Early in February, I spoke at New York City’s D&D Building and I was asked by a room full of interior design professionals, “Where is the trend heading for European now?” My response: If you’re only going to shop one place, for one-stop shopping the best place to buy antiques is England! In January I was in London twice – first for the London Art, Antiques and Interiors Fair, and then again later in the month for meetings to plan upcoming special events.
England has become a far more affordable travel destination for Americans in recent years due to some negative news: Brexit led to an economic downturn. Here’s another tip: According to USAToday, ‘Airbnb is thriving in London with an average rental rate of $115 per night, and sister-site TripAdvisor Vacation Rentals are in no short supply.’
One of the best examples of “one-stop shopping in England” is the 29th Bath Decorative Antiques Fair in March.
Today is the Best Time to Buy Antiques in the UK
Brexit has had an impact on buying antiques in the UK. In short, England has gone on sale for American buyers! Now is the best time to buy antiques in England.
If you’re only going to shop one place, I would say shop in England. England is one-stop shopping. The best of France is already there. For hundreds of years, the Brits have been scouring the world collecting antiques.
Gail McLeod is our English Antiques Diva Buying Agent and she might just be the most connected woman in the world of antiques. She also is owner of Google’s top-ranked antiques fair website Antiques News & Fairs and is Editor in Chief of the Antiques are Green website and vice chair of the new Antiques are Green Trade Association. She is co-founder of Antiques Young Guns. Her career in the antiques trade began as manager of Pennard House Antiques in Bath – the UK’s largest export trade collective for decorative antiques in the fabled days of frantic business.
Here in England we are blessed with a complete melting pot of inventory which has arrived on our shores from the Colonies and there has never been an occasion when I have been stumped by a request from a Diva client! Spanish Colonial period pieces for a Hollywood mansion? Step this way! A collection of gravestones and a church spire for a luxury theme park? No problem!
The Bath Decorative Antiques Fair is still the leading regional event to beat, where rustic to refined ultra-relevant stylish English Country House style, Mid Century design, industrial chic, Swedish period painted furniture, period portraits and perennially fashionable crusty iron garden furniture will rub shoulders with decorative staples of the 80s and 90s.
Now back in demand by a new and younger audience – French marble top chocolatiers’ tables, elaborate brass and steel bakers’ racks, buffets and armoires in fruitwood, huge pine refectory tables and Windsor chairs, rows of yellow confit pots, pub signs, marine and advertising ephemera, homely Staffordshire dogs, samplers and quilts and yes, large-scale oak, mahogany and walnut brown furniture re-imagined by a new generation of decorators and collectors.
The event has remained at the same wonky Bath Pavilion since the launch back in 1989 and quickly fills up with eager exhibitors each year, keen to secure a place at what is reliably expected to be a busy event teeming with buyers from the UK, EU and USA happy to queue up for hours in all weathers before the doors open at 12 midday.
The 29th Bath Decorative Antiques Fair
9-11 March 2018
TRADE ONLY 8 March
The Pavilion, North Parade Road, Bath, BA2 4EU
- Opening Times:
TRADE PREVIEW Thursday 8 March: 12noon – 5pm
Admission with Trade Invite or Trade Business Card. Otherwise £10.00.
PUBLIC: Friday 9 March 10am – 5pm
Saturday 10 March 10am – 5pm
Sunday 11 March 10am – 4pm
Toma, The Antiques Diva
After returning home from Thailand for the holidays – and one last trip to visit my workshop in Bangkok before the launch of the TCH Collection – my first business trip in 2018 will be to London for the London Art Antiques & Interiors Fair at ExCel. Whether you are a dealer, collector, interior designer or design lover this Fair is a great way to start the new year with #DesignInspiration – and add find some truly special pieces. Hope to see you in London!
Toma Clark Haines The Antiques Diva Day 1 of the London Art Antiques & Interiors Fair 12 January 2018
London Art Antiques & Interiors Fair is a new style art and antiques Fair bringing together 100 specialist dealers showcasing over 30,000 unusual and desirable items from classic to contemporary. The fair is an ideal shopping destination for those searching for that perfect piece to add to their collection or simply looking for a statement piece; as well as those on the hunt for items to decorate their home.
“I’ve made it my mission to make antiques modern, relevant, fun and sexy! The London Fair is leading the way in demonstrating that antiques are for everyone –
Toma will introduce the Fair to visitors with a walking tour of booths, dealers and special events and speakers :
Friday, January 12 2018 learn more
The Antiques Diva Up Close and Personal Champagne Walking Tour
Featuring highlights of the London Art Antiques & Interiors Fair
Sign Up for the Walking Tour Here
Ribbon Cutting and Champagne Toast at Scarab Antiques Booth
Scarab Antiques Booth Hosts the Ribbon-Cutting of The TCH Collection – Lush Decadence Couture Jewelry by Toma Clark Haines
2018 Trend Forecast: Trends in Antiques
I was interviewed by the London Arts & Antiques Fair on what trends in antiques I predict for 2018:
What do you think will prove popular in 2018 when it comes to antiques?
Chinoiserie Chic! I’m picturing pagoda’s popping up everywhere as designers look towards the East for their Global Design Inspiration. More and more Asian antiques are taking places of prominence in peoples as homes as the design world looks East for inspiration. As interiors become more minimal – clean-lined Asian antiques are a perfect way to add patina without creating visual cacophony. I’m seeing – for this same reason – a rise in Art Deco furniture as well as Empire-style chests of drawers. People want the gravitas of antiques even in modern decor. When thinking how to make antiques modern – it’s all about the mix.
When thinking how to make antiques modern – it’s all about the mix.
The future of antiques is brighter than ever before. Whereas antiques use to be all about period rooms for a select few people – today antiques are for everyone. People will use antiques in unexpected ways and in unexpected places – from chandeliers in the bathroom to 18th-century mirrors in the kitchen. Repurposing and reusing stays en vogue as the green movement becomes de rigeur. Antiques are Green – and as millennials catch the wave of this realization – I predict by the 2020’s antiques will become the next “Ikea” — aka, the go-to choice for first homeowners decorating their space.
antiques will become the next “Ikea” — aka, the go-to choice for first homeowners
For now – it’s all about function – antique buyers want pieces with purpose. On our buying tours farmhouse and monastery tables continue to be top sellers as will French bergères and guéridons.
Last but not least I believe 2018 is going to be about glamour and drama – it’s the #DivaLifestyle after all. Art will be oversized statement pieces and baby, gilt is coming back. All I want for Christmas is a little NeoClassical glimmer. Happy Noel.
What tips would you give to a novice antique shopper?
In the words of Nike – Just Do It. First-time antique buyers often hesitate when shopping for antiques because they are afraid. Am I getting the right price? Is it the real deal? Meanwhile, High Street shoppers tend to do impulse purchases. My advice – if you love it, if the price is a price you’re willing to pay, just do it. Research has proven our best decisions are made in a blink so when you’re struck dumb by coupe de foudre – love at first sight of that perfect antique – trust your blink and buy what you love.
What’s best to invest in at this current time do you think?
The best thing to invest in at the moment 16th and 17th-Century Flemish cabinets, cupboards and armoires are priced at an all-time low. But Baby, brown is coming back! Buy up a piece of history with pedigree pieces and laugh all the way to the bank, as you cash in on your returns in the next decade when the prices on these 300, 400, and 500-year-old pieces return to their proper place in the price pendulum.
brown is coming back
Meet the Experts
In addition to myself, the London Art Antiques & Interiors Fair features several antiques and interiors experts who also share their trend forecasts:
What specialist advice and top tips do you have for anyone looking to source antiques in 2018?
The only rule for 2018 is that all rules are off. We buy antiques today because they appeal immediately to our eyes and hearts, and then they enrich our minds. Before, interiors were strictly defined – from the Georgian dining room to the ubiquitous ‘shabby chic’ French…
What are your anticipated jewellery trends for 2018?
Whatever Meghan wears! Because her engagement ring is made of diamonds there will most likely be a resurgence of diamonds as people do seem to be swayed by what they see those in the public eye wearing. Also the rise in popularity of pearls. The royal family…
What are your anticipated interior trends for 2018?
It’s fair to say that we are still in the lure of 20th-century design, whether it’s mid-century Scandinavian ceramics and glass or Art Deco style. I’ve noticed that people are undoubtedly becoming more and more confident about combining the old with the new…
One of my favorite antiques fairs opened October 3: I’ve shared many Antiques Diva® tours and buying trips with you on the blog. I always count Battersea as a do not miss antiques event. More than just shopping, The Decorative Fair at London’s Battersea Park is an experience. And my team at The Antiques Diva & Co feels privileged to count several dealers at the fair as friends and favorite sources that our clients have special access to. Held 3 times annually, the fair’s reputation is well-known: interior designers from around the globe attend The Decorative Fair, often shopping with their clients, and many American dealers attend to stock their store – but private customers are welcome to attend also! Designers and stylists attend the Fair to search out original and unusual furniture, art and accessories to give their projects an individual touch. (Spotted: The Fair was recently visited by David and Victoria Beckham… they shopped with their decorator Rose Uniacke, and one of the UK’s hottest interior designers at present!)
Styles at The Decorative Fair range from French and English antique furniture to tabletop to mid-century modern. And what I love about the Battersea Decorative Fair is that not only is there something for everyone’s taste, there is also a range of price points. If you are seeking high-end antiques, you will find them; but The Fair also has smalls and decorative pieces that won’t cost a fortune – and may even fit in your suitcase!
Today’s guest blog is by Pippa Roberts, Specialist at The Decorative Fair, on the current trends in antiques and decor seen at London’s Autumn 2017 Decorative Fair – open now through October 8.
The Decorative Antiques and Textiles Fair – Battersea Park, London
Decorated ‘brown’ furniture
There has been a marked interest recently in fine, late 18th and early 19th-century furniture, with good embellishment and in richly coloured woods, such as Italian or French fruitwood or walnut commodes with ormolu/metal mounts or decoration. For international buyers pressed for time, there is no better one-stop-shop for European furniture than the Decorative Fair.
Classic country house style / maximalism
The country house look is definitely back in, and the Decorative Fair is the home of classic English country house furnishings: Persian rugs on floors, a mix of polished and painted wood furniture and nicely upholstered Regency sofas, elaborate mirrors, traditional portrait and landscape paintings, tapestries, etc. Chintz is back in, big time, in terms of textiles and pattern. Layering different periods of furniture and accessories adds instant ‘family history’ and an established, ‘been there forever’ look to a room. You can decorate an entire country house from top to bottom at the Decorative Fair! It’s the only fair you can sensibly achieve this at.
White ceramics have been a big thing for the past year or two, and look set to retain their chic; groups of white German modernist vases, large Regency-style French tureens and jugs, and more ornately decorated pieces for impactful tablescapes and cabinet displays.
Decorated folk furniture / art
Traditional pieces that have a homespun air: decorated furniture, either painted, or découpaged, or decorated with more unusual materials such as seeds, i.e. truly unique pieces.
Art Deco glamour
Art Deco design is selling well, especially glass – colourful, and looks great on the cocktail shelf/bar cart. You can see Deco style in many of the leading designer contemporary brands at present.
Bamboo and rattan furniture is still having a strong ‘moment’. As are bar carts of every style and era!
Indigo blue / blue and white
This colour, and blue & white china, has been having a renaissance; classic blue and white Delftware pots or English china plates are being used once again by decorators, even using gilded sconces to mount them around fireplaces (as per the C17th habit) or in dining rooms. Indigo blue is a big interiors colour at the moment, so we don’t see this trend changing anytime soon.
Velvet upholstery and trimmings
Top of the list in terms of luxe upholstery trends right now! The Decorative Fair presented a passementerie foyer display a couple of years ago, and since then, tassels, trimmings, and fringes have been back with a vengeance in high-end interiors. Antique passementerie, metallic threadwork and haberdashery items are offered by many of the textile dealers (and others) at the fair.
The Battersea Decorative Antiques & Textiles Details
- October 3-8 2017
- Battersea Evolution
London SW11 4NJ
Vehicle Entry via Chelsea Bridge Gate ONLY
- Tuesday 3rd October: 12 noon – 8pm
Wednesday 4th October: 11am – 8pm
Thursday 5th October : 11am – 8pm
Friday 6th October: 11am – 7pm
Saturday 7th October: 11am – 7pm
Sunday 8th October: 11am – 6pm
- £10 on the door including catalogue which allows free re-entry
Tickets can only be purchased with cash
Vendors at The Decorative Fair are carefully selected specialists in antique and 20th-century design from Britain and Europe with an unrivalled selection of stock.
October is the last date for The Decorative Fair in 2017; if you’d like a private antique buying tour in 2018 (January 23-28, April 17-22, and Autumn 2018) to Battersea’s design extravaganza – plus our other London and English countryside custom antique buying tours.
Cheers! Hope to see you in London!
Toma Clark Haines – The Antiques Diva®
Today’s guest post is by our Antiques Diva® English Antiques Buying Agent Gail McLeod, owner of the UK’s prestigious Antique News & Fairs, Google’s top-ranked antiques fair website. Gail might just be the most connected woman in the world of antiques – is Editor in Chief of the Antiques are Green website and vice chair of the new Antiques are Green Trade Association, and a co-founder of Antiques Young Guns.
The Bruton Decorative Antiques Fair returns to the luxury laden Haynes International Motor Museum from 13-15 October, 2017, following a smash hit debut in October 2016 when buyers flooded in from across the country and the rest of the world!
Organisers Cooper Events welcomes some brilliant new names on board: Kore Purchase, Tetbury, Bombe Interiors and Elham Antiques from Kent, Molly & Maud’s Place and Chris Holmes Decorative Antiques both Yorkshire, John Read Smith, Wales, The Archives from The Netherlands will join Bruton this year with their Folk Art, Country House furniture and collectible glass, and with a big sister like the Bath Decorative Antiques Fair just up the road in the Georgian City, running at an all time high in March 2017 after 28 years, the traction is red-hot and the Bruton Decorative Fair is getting ready to motor back to the Haynes International Museum for a spectacular return.
Decorative dealers pull out all stops at this show and there will be choreographed displays from some of the most exciting decorative dealers in the UK, Europe and the Channel Islands with C18th – C20th decorative trouve for the home and garden, architectural reclamation, humble English Folk Art – early pottery, samplers, walking canes, CMid furniture and accessories, lighting, textiles, grand painted furniture from local country houses, mirrors, dazzling jewels and even desirable vintage designer handbags.
Mark Hill Selects Tour
On Saturday 14 October, BBC Antiques Roadshow expert and author Mark Hill will add some celebrity sparkle to the fair with his “Mark Hill Selects” tour – using his expert knowledge to inspire visitors with tips on using traditional and decorative antiques in the modern interior for a cool century mash-up! Mark will also be selecting some collectors’ pieces – he has an eye for obscure objects and visitors can look forward to a fun and engrossing event.
Mark’s tour will be streamed LIVE: tune in to https://www.facebook.com/BrutonDecorativeAntiquesFair
Saturday 14 October at 1pm GMT
The transformation of the sleepy Somerset town of Bruton into the ‘Notting Hill of the South West’ with the arrival of the internationally renowned Hauser & Wirth Gallery, lighting a media fire under this untouched corner of leafy Somerset and drawing an influx of City money, second home owners and celebrities to the area, presented a light bulb moment for organisers Sue and Peter Hodder of Cooper Events who knew they had found the perfect site in the area for their new event – the £6 million extension to The Haynes International Motor Museum, with its luxury interior and extraordinary raspberry red futuristic facade, just outside Bruton and very highly visible from the adjacent A303.
A number of notable Somerset dealers will return in 2017 including The Factory in Castle Cary home to seven leading dealers from the decorative trade founded by David Tupman Antiques. Sharing the beautiful former dairy house factory in Castle Cary are Brighton based dealer Jill Palmer, Pimlico, London W1 dealer Christopher Butterworth, London based Derek Greengrass and Ashburton, Devon dealer Roger Organ. Expect to see a highly charged eclectic mix of decorative antiques for the home and garden.
Alchemy from Bruton will also be returning with French and English upholstery, dining tables and chairs, C20th century glass tables, beautiful English and European mirrors, textiles, and a selection of contemporary art and sculpture, Quillon House Antiques, also Bruton based, with fine English oak and country furniture and equestrian paintings, Elizabeth Lee Interiors from Frome with French, Swedish and English decorative antiques for the home and garden, Waterfall Antiques, Bath, with a wide selection of leather luggage, conservatory decoration and kitchenalia, Sherborne based Macintosh Antiques with painted country house furniture and upholstery from the leading furniture makes of the C18th – C19th and Somerton based specialist upholstery and CMid design dealers Life England will also return in 2017. Exquisite Swedish and French painted furniture and antiques for the garden and conservatory will be shown by La Place Antiques and No1 Lewes from Sussex. Folk Art will be shown by leading experts Erna Hiscock and John Shepherd, Devon based Appledore Antiques and venerable long term Bath exhibitors Terry & Marie Kelly and collectible walking canes will be shown by Winfield Canes.
Fine British, European and Modern & Contemporary Art will be well represented by local dealers White Space Gallery, Totnes, The Jerram Gallery, Sherborne and by Cambridge based Granta Fine Art. Period portraits will be displayed by Channel Islands exhibitor Mark Blower Antiques.
The organisers have also teamed up with celebrated local restaurant Roth Bar & Grill for a competition to win a culturally enriching lunch with wine for two people.
Situated at Hauser & Wirth Somerset, Roth Bar & Grill plays an integral part in the Hauser & Wirth Somerset experience combining gastronomy with contemporary art. Owners Steve & Jules Horrell regularly collaborate with artists exhibiting at the gallery to design unique dishes and cocktails, inspired by the exhibition. The restaurant works closely with local farmers, gamekeepers and gardeners, to use ethical British produce with a focus on sustainability.
Bruton Decorative Antiques Fair 13-15 October 2017
- Trade Preview Friday 13 October 11 am – 2 pm
- Public Friday 13 – 2 pm – 5 pm, Saturday 14 + Sunday 15 – 11 am – 5 pm
- Haynes International, Sparkford, Somerset BA22 7LH
- Complimentary Ticket
Schedule a private England antique buying tour in 2018 at the Bruton Fair, its sister antique fair The Bath Decorative Antiques Fair – plus our other London and English countryside custom antique buying tours!
Cheers! Hope to see you in England!
Toma Clark Haines – The Antiques Diva®
Today’s post is by Sara Morel, who recently left her corporate fashion job to establish Reclaimed Woman. A blog and business, for those in search of a more conscious life. Fashion and home fashions that are equally style-savvy as they are ethical. Like a secret diary, she previously blogged under the name Style Salvo, recording her journey into antiques, salvage and a more sustainable existence (shoe collection excluded), as head of PR for a shoe brand at the time! She vowed to do-up her new home in London with as many old, reused and reclaimed things as possible. One bedroom, one bathroom, one garden, one kitchen… now her walk-in wardrobe.
SALVO Fair: Life is not a Rehearsal – Green Living Fest
A boulder engraved with the words of the estate owner, Sir William McAlpine reads ‘Life is not a Rehearsal.’ I love this phrase, and find it can be applied to all sorts of scenarios life throws at one. In light of the bright green antique theme, SALVO 2017 is not only about appreciating antiques for their connection with history, but for their relationship with the future and the environmental benefits of reuse. Shop vintage fashion and hats including unique designs by Dior from Mary Jones Vintage, whose rare finds for gents and ladies are stocked in Liberty of London as well as her shop in Liverpool.
Whatever your motivation, here are some shopping tips you can apply to architectural antiques and vintage fashion:
- Shopping in a meaningful way starts with knowing what your personal style is and what your needs are. Fashions move in cycles, so don’t let current trends dictate your taste. If you buy something you love, it will hold your interest.
- That’s all very well… but if you’re not yet sure what your style is, antique and vintage fairs are a great place to learn and discover what you like.
- Try to buy architectural antiques first, then make design decisions based on what is available – this will make your hunt much easier. The same goes for rare vintage fashion. It makes sense to start with your statement-makers, then you can build the rest of your look around them.
- Ask about provenance (the earliest known history about the piece). This not only adds value to the item, but to your dinner party conversation. For example, the extractor pipe on the cooker hood in my kitchen is a Victorian organ pipe reclaimed from a church in East London, the overhead cabinets were converted from a 1940s staff noticeboard reclaimed from London’s St Pancras Station. And you’ll have to come for dinner to hear the rest…
- Find designers, builders and tailors that are antique and vintage fashion friendly, as alterations and allowances may be required.
- You may be in a field (at Salvo Fair for example) but you are also surrounded by some rare and incredibly valuable period pieces. Dealers are rarely offended if you negotiate reasonably and there are definitely deals to be found at the fair.
- If you insist on wearing heels like Toma, take her Salvo Fair field lead and opt for a wedge.
- Any finally, it’s easy to get intimidated; whether you’re overwhelmed by the sheer size of an architectural antique or the price of a collectible vintage handbag, I recommend starting with an experienced Antiques Diva guide tailored to you and your budget.
March 2 – 5: 28th Annual Bath Decorative Antiques Fair
45 dealers will be at the Bath Decorative Antiques Fair offering a wide diversity of antiques, including painted furniture, garden antiques, mirrors, lighting, textiles, English and European pottery, collectible Country House objects; as well as super-chic metropolitan pieces. The Fair is held in the historic Pavilion, located a few minutes walk from the center of Bath. While attending the Fair, be sure to visit Bath and enjoy the many local restaurants and bars.
Gail McLeod, England Antiques Diva Guide and co-organiser of Antique Fair & News, says:
The Bath Decorative Antiques Fair is one of the most popular and unique antique fairs in the UK, is a must-show for dozens of dealers, and attracts new antiques dealers every year. Visitors love to attend the fair in charming and historic Bath, and never fail to be impressed by the diversity and quality of offerings at the fair. The show tours with antiques expert Judith Miller and Antiques Young Gun Edd Thomas are absolute must-dos!
Special Events at the Bath Decorative Antiques Fair:
- March 2: Trade Only Day
- March 3: Antiques industry celebrity tour with ‘The Queen of Antiques’ Judith Miller
- March 5: Collaboration with vintage and antiques market BathVA, with a ‘Style Up Top Picks’ tour of the Bath Decorative Fair and BathVA with Edd Thomas of ‘Edd in the Clouds’
About The 28th Bath Decorative Antiques Fair:
- For a complete list of dealers and show information: www.bathdecorativeantiquesfair.co.uk
- Date: 2-5 March 2017. TRADE ONLY 2 March
- Venue: The Pavilion, North Parade Road, Bath, BA2 4EU
- Opening Times:
TRADE PREVIEW Thursday 2 March: 12noon – 5pm. Admission with Trade Invite or Trade Business Card. Otherwise £10.00.
PUBLIC: Friday 3 – Sunday 5 March 10am – 5pm
- Admission: £5.00
Complimentary tickets: http://www.bathdecorativeantiquesfair.co.uk/freeTicket.php
Toma Clark Haines – The Antiques Diva
Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells! Santa’s on his way!! He’s making a list of those who have been naughty and nice… and I’ve got to tell you… I have been very very good this year. And thus… my wish list is super long! With a world of antiques available at my every whim… where do I go to shop for antiques? London of course! Two of my favorite antiquing sources for the holidays – or any time of year – are Alfies and Grays Antiques. You’re invited to shop with them too at their special after-hours Christmas Shopping Party at Alfies Antique Market on Thursday, December 1 from 5pm-9pm.
But don’t worry if you’re not in London this holiday… their gift guides are jammed packed with presents fit for a diva. Uhm… I’m just saying… Here’s my Wish List in case anyone of you wants to start their Christmas shopping with me in mind (wink, wink)!
Louis Vuitton Trunks
Louis Vuitton is timeless chic when it comes to fashion and handbags… but with travel accessories!? Get out of here. I’m ready to hop a steamer for my next holiday. Who wouldn’t love these fabulous vintage Louis Vuitton Trunks? And if you’re not planning un grand voyage they can be used for stylish storage or simply as a decorative accessory in your home
Haori Kimono C 1920s
1920’s Diamond and Ruby Ring
Everyone who knows me knows that I’m a jewelry fanatic. This ring is just glamorous and stylish all at once! A bit over the top? Yes. But who said that was a bad thing?
Gold Tone Snake Necklace
I’m in love with this exotic snake necklace. Paired with a simple dress, this baby has chic written all over it!
Red Chanel Bag circa 1980s
Vintage Chanel. Need I say any more?
Tiffany & Co 18 C Gold Earrings
Classic, timeless, chic. These earrings would go with just about anything or for that matter… nothing at all!
Toma Clark Haines, The Antiques Diva®
Here at The Antiques Diva & Co it’s been a busy few months! We’re getting ready to launch our new Asia Tours, I’m currently traveling in the USA working on a few new projects—watch this space!— and our Diva Guides in Europe have been keeping things running smoothly in our 8 European Tour Countries! Our UK Diva Agent Gail McCleod always has the scoop on what’s happening with antiques in the UK. In fact, her website, Antiques News & Fairs is a fantastic resource for anyone in the antiques industry. Gail has led many tours of the Bath Decorative Antiques Fair, and we are excited to announce a sister fair, The Bruton Decorative Antiques Fair is coming up on October 14-16.
The Bruton Decorative Antiques Fair welcomes a number of Bath exhibitors together with a large group of new exhibitors both regional and national dealing in decorative antiques from France, Scandinavia and Great Britain; featuring Folk Art, Mid Century design, Modern and Contemporary Art, Architectural Salvage, Country House furniture, and antiques and vintage for the garden and conservatory.
The 1st Bruton Decorative Antiques Fair
- When: 14-16 October 2016
- Where: The Haynes International Motor Museum, Sparkford, Somerset, UK
- Special Details: Trade Preview 12pm-2pm Friday 14 October
For Trade Preview tickets and to book a private tour with an Antiques Diva Guide, email us at email@example.com. We’d love to take you to this new fair and maximize your time by taking you to our secret sources in the countryside as well!
Toma Clark Haines, The Antiques Diva®
Everyone knows that I love a good party, and will use any excuse to celebrate! Champagne anyone? One of my favorite English antique institution, Alfies, is celebrating their 40th anniversary! To commemorate this occasion, they’re running several activities this month in conjunction with the London Design Festival.
Even though I can’t be in London this month, as I’m traveling in Asia setting up our new Antiques Diva Asia Tours #WatchThisSpace, our English Diva Agent Gail McLeod is on the ground and in command leading a special VIP GROUP tour for one of our favourite clients, Modenus. Founder of Modenus, Veronika Miller is a dear friend and she brings a group of clients – including bloggers, designers and dealers – over each year during London Design Week as part of Design Hounds.
The Antiques Diva segment of their London tour will be on 21 & 22 September and our plan first is to whisk them off to Martin Johnson’s fabulous new warehouse he has opened in Lewis with the lovable Fontaine boys for an exclusive behind the scenes glimpse in the best of the decorative antiques trade in England. And then the next day Gail – aka the Commander in Chic – will take them to Alfies and the Antiques Young Guns pop-up and the Church Street dealers. Sadly the Design Hounds have to dash before the Alfies party begins… but if you watch the #DesignHounds on Instagram you can get a glimpse into this VIP DIVA TOUR!
Besides the 40th Anniversary Party at Alfies, there are several other events taking place this week in London, and we’ve got the run down of must-Diva-do’s!
September Events to Celebrate Alfies London 40th Anniversary
- Pop-up Residency from London Glassblowing
- 20th Century Glass with Mark Hill
- Fashion Through the Ages with Leslie Verrinder of Tin Tin Collectables
- Thirteen Upholstery Workshop Demonstration
If you find yourself in London be sure to check out the pop-up shops featuring several Antiques Young Guns dealers, many of whom are AD&CO friends and vendors! Even if you’re not able to be in London, check out their websites below.
AYG members standing at the pop-up shop are:
- Lily Johnston of Bombe Antiques
- Matthew Wise of Cubbit Antiques
- Edd Thomas of Eddintheclouds Antiques
- Jason Clarke of Jason Clarke Antiques
- Stephanie Connell of Stepannie Connell Art & Antiques
- Eddy Toshi Ishikawa Wertheim of The Japanese Gallery
- Ishmael Khan of Ishy Antiques
- Jon Irvine of Jon Irvine Antiques
And last but not least – Rumor has it Design Hounds will be joining me in Asia to kick off the new year… if you’re interested in joining that VIP GROUP TOUR make sure to contact either me or Veronika @ Modenus.
Toma Clark Haines, The Antiques Diva®
Dear Diva Readers,
Architectural Biennale and then onto Antwerp sourcing antiques through our Buying Service for a client who didn’t have time to come abroad…. And yet, I’m already scheduled again to hit the road this weekend going to England for the Grand Opening of a “new” Antiques Warehouse! Well, as they say… everything old is new again!he dust has barely settled from my recent trip to the USA speaking on buying antiques abroad followed by a quick jaunt to Venice for a Salon during the
This new antiques store is the result of a marriage made in heaven – but quite an unusual union! Stuart Atkinson and Kiel Shaw owners of Fontaine Decorative and Martin Johnson and Paul Wong owners of Martin D Johnson Antiques have been friends for a long time, both trading in the coastal South of England counties of Kent and Sussex. Both businesses rank at the top of the decorative trade tree but each retains its own unique style and character, enough so that the boys all go buying together in the South of France without falling out! Based on this close relationship, synergy of business style and many ‘planning meetings’ in the restaurants and bars of England and France, they are trail blazing a new way to trade by opening a monumental warehouse together just outside Lewes, East Sussex, which opens to the public on Monday 13 June 2016.
Gail McLeod, our Antiques Diva Agent leading our England Antiques Tours has worked for a long time with both businesses, both in her role with my company leading English antique buying tours as well as her own business Antiques News and Fairs. As our Roving Reporter on the Ground in England – Gail explains:
“Martin Johnson Antiques is a family business which has traded in the High Street in Seaford, East Sussex for nearly 30 years, moving from dealing in silver and semi formal oak and mahogany to the uber decorative look they are known for both at home and in the US, dealing in C17th, C18th and C19th English antiques and a mix of decorative French furniture, industrial pieces and mid-century furniture.
Another successful arm of the business is their line of bespoke commissioned pieces using recycled industrial equipment and elements, uniting antique components with more contemporary materials, sourcing locally and in France.
Martin and Paul have become expert property hounds over time, buying and restoring a number of neglected beauties and they worked hard to get planning consent to convert their Seaford premises to residential use so that they could decamp to a more user friendly space for their huge business – parking and loading are key to the life of a dealer to say nothing of ceiling height. This all came to pass in 2015 when permission was granted and they found their new warehouse on a beautiful farm just outside Lewes and the future became clear.
Over in Kent, The Fontaine Boys, as they are known by most people, who had started their career in the Lewes area some 20 years ago, had also been busily acquiring and restoring cherished buildings and their first Margate showroom was once Margate Town Laundry. This too had parking, loading and ceiling height issues so they let it to a well known animation company and acquired a warehouse showroom in nearby Broadstairs which opened in 2015. They too are property junkies and they also acquired an unloved shop in the centre of nearby Ramsgate which is currently being transformed into a retail showroom and will be the next Fontaine Kent outpost.
From their humble beginnings setting off for their first adventure in France 20 years ago, Fontaine are now established and experienced French decorative antiques dealers and members of LAPADA – The Association of Art & Antique Dealers. Their informal and relaxed approach when it comes to buying and selling antiques has attracted a cool and loyal following – hipster antiques and collectables expert Mark Hill wrote, ‘Stuart and Kiel who run Fontaine are veritable alchemists when it comes to display. Their innate skill and eye at sourcing objects of beauty and desire are unparalleled, but it’s what they do with it that marks them out as truly top-flight dealers and decorators’.”
At The Antiques Diva & Co we cannot wait to for the launch of this union – and we’re utterly certain the result will be The Best Antiques Warehouse in England. The Martin D Johnson Antiques & Fontaine Lewes collaboration will be styled in a room set showcase layout choreographed by period and style. We’ve had a sneak peek into the space before opening day and can attest – it’s warm and inviting and almost loses its industrial cloak when you enter the very smart offices area – squashy sofas and good coffee on tap! The venue will be an absolute boon for visiting trade – always on a deadline, who can now see a high volume stock from two of the key suppliers in the industry under one roof.
Happy Shopping Mates!
The Antiques Diva®