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The Cotswolds Art & Antiques Dealers' Association Fair opens at Blenheim Palace
Installation view, CADA Fair at Blenheim Palace.

WOODSTOCK.- Art and antiques depicting animals, amongst other rare and unique works, will be shown by dealers at the sixth annual Cotswolds Art & Antiques Dealers’ Association (CADA) Fair which takes place at Blenheim Palace, Thursday 30th March – Sunday 2nd April 2017, this year’s theme being ‘the CADA Menagerie’. . A complimentary invitation available from CADA website admits two to the fair and Palace grounds.

Since its inception, the CADA Fair has gone from strength to strength, cultivating a following of collectors, art consultants, interior designers and the public alike, making it a ‘must-visit’ destination. It is the only antiques fair to take place at Blenheim Palace, home to the 12th Duke and Duchess of Marlborough, in the beautiful Colonnade, Orangery and Campaign Rooms, overlooking the Italian Gardens. Patron of the Association and Fair – and CADA member - is Lady Henrietta Spencer-Churchill, sister of the present Duke.

Online Galleries and 1st Dibs, the leading online luxury marketplaces, will again support the Fair, in recognition of its position as the leading quality antiques fair held outside London. In addition to the CADA members exhibiting, new exhibitors this year are David Scriven who specialises in British pottery and porcelain, Mayflower Antiques which specialises in Baroque and Renaissance silver, glass, metalwork, boxes, with some furniture and Jenna Burlingham Fine Art. Five additional dealers have been invited again this year to bring their expertise and additional contribution to the fair: Mary Cooke Antiques, Joanna Booth, Timothy Millett, Shaw Edwards and Cynthia Walmlsey.

The very best of each discipline is represented, including furniture, pictures, silver, early needlework and antique boxes, sculpture, bronze, clocks and barometers, carpets and textiles, glass, jewellery, English and Oriental ceramics, garden ornaments and statuary, as well as other decorative items. All works are for sale, with prices ranging from £100 - £100,000++.

This year CADA’s chosen charity is the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust (WWT), based at Slimbridge in the Cotswolds. WWT saves wetlands for some of our planet’s most amazing wildlife. Founded in 1946 by Sir Peter Scott, conservationist, ornithologist and artist, the WWT is instrumental in saving birds from extinction.

Catherine Hunt, Chairman of the CADA Fair 2017 says: ‘We’re very excited about this year’s Fair. The theme: The CADA Menagerie - an A-Z of animals in art - will appeal to all ages, there will be affordable art on offer, all in a glorious setting which lends itself to a wonderful day out’.

Amongst the main highlights at the Fair are: paintings from Trinity House, specialists in Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, Modern British and 19th century work; amongst many other stunning paintings, they will showing Spring in Cassis by Dorothea Sharp who was born in Kent and is best known for her landscapes and naturalistic studies of children. The work of Claude Monet had a profound and lasting effect on her art, resulting in the impressionistic and spontaneous style that she was to adopt. Also being shown by Trinity House is After the Race, by Sir Alfred Munnings who specialised in paintings of horses; he was at the height of his popularity in the interwar years, where he cut a figure in fashionable society and was often invited to grand country houses to paint the owners with their horses. It is likely that After the Race depicts a horse at Newbury during the late 1920s/early 1930s.

Paintings of local interest will be displayed by Newman Fine Art, amongst items being shown are an Alan Sorrell watercolour of The Ashmolean, Oxford, signed and dated 1966, as well as a scenic watercolour by Frederick George Coleridge, 'Haymaking on the Thames at Pangbourne'

Timothy Millet will bring a mezzotint engraving by Charles Turner of the Marlborough family from a painting by Sir Joshua Reynolds, a family portrait with full length figures of the 4th Duke and Duchess of Marlborough, George Spencer, 4th Duke of Marlborough and Caroline Russell, Duchess of Marlborough with 2 sons and 4 daughters. Against draped archway and landscape background. The original painting is on display at Blenheim Palace.

Elizabeth Harvey-Lee specialises in artists’ prints from the 15th – 21st centuries and will display a wide variety of work, including this charming original colour woodcut, White Rabbit, signed in pencil by Meryl Watts.

Architectural Heritage will show ‘The Medici Lion’ a grand tour Lion in bronze, of exceptional quality and finish and dating from circa 1790. Lions were well-known animals in Florence; The Marzocco heraldic Lion was the civic symbolic beast, the Lion of St Mark for Venice and as a matter of record live lions were kept in cages in the rear courtyard of the Palazzo della Signoria in order that their behaviour might be observed to gauge the auspiciousness of a given day for a major political or military undertaking.

Animals in Art
Historically, animals have played an important part of life in a domestic, social and agricultural aspect in art.

Throughout history artists have produced paintings of animals. From the earliest days Stone Age men decorated their caves with drawings of the animals which they hunted for food. In the Middle Ages artists used mythical beasts to decorate medieval manuscripts while commonplace creatures often took on secret symbolic associations. Hunting scenes were popular in 17th century art, illustrating dramatic life and death struggles between man and beast. Artists in the 18th century celebrated the natural beauty and majestic power of animals in their natural habitats and Victorian artists painted sentimental pictures of their livestock and domestic pets. The artists of the 20th century explored the entire range of animal genres as well as inventing some of their own.

Animals in Woodstock: King Henry 1 created Royal Park to retain his menagerie of animals
A park and probably a hunting lodge for the use of royalty existed in the area described as Woodstock, at the west of The Wychwood Forest, in Anglo Saxon times. In 1110 King Henry 1 built a stone wall around the park creating The Royal Park of Woodstock, designed to retain his menagerie of wild and exotic animals.

Some of the Exhibits
English pottery expert John Howard will exhibit some magnificent items of pottery depicting animals. John says: ‘representation of animals in pottery grew significantly in the 18th and early 19th century fuelled by an expanding population and the pottery production revolution in Staffordshire’. Amongst the many items John will be showing are a Staffordshire pottery pearlware figure decorated in enamel colours 1820 of a unicorn figure by John Walton Pottery, part of the Royal coat of Arms). This period also saw the growth of Britain as an international power and many figures of majestic lions with their paws resting on a globe were popular representing patriotic pride whilst offering decorative appeal (image 1).

Catherine Hunt, specialist in oriental ceramics and textiles, will display some fine examples of Chinese porcelain, including a Ming blue and white stem cup with blue painting of mythical and real animals, including the deer, tortoise, qilin and horse with lotus flowers. Cathy will also exhibit embroidery depicting animals, including an exquisite Chinese silk antique panel from a chair cover showing a deer standing on a mound with flowers representing the four seasons. In Chinese art the deer was considered to be the companion of Shou Lao, the God of longevity.

From mammals and birds to reptiles and insects, the world of animals has inspired some of the most memorable jewels in history. Amongst many others, Howards Jewellers will display a graceful Swan Brooch designed by Asprey, studied with diamonds, coral and onyx and a magnificent bee brooch (image 2) pavé set with diamonds and cornflower blue sapphires.

Witney Antiques: Joy Jarrett, together with daughter Rebecca Scott, are world authorities in early English embroidery and needlework samplers. Amongst items they will display are an English textile raised work picture of The Leopard and the Stag dating from circa 1660. The leopard was frequently used in heraldry and was symbolic of the power of the king. Leopards were kept as mascots, and also sacrificed to deities. (King John established a menagerie at The Tower of London in the 13th century where he kept several leopards).

Legge Carpets, specialising in antique and contemporary carpets will bring a selection of carpets and tapestries, including a magnificent 18th century French tapestry depicting birds.

There will be decorative arts featuring fish on show: HallBakker will exhibit a René Lalique Formose vase c 1930, globular in shape, with shibunkin fish swimming around the body and Delomosne will bring a circular English bowl, circa 1820, on a short stem and foot, with a border of cut fans and fine diamonds about a continuous panel containing three cut fish.

Country sporting scenes have always been popular, and Mark Goodger will bring an early 19th century rare and unique pair of reverse mirror-painted tea caddies. depicting mainly country sporting scenes, including: The Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race: the crowd on the river bank are wearing the colours of yellow and red for Cambridge University’s coat of arms and Blue for Oxford University's coat of arms. Ballooning - celebrating the French balloonist, Jean Pierre Blanchard, and his American co-pilot, John Jefferies, the first to fly across the English Channel in a hot air balloon. Other sports featured include; Cricket, Tennis, Golf, Hare Coursing, Fishing, Falconry, Horse Jumping, Pheasant Shooting, Hunting, Poker, Horse Racing, with one panel having a musical theme with a violin, horn and sheet music. All of these scenes are painted on reversed mirror glass with a boxwood surround with ebony and boxwood chequered edging. The interiors have a single floating lid that sits upon the tea to keep it fresh.

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