Since it was first launched in 2010, Art Antiques London
has developed a reputation for being a destination for collectors and connoisseurs. This was borne out by the long queue of collectors that formed long before Art Antiques London opened its doors for the Private Preview on Wednesday 13th June. Early sales included Study of Mr J J Maubrays Bay Hunter by Sir Alfred James Munnings PRA, RWS (1878-1959) which was sold by Rountree Fine Art to a new private collector within the first hour of the Fair. Other early sales included a 20th-century Western Indian chintak collar hugging necklace in the form of a design of flower heads set with alternating large and small oval cut rubies within diamond cluster surrounds which was sold by Samina Inc. to a new client.
This, however, was the morning after the night before, when Art Antiques London hosted an outstanding evening reception and dinner for the Party in the Park in aid of JDRF. A glamorous crowd that included Amanda Ghost, Viscount Daventry and Madeleine Lloyd-Webber was treated to an acoustic set by Jake Shears and Babydaddy of the Scissor Sisters that brought the house down. The evening has so far raised over £475,000 for the charity and help set the mood for the Private View.
This, the third edition of the Fair, ran from Thursday June 14th until Wednesday June 20th, with a private preview on Wednesday June 13th. Visitor figures remained stable at over 15,500 and sales were seen across all disciplines. Exhibitors throughout the Fair commented on the events excellent location and its extraordinary ability to attract knowledgeable, well-heeled buyers both from London and abroad. Collectors seen during the course of the Fair included Howard Hodgkin, the conductor Jeffrey Tate, Isobel Goldsmith, Arun Nayar, Prince Hamid Al Thani, Princess Esra Jah, the Begum of Hyderabad and many members of the Al Sabah family, the ruling Kuwaiti dynasty.
When it was launched, Art Antiques London incorporated the much respected and well-established International Ceramics Fair and Seminar. Ceramics still form an essential part of the Fair and ensure a steady stream of serious private and institutional collectors. This was reflected in sales of ceramics. English porcelain specialist Robyn Robb reported an extremely successful Fair and met a number of new clients. She sold several major items including an extremely rare Worcester coffee cup and saucer in perfect condition decorated in the atelier of James Giles, circa 1770 and a very rare Worcester bowl also painted in the Giles atelier in the manner of Teniers, c. 1768- 1770. Brian Haughton was delighted to sell a number of pieces including an impressive pair of large First Period Dr Wall Worcester hexagonal vases and covers, circa 1765-68 to a new client and a rare pair of Doccia figures of dwarves, which had an asking price of £30,000.
Objects generally proved very popular with Ted Few selling around 40 pieces, ranging from antiquity to the 1950s to a mixture of new and old clients. Amongst the sales to new clients was a watercolour by George Zachary Constant that had been given by the artist to Walter Pach, the man who is generally credited with introducing Modernism to the United States. The Silver Fund sold a set of four Georg Jensen Art Deco candlesticks from the 1930s and a monumental champagne bucket c. 1950 by
Jean Despres both to new clients. European sculpture specialist, William Agnew reported an excellent Fair and numerous sales including a statue by William Reid Dick (1879 - 1961) entitled, The Kelpie c. 1914 and a boxwood carved plaque by The Master of GVDR, a Flemish sculptor working in England, (active 1730-1740) of Inigo Jones after J M Rysbrack in the original pearwood frame c. 1740. Both went to English private collectors.
Russell Strachan of Strachan Fine Art sold a number of items including a rare English alabaster panel depicting the Resurrection, c. 1470 as well as an important oil on canvas painting, Leda no 3, 1937 by Glyn Philpot. Other paintings sold during the Fair included an oil on board painting presented by Sim Fine Art entitled The Tube Carriage, 1954, by Edward Bainbridge Copnall (1903-1973) which attracted museum interest before being sold to a new international client. Mark Mitchell Paintings & Drawings was exhibiting at the Fair for the second year and continued to be very positive about the response to his stand. Sales included a still life depicting oysters and shrimps by Hubert Bellis (1831-1902) and a Pitcher of Lilacs by Johan Willem Fleur (1888-1967).
Jewellery is one of the key attractions of the Fair. Indian jewellery specialist Sue Ollemans Oriental Art reported an especially profitable Fair, selling to new clients and serious collectors. New exhibitors to the Fair, Grima, were delighted to make sales of a number of their iconic pieces to both new and established clients. Sandra Cronan, who had an excellent Fair commented that coloured diamonds seemed particularly popular with collectors this year.
Furniture dealer, Christopher Buck Antiques reported another successful outing at Art Antiques London. His sales included a pair of Chippendale mahogany armchairs, c. 1760 to new clients from the United States as well as a bow-fronted Gillows sideboard to a new client from East Anglia. Private dealer, Paul Reeves was pleased to report a number of sales, which included a pair of chairs, c. 1875 by Alfred Waterhouse (1870-1905), who is best known as the architect of the National History
Museum, to a wealthy Eastern European family and a number of items by Christopher Dresser to a private American collector from New York.
There were a number of dealers specialising in Japanese artefacts, all of whom reported strong interest and good sales. Mary Deeming had a very busy Fair and reported numerous sales of wood block prints and textiles, Laura Bordignon was delighted to sell one of her best pieces to a new client from mainland China while New York specialist, Erik Thomsen reported the sale of a two panel folding screen, 1931 that had been exhibited at the National Imperial Art Exhibition in Tokyo in 1931, a number of bamboo baskets by Chiku-Unsai and a porcelain sculpture by Suehanu Fukami.
The Fair's much praised lecture series is key to its continuing success. Lectures were given by a number of distinguished academics including a special lecture for the Queen's Jubilee by Dr, Jonathan Marsden, Director of the Royal Collection who talked about the royal collection and its importance as one of the last great European princely collection. All the lectures were very well attended and two were over subscribed.