The Autumn Antiques & Fine Art Fair is Cheltenham’s most prestigious and elegant fine art and antiques fair and is now in its 5th year at The Centaur at Cheltenham Racecourse. Taking place a month later than usual this year, it opens its doors to the public from Thursday 27th to Sunday 30th November.
Held in association with the UK’s most respected trade body, LAPADA, around 50 leading dealers will exhibit and sell a vast array of stock including country and town furniture, paintings, glass, textiles, clocks, sculpture, Chinese ceramics, jewellery, silver, carpets and rugs and much, much more. Prices start from a few hundred pounds to many thousands.
The fair has an enviable reputation for high quality and stylish presentation and attracts a discerning audience from all over the UK and abroad. It is a friendly and entertaining show offering a unique and enlightening shopping experience. Whether you are a collector, an art enthusiast or just looking for something to furnish your home, there is a dazzling choice of pieces to tempt you.
A popular feature of the fair is the selling exhibition in the entrance of The Centaur and this year’s theme, ‘The Art of Fine Dining’ is drawn from the various exhibitors. This will feature displays of dining room furniture spanning the design periods from the 17th century through to 1930’s Art Deco. With exhibitors’ fine china, glassware, silver, pewter, paintings, furniture and carpets, Wesley House Events, one of the best event organisers and restaurants in the Cotswolds, has undertaken to come up with some fabulous Yuletide ideas for dressing the dining room. The fair has linked up with BIDA (British Interior Design Association) to highlight the importance of antiques in today’s decorating schemes.
Back by popular request is BAFRA, the British Antique Furniture Restorers’ Association, with their experts demonstrating of restoration techniques. The highlight of their stand is a unique Hindu God’s wooden horse which may have carried the Fire God Agni. The horse was in very bad condition when it came into BAFRA’s hands to be restored having had a major accident many years ago – probably having fallen off a processional temple or palace and left to rot. Being made of teak it has survived remarkably well but its body was full of clay harbouring unidentified insect nests and what appeared to be the remains of a monkey’s skeleton! So far the restoration has revealed some hidden and quite astonishing carving of its harness and jewellery. It is thought that this is the only example of its kind outside Asia.
Local print dealer, Black Ink from Stow-on-the-Wold is bringing an original 1920s poster, a humorous colour lithograph, issued in 1928 by atelier G Sane for £1,950 as well as a lithograph ‘Grand Visage, 1929’ by Henri Matisse priced at £17,500. Brian MacDonald Antique Rugs and Carpets, a newcomer to the fair, is also local to the area. He is bringing an early 19th century flat-woven
horse cover, priced at £1,750, made by the Shahsavan tribes in the Moghan region of Azerbaijan. Kenulf Fine Arts, also from Stow-on-the-Wold, is bringing an early 20th century watercolour of St Peter’s Church, Winchcombe by Violet Thorpe Lindsell for £2,750. And there will be a selection of English bracket clocks, French mantel clocks and long case clocks ticking the time away at Woodward Antique Clocks of Cheltenham.
With Christmas round the corner, Trivette are bringing a heart-shaped holly brooch, c 1900 for £1,895 while Manya Igel Fine Arts are bringing winter scenes by Fred Cuming RA and bronzes by Enzo Plazzotta.
In uncertain times, it is wise to put money into objects with an intrinsic value, and the art and antiques world has proved to be something of a safe haven while other types of investments have disappointed. And the joy of owning a finely crafted piece of period furniture, a beautifully sculpted bronze or a sparkling diamond goes well beyond the financial reason for the purchase.
The fair is continuing its association with HFT (Supporting People with Learning Disabilities) as its benefiting charity (www.hft.org.uk).
More info www.lapadafair.com