The 49th Olympia Art & Antiques Fair
, which closed its doors on Sunday 26th June, saw the welcome return of familiar faces and buyers from the other side of the world all delighted to be back in the iconic Grand hall of Olympia after three years.
Fair Director Mary Claire Boyd said of the fair, 'Despite the transport challenges, sales have been better than expected. Dealers and collectors from the UK and further afield have been reunited after three long years and trading has reflected this. Exhibitors delighted in returning to the iconic Grand Hall which gives a natural grandeur, generating a light airy atmosphere and enhancing the overall look and feel of the event.
There was evidence of the benefits of running alongside the Spirit of Summer Fair as this attracted an affluent younger audience who also visited the Fair, with sales across all disciplines of antiques - some spending up to five-figure sums'.
Undeterred by the train strike visitors got the preview day off to strong start especially for furniture dealers. American interior designers shopped across a range of disciplines from a number of dealers. One bought 15 large pieces of blue and white china from Sue Norman and a pair of card tables, c1810 from Hansord Antiques.
Hansord Antiques also sold a dining table and a pair of teak side cabinets, c1840. Another of his sales was to a visitor who picked up ATG on leaving the fair, saw a Spanish walnut iron mounted and bone inlaid parcel gilt vargueno circa 1620 and returned to buy it for £20,000.
John Hansord said, 'The fair has been busy and buzzy with interesting visitors and good sales, especially considering the transport challenges this week, and we have heard plenty of foreign accents'.
An American decorator bought amongst other pieces, a 20th century mirror attributed to Serge Roche, from Justin Evershed-Martin who reconnected with a number of international clients. RN Myers & Son sold to clients that he hadn't seen for three years as well as to four American decorators. Sales included a pair of Gillow library chairs and an Irish silver table.
Specialist in oak furniture, Peter Bunting sold to American private buyers and Anthony Fell Antiques sold well all week including a large sideboard and a rare early 18th century burr elm chest, Italian, ticket price £9,500.
20th century furniture dealer, Jeroen Markies sold well every day of the fair. Sales included a large pair of standing binoculars, several paintings and furniture such as a cream leather and satinwood 1930s day bed by James Henry Sellers and Epstein lounge chairs (circa £7,000).
Lennox Cato Antiques was very happy with his return to the fair after many years. He gave a talk on etiquette at antiques fairs which was very well attended. He asked the audience how many of them had visited an antiques fair only a third had.
Lennox Cato said, 'We were very glad to be back with the Olympia team along with fellow exhibitors. We made some good sales, seeing existing clients and meeting new ones. The link up with Spirit of Summer Fair definitely works for making antiques accessible and introducing a new audience to enjoy art and antiques.'
Anthea AG Antiques was delighted with the fair selling signed pieces of jewellery to new customers. Mary Cooke Antiques Ltd (who did business every day) sold silver to overseas visitors and clients not seen for three years. An international collector bought a Charles Aldridge and Henry Green, 1780s tea caddy for around £10,000. By the second day they had sold 10 pieces of silver including to an Australian collector on his first trip out of the country for three years.
Glass specialist, Mark J West (now in his 50th year of dealing in glass) was returning to Olympia after a number of years and was pleased to be back, selling in volume every day and with a particularly good weekends trading. Fellow glass dealer, Richard Hoppe Antiques was also pleased with 90% of his sales going to new customers.
Hickmet Fine Arts reported that Lalique Art Deco glass had sold well and that they had reconnected with clients and made a new one from the Spirit of Summer Fair. He also sold an important elephant animalier sculpture collector dated 1875 by Barye for a five figure sum.
Asian specialist, Laura Bordignon sold to a German couple in their 30s who had never visited the fair before and spent around £3,400 on a pair of Japanese bronze Taisho period puppies. Ceramics dealer Philip Caroll had one of the best final days he's ever had. Arts and Crafts specialist Morgan Strickland Decorative Arts sold well every day.
Mark Goodger Antiques was pleased, and relieved, to sell across the board including a silver soldier, a pair of regency card tables (£21,000) three clocks and a tortoiseshell tea caddy 1770 priced at £15,000.
Richard Price & Associates sold well including a very rare Mystery clock by Guilmet 1890 just under £8,000 and an important quarter-chiming skeleton clock of Westminster Cathedral - ticket price in excess of £25,000.
Garret & Hurst Sculpture sold a good number of bronze and marble pieces including a female marble work by Gumery to a new client. A bronze of Rembrandt by Albert Carrier-Belleuse went to the owner of a Taiwan Museum. Another of their sales was to a client last seen in 2008.
Dealer in Ukrainian art, John Barkes had noticeable gaps on the walls having sold 10 paintings by the start of the second days trading. Next door stand, Granta Fine Art sold her star piece, a watercolour and ink work, 'Landscape with Stone Walls' by Elizabeth Blackadder.
Dinan and Chighine kicked off the fair with a sale of 12 mezzotint engravings c1737-45, ticket price £17,500 as well as an Italian console table c1950.
Walker Galleries sold a number of paintings such as, 'In France by Dorothea Sharpe for around £12,000, a work by Fernand Legout-Gerard 1856-1924 and 'Les Grands Boulevards sous la neige' by Eugene Galien Laloue, 1895 priced at £13,000.
K Contemporary sold exclusively to new clients with a variety of artists including Andre Marfaing. Picture dealer, Kay Michie sold 'The Clown Manby and Randy'' by Dame Laura Knight. It had been in the Milton Keynes exhibition, 'A Panoramic View' and was destined for a couple who said it was going home to Nottingham where the artist came from. Picture dealer, Sarah Colgrave sold consistently well throughout the week.
The organisers donated a free stand to an architect, Vladimir Tschaly, promoting Ukrainian art and helping Ukrainian artists to find studio space in the UK. He was delighted with the response he had at the Fair. He met the UK ex-ambassador to Romania who has put him in touch with potential homes for artists in the UK as well as a useful contact from Hammersmith council.
The Winter Art & Antiques Fair runs from 1st to 6th November 2022 with a preview on
31 October. It will take place on the gallery level of the national hall Olympia.