. It just might work as a dressing table in a London flat I am working on…we will see!
I was also pleased to meet Anthony Green with his very good, and beautifully displayed collection of classic watches. Good Victorian pictures were there in force with Willow and Haynes putting on good shows, but several other smaller dealers had very interesting stock too at very affordable prices, in particular I liked Atelier.
All in all it was a most enjoyable visit and reminded me once again that in these days of the £100 tank of petrol, antiques are really incredibly good value at the moment, and last a lot longer!
Happy New Year.
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