LONDON.- The 27th Winter Art & Antiques Fair
opened on a buzzing Halloween night in the Olympia National Hall to a ready-to-buy crowd. Sales started early. Three oil paintings by Paul Treasure sold in the first 10 minutes through new exhibitor, Signet Contemporary, to a Saudi Arabian buyer for her beach house. Next door stand, Decorative Arts@Doune, was barely visible for enthusiasts crowding around their silver until closing. They sold 26 pieces on opening night and around 10 every day following.
First time exhibitor at any fair, Tom Rooth, was very pleased with his opening night, selling three pictures and generating much interest in the towering, 7ft high Lord of the Isles painting by Margaret Collier. Exhibiting for the first time at the Winter Fair, Jeremy Afleck from The Old Corkscrew in South Africa, said They came, they stayed, they shopped. He had a fantastic week, selling across the board including a swan silver dish from 1886 and an antique Dunhill lighter to a Mexican visitor. The majority of his sales was to new customers.
Fair Director, Mary Claire Boyd, said, This has been a successful week with exhibitors praising the calibre of the buyers. Notable for its consistent trading for many dealers, this has shown that the Olympia fairs continue to deliver. Although the Winter Fair will not continue in its current format, we are encouraged by the appetite amongst exhibitors at this years event for something similar to take place at this time of year. We are currently consulting with dealers and aim to make an announcement regarding 2018 in the near future.
Onsite shippers, Stephen Morris, always a good barometer of overall trading, reported that business had been good for them, sending stock to New York, Saudi Arabia, Dubai, mainland Europe the west coast of the United States and a large amount within the UK. There was also an enthusiastic crowd coming through the link from Spirit of Christmas next door and shopping in the fair.
Howard Walwyn commented that there had been, a regular flow of good existing and potential clients. He sold to regular clients who prefer to buy from a fair rather than a shop. Amongst his sales was a John Ellicott, London George III bracket clock with a ticket price of £32,000. Clock dealer, Richard Price, had sold 18 clocks by Sunday morning, both English and French and with a healthy mix of carriage, mantel and wall clocks. Mark Goodger Antiques sold a German silver cigar set from 1900 to an American buyer and an Art Deco cocktail cabinet to an Italian buyer. Asian specialist, Laura Bordignon, sold a Japanese bronze group of turtles signed Nogami Ryuki from the Meiji period.
Art sold well throughout the week. Walker Gallery sold an Abraham Hulk Senior oil on panel and another work. Old Master specialist, Parker Gallery, sold a Melchior dHondecoeter oil painting of birds dated c1660 to a new customer and had positive interest in other works. One of the pieces sold by Julian Simon was an oil by Sir William Gillies, Yellow, Green and Red, ticket price over £20,000.
New exhibitor, Angus Broadbent from Broadbent, was delighted with his week at the show, meeting new customers and selling a 1960 abstraction by the British painter, Anthony Benjamin. Jersey-based picture dealer, Atelier, had a good week with a strong finish, selling five paintings on the final day.
Glass dealer, Brian Watson, noted a trend in sets of glasses selling. He sold 45 glasses on preview nights in sets of either champagne and wine glasses or tumblers. Fellow glass dealer, Mark West, sold 17 pieces on opening night to a good proportion of new customers. Richard Hoppe sold Belgium glass by Val St Lambert and a Harrach vase and across the board to a mixture of UK, Japanese and German private buyers.
Hickmet Fine Arts sold a good number of pieces of Art Deco sculpture as well as glass and all of the Deco art on the walls.
New exhibitor, Spink, was delighted with their fair and with the contacts made over the week. Amongst the sales was a Groat coin from the Bosworth Field battlefield (1485), priced in the region of £2,000.
Furniture dealer, S&S Timms, sold several pieces of furniture on preview night and did good business throughout the week reporting a busy fair and a number of new customers. Hansord sold a walnut cabinet on stand to a new UK customer as well as bronzes and objects. He had good decorator interest for possible future sales. Hugh Leuchars sold a French mirror (dated 1820), a coffer and a painting on preview evening. Art Deco specialist, Jeroen Markies, sold five pieces on the first night including a nest of tables, two chests of drawers and a cabinet. He went on to sell his solid leather, Abercrombie and Fitch, 1960s two metre long rhino footstool, as well as a pair of unusual green topped consoles to a client in Los Angeles. Furniture dealer, J Roger Antiques, sold an early Regency painted armchair and eight pieces of furniture in total.
Collectors were buzzing around porcelain with Alexandra Alfandary commenting on a 'noticeably good crowd' throughout the week. She sold steadily including one of her best pieces, a large Meissen grouping of the elements. Porcelain specialist, Philip Carol, sold consistently all week. Art Deco dealer, Morgan Strickland, sold volume totalling around 50 pieces by the close on Saturday. Serhat Ahmed sold Meissen figures and groups through the week, commenting that the European dealers were back and he had sold much more English porcelain than in recent years, the majority going to Chinese buyers.
Silver dealer, Mary Cooke, said that she had a very successful Winter Fair, with highlights including four Rococo candle sticks from 1740 designed by John Swift and various other pieces of hollowware and a wide variety of collectors items. Nearby silver dealers, Eastdale Antiques, found their youngest ever collector, selling a piece of silver to an eight year old boy to start his collection.
Anthea AG Antiques sold well and said there was 'lots of good interest from the right people'. Overall, she was delighted with the Fair, selling a number of signed pieces to exporters and foreign visitors. She noted that Cartier sold particularly well and declared the fair her best Olympia ever. Anshul Rakyan sold a variety of coloured stones and signed pieces and had a lot of interest in natural pearls from a number of Chinese, Asian and British customers. They sold a Cabouchon ruby ring and had a strong show.