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Bath Decorative Antiques Fair

Why Now is the Best Time to Buy Antiques in England - Bath Decorative Antiques Fair | Tom Clark Haines | The Antiques Diva

Why Now is the Best Time to Buy Antiques in England: Bath Decorative Antiques Fair

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

I was on a panel with interior designers Robert Passal and Garrow Kedigian on How to Source Antiques like the Pros at the D&D Building and hosted by Duralee: the event was streamed on Facebook LIVE by Aspire magazine, watch here

WATCH: Toma Clark Haines: How to Source Antiques Like the Pros 

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

Antiques Diva buying agent Gail McLeodGail 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 is the Best Time to Buy Antiques in England | Not Wanted on Voyage - quartet of industrial lanterns

Not Wanted on Voyage – quartet of industrial lanterns 

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.

Now is the Best Time to Buy Antiques in England | Vagabond Antiques – a Parliament of stone owls

Vagabond Antiques – a Parliament of stone owls 

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.

Now is the Best Time to Buy Antiques in England | Country Oak Furniture – group of primitive chairs

Country Oak Furniture – group of primitive chairs

The 29th Bath Decorative Antiques Fair 

  • www.bathdecorativeantiquesfair.co.uk
  • Date:
    9-11 March 2018
    TRADE ONLY 8 March
  • Venue:
    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
  • Admission:
    £5.00
    Free Tickets

Cheers! 

Toma, The Antiques Diva 

 

Antiques Young Guns

Dear Diva Readers,

This Independence Day I spent the day in London celebrating the 4th of July at an English antiques celebration!  While my American readers were watching fireworks I was hanging out with a whole bunch of fire crackers!  The Antiques Young Guns!

The Antiques Young Guns, Gail McLeod, Mark Hill, George Johnson, Alys Dobbie, Andrew Skipper, Lorfords Antiques, Robert Young, Bath Decorative Antiques Fair, James Gooch, Doe and Hope, Timothy Medhurst, Daniel Larsson,

The Antiques Young Guns, Gail McLeod, Mark Hill, George Johnson, Alys Dobbie, Andrew Skipper, Lorfords Antiques, Robert Young, Bath Decorative Antiques Fair, James Gooch, Doe and Hope, Timothy Medhurst, Daniel Larsson,

On Friday July 4th, The Rooftop Restaurant at Alfies Antiques Market in London was the place to be! The much anticipated awards ceremony for the Antiques Young Guns took place and I was delighted to be in attendance.  The Antiques Diva & Co has strong representation in this esteemed group of young people involved in the antiques trade. Two of our Diva Guides, Alys Dobbie of NanaDobbie and Daniel Larsson of D Larsson Interior, are members along with our Creative Consultant Andrew Skipper.  And, most importantly, our English Antiques Diva Agent who leads our tours in the UK, Gail McLeod, is one of the founding members of Antiques Young Guns along with Mark Hill and George Johnson!

 

The Antiques Young Guns, Gail McLeod, Mark Hill, George Johnson, Alys Dobbie, Andrew Skipper, Lorfords Antiques, Robert Young, Bath Decorative Antiques Fair, James Gooch, Doe and Hope, Timothy Medhurst, Daniel Larsson,

There were eight winners of a showcase at the prestigious Lorfords@Babdown kindly donated by Toby Lorford and Lesley Ferguson, owners of Lorfords Antiques and one of these winners was our very own Antiques Diva London Guide Alys Dobbie! It was also announced that eleven entrants will be mentored by renowned antiques experts and dealers.  We are so excited that our Swedish Guide Daniel Larsson will be mentored by Robert Young! (Alas Daniel was busy leading a VIP client on a Diva Tour in Sweden so he missed the event – here I am on stage accepting the award in his place).

The Antiques Young Guns, Gail McLeod, Mark Hill, George Johnson, Alys Dobbie, Andrew Skipper, Lorfords Antiques, Robert Young, Bath Decorative Antiques Fair, James Gooch, Doe and Hope, Timothy Medhurst, Toma Clark Haines, Daniel Larsson

If you recall, earlier this year, I announced on the blog my favorite dealers at The Bath Decorative Antiques Fair.  Well one of my top picks, James Gooch owner of Doe and Hope,was presented the prestigious award of Antiques Young Gun of the Year 2014 by winner in 2013 Timothy Medhurst. I have to tell you, I really think James is “one to watch!”  He has an amazing eye and will be shaping the way we decorate in the future.

James Gooch Awards, The Antiques Young Guns, Gail McLeod, Mark Hill, George Johnson, Alys Dobbie, Andrew Skipper, Lorfords Antiques, Robert Young, Bath Decorative Antiques Fair, James Gooch, Doe and Hope, Timothy Medhurst, Daniel Larsson,

All in all it was a fabulous evening celebrating the next wave of antiques enthusiasts. A highlight of the evening was meeting Steven Moore from the Antiques Roadshow (a twitter friend turned Real Life friend).  From dealers to journalists to auctioneers, these young people are changing the world of antiques for the better!

Rock on Antiques Young Guns!

The Antiques Diva®

 

Dealers at Bath Decorative Antiques Fair

Dear Diva Readers,

While recently leading an antiques buying tour of the 25th Bath Decorative & Antiques Fair 2014 I was able to reconnect with some favorite dealers as well as see some new faces and shop their stalls for all sorts of treasures!  Let me give you a recap of my top picks from the fair.

George Johnson Lady Kentmores

George Johnson of Lady Kentmores Antiques is a vivacious force in the antiques world.  His fresh ideas and unique inventory keep his stall interesting and a fun place to search for pieces you won’t find at just any antique shop.  George is a founding member of the Antiques Young Guns and has a vast knowledge not only of Scotland (where he is based), but also of the antiques industry in general.  Watch this space.  George might just be our newest Divo as we’re discussing starting Antique Diva Buying Tours in Scotland!

Bath Decorative Antiques Fair

Bath Decorative Antiques Fair

I’m smitten with another Antiques Young Gun member, James Gooch of Doe & Hope.  He had an amazing stall at the fair.  He paired unusual pieces like natural coral under glass domes and animal skulls with traditional antique furniture all set against a moody backdrop. Shopping his booth was almost like stepping into a cabinet of curiosities; the type of place that Alice might have encountered on the other side of the looking glass.  Distressed leather chairs commingled with inlaid tables while stately portraits of forgotten gentlemen gazed on the scene from the deep blue walls.

Bath Decorative Antiques Fair Swedish Antiques Diva Guide

Bath Decorative Antiques Fair 4

Of course we saw our wonderful Swedish Diva (ahem, DivO) Guide Daniel Larsson of D Larsson Interior and Antikhandle.  Daniel deals in fine Swedish antiques ranging from 18th to late 19th century.  What I love about his pieces are their wonderful patina- think pale painted Gustavian and Swedish country furniture with just the right amount of wear.  If Swedish furniture is what you’re after, Daniel is the guy you want to talk to – either to shop his own inventory or to have him to take you on tour to our secret sources in Sweden.

Bath Decorative Antiques Fair

Bath Decorative Antiques Fair

Josephine Ryan Antiques was there as well with a beautifully displayed stall, bringing her signature style to the fair.  Natural fibers on settees paired with painted furniture in soft hues made for a pleasing look.  Combine that with a few quirky accessories such as a mounted animal skull and a taxidermied hare and you are left with the calming feeling that you’ve entered a European farmhouse where the owner has amassed everything through inheritance, and life hasn’t changed much for a century or two.

Bath Decorative Antiques Fair Antiques Diva

If glam was what you were looking for, Ancient And Period LTD had it in spades.  A zebra rug, black leather and chrome mid century chairs, and the perfectly proportioned mirrored (stainless steel) cocktail table set the scene for the ultimate in modern glam.  I could picture the entire set up in a chic apartment in New York. 

Bath Decorative Antiques Fair

Casa Nova specializes in original painted Swedish and Scandinavian antique furniture and decorative pieces.  Their stall was curated so nicely that I could have moved right in!  They had cabinets and tables in the traditional pale colors typical of Scandinavian furniture as well as a few beautifully painted item like the blue Swedish clock.  Confession – I’m partial to Swedish antiques – and these fabulous dealers who have to be the most hospitable at the fair.

Overall the Bath Decorative Antiques Fair offered a wide variety of dealers and merchandise to choose from.  It’s always fun to catch up with dealers and find out what new pieces they’ve acquired!

As soon as we’ve got the date for next year… we’ll let you know so you can mark your calendar. It’s a small fair… but one of the best in England.  Perfectly choreographed!

Until next time,
The Antiques Diva®

PS:  To book an Antiques Diva Tour or inquire about our Buying Services so you can source antiques abroad virtually, email info@antiquesdiva.com

25th Anniversary of the Bath Decorative Antiques Fair

Dear Diva Readers,

This week marked the 25th anniversary of the Bath Decorative Antiques Fair in England and I just so happened to be taking a group of ladies on a tour in Bath at the same time!

Antiques Diva Tour  Bath Decorative Antiques Fair

Although these particular clients were tourists and not trade clients, we opened the doors to give these “mere shopping mortals” access to wholesale shopping – diva style.  We went to the fair on trade day (using our own trade credentials to get our clients in the door).  It’s always great to get first choice of everything!  There was definitely excitement in the air as vendors brought in a vast array of pieces from Georgian and early Victorian to mid-century Danish and 18th C Gustavian…and everything in between!  Variety is the spice of life.

Bath Decorative Antiques Fair

Bath Decorative Antiques Fair

Bath Decorative Antiques Fair

Bath Decorative Antiques Fair

Bath Decorative Antiques Fair

Bath Decorative Antiques Fair

The day was filled with plenty of shopping and special VIP rendez vous with honorary diva’s – such as renowned antique expert Judith Miller! She took our ladies out for an hour at the fair to give her opinions on their purchases and to walk through the stalls pointing out what she noticed with each vendor.  But more on that later…  Toward the end of the day, the party celebrating the fair’s 25th anniversary kicked off.  Shoppers at the fair were ushered out but our locally based Diva Agent Gail McLeod managed to secure us invites for the fete.  Champagne and hors d’oeuvres were passed and there was a lovely cake cutting to celebrate the silver anniversary.

Bath Decorative Antiques Fair

Bath Decorative Antiques Fair 7

Bath Decorative Antiques Fair

Bath Decorative Antiques Fair, Toma Clark Haines

Bath Decorative Antiques Fair, Toma Haines

Bath Decorative Antiques Fair

We were so pleased to mix and mingle with industry colleagues and leaders such as the Editor of Home and Antiques Angela Linforth and Assistant Editor Dominique Corlette.  We also clinked glasses with Marc Allum and Lisa Lloyd from the Antiques Roadshow.  George Johnson of Lady Kentmore Antiques gave us news about the Antiques Young Guns alongside fair organizer and founding member of Antiques Young Guns, Gail McLeod.

All in all it was a fantastic opening to a fun filled fair and I look forward to sharing some of my favorite items from the fair with you in the coming days!

Stay tuned for more from the Bath Decorative Fair.

Cheers!
The Antiques Diva®

PS:  To book an Antiques Diva Tour or inquire about our Buying Services so you can source antiques abroad virtually, email info@antiquesdiva.com

Guest Blog: Old Bank Antiques

Dear Diva Readers,

While I’m away from The Antiques Diva® & Co headquarters on #BlogTourNYC and leading VIP TOURS this March 2012 in France and Belgium, today’s guest blog comes to you from our English Diva, Gail McLeod.  Gail wears multiple hats.  She not only shops tirelessly as our Antiques Diva® Agent in England but when she’s not taking clients to the best places in Britain to go antique shopping, she is also editor of Antiques News and Fairs – the site Google ranks as the #1 resource for finding details of upcoming antique fairs!  On top of all this, she’s also the founder of National Antiques Week and coordinator of the Bath Decorative Antiques FairThis Diva NEVER stops.  She’s a serious mover and shaker in the English antique world and today she’s writing here at The Antiques Diva blog about an insider’s source in the lovely town of Bath, England.

Cheers from me, The Antiques Diva®, and Greetings from Your English Diva Guide, Gail McLeod!

Gail McLeod – caught mid-laugh – on the job as The English Diva!

One of the City of Bath’s destination calls for antiques and vintage hunting is Old Bank Antiques.  This sprawling and labyrinthine antiques centre is housed in two lofty Georgian houses ten minutes walk from the centre of the city. 

The friendly and helpful group of more than twenty dealers who share the centre offer a fabulous array of hard to resist finds from period oak and mahogany furniture right through to the latest trending retro collectibles from one of the trail blazers of the current vintage and retro scene – Bread and Roses, who cram their showroom with vintage furniture in metal and Melamine, kitchenalia and accessories sourced from France and the UK.  

 

Norman Kemp, Beth Cuttell, Simon Jackson, Mary and Steve Wootten and Robin Coleman add decorative flair to the centre with their range of English and European painted and country furniture from 19th – 20th C and wonderful decorative accessories including lighting, mirrors and garden furniture and decoration.

The centre is a big draw for the local homemaker of all ages and owners David Moore and Alex Schlesinger, who deal in formal period oak and mahogany furniture and ceramics, have established the centre as a call for American trade buyers and UK decorators.  Understanding the busy lifestyle we all enjoy today, David and Alex made the decision to open seven days a week, often enjoying a bit of stampede of eager buyers on Sundays.

The well-decorated displays across three windows on one of the UK’s busiest streets offers the centre a great passing trade and parking on site is a rare treat in Bath!

Happy Shopping!
The English Diva, aka Gail McLeod

Win a Guided Shopping Tour with Judith Miller and Mark Hill

Dear Diva Readers,

I have a confession – I’m not a cheater, a thief or a liar, but If there was any way I could fix this competition so that I would win, I would. I would cheat. I would steal. I would lie…. for a chance at a personal guided shopping tour with my British Idols:  The Antiques Roadshow experts Judith Miller and Mark Hill of the Miller’s Antiques Guides at one of my favorite fairs in Europe, The Bath Decorative Antiques Fair going on this March 10-11, 2011.

Judith Miller

 

Mark Hill

Enter online to win the shopping excursion of a lifetime

As if shopping on the arms of these experts was not enough, add to the thrill shopping in the city of Bath – a city Oprah Winfrey listed as one of the top 5 most amazing places on earth.   And if that isn’t enough… it gets better.  What’s the chicest, most exclusive address in town?  You guessed it – the Royal Crescent.    You can start hyperventilating now – the Grand Prize winner will stay a free night at the Royal Crescent Hotel

Royal Crescent Hotel

While the 2 Grand Prize winners will score the deal above, 5 more lucky Runner Up’s will also get the chance to tour with Judith and Mark – and to help you console yourself on missing out on the most luxe hotel in town, they’ll throw in a bottle of oh so diva-worthy champagne!!! 

Lest you worry, “Oh no, I never win anything…” I’ve got Good News for you!! This is a competition EVERYBODY wins!  When you enter the competition online, you’ll be given a downloadable ticket allowing you free entry to the antiques fair – good for any day of the 4 day event! 

And then – let the shopping commence!  Traditional fair favorites from The West of England Antique Dealers Association will be bringing a wonderful selection of country house furniture and upholstery!  Core One Antiques is receiving lots of publicity about their first-time appearance at the fair, bringing with them English and Continental Decorative furniture, lighting and mirrors!  And the 18 separate dealers hosting the Blanchard Collective will be on hand with antiques, contemporary furniture and decorative items!

All in all – this is an event for The Antiques Diva® in all of you!  To whet your appetite, here’s a few pictures, before I say Au Revoir!

Bonne Shopping, Mes Amies!

The Antiques Diva®

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