Back in the 1980s, the design trade was looking for more unusual antiques that were rarely available at the major London antiques fairs, so there was the need to give decorators and designers everything they wanted under just one roof. The idea of creating a decorative fair came from Patricia Harvey, a dealer in decorative antiques, as her many interior designer clients were clamouring for an easier way to source stock for their clients.
The Decorative Fair was originally launched in 1985 with the idea of unite the antiques and interior design trades. Today they hold three events a year: a Winter Fair in January, a Spring Fair in April and an Autumn Fair during the busy ‘design season’ in late September.
I went to visit the Winter Fair and here for you some of the highlights of the event.
The location: Battersea Park
Situated about three kilometres south of Hyde Park Corner, Battersea Park is considered by many to be the most interesting of all the London Parks. The Park is registered as grade II* within the Register of Historic Parks and Gardens by English Heritage for its special historic interest. There is a small car park just inside the park, but I would recommend using some bikes, and park them just off the entrance. Better choice, not only for the environment, but also for your health.
The exhibition has its very unique spirit and vibrancy, and the friendly relaxed atmosphere is appreciated by both exhibitors and visitors alike.
The format of the exhibition brings together a wide range of decorative antiques and twentieth century design. There is also an eclectic mix among formal antiques, collectors’ items, art and accessories from the 20th century.
Exhibitors are encouraged to display their stock in a room-set fashion which is very
eye-catching; plus, this provides ideas and inspiration for how to display items at home.
This year’s theme celebrates the Orient, with everything from rarities to conversation-pieces highlighting how Eastern design travelled the Silk Route to inspire and infiltrate our own interiors.
Listed below, a selection of artists and exhibitors I am really passionate about, due of the beauty, the accuracy and elegance of their stands and collections.
I have also included their websites - in case you are a style-savvy buyer looking for unusual pieces for your home but you missed the event.
Panter & Hall By Mattew Hall
Since they began in 2000, and with more than 300 gallery exhibitions behind them, Panter & Hall has continued to grow apace. A success they attribute entirely to the consistent support of their regular clients and artists.
Hatchwell Antiques is a treasure trove of the unexpected, where highly collectable 20th Century pianos sit alongside giant polished titanium turbines, submarine doors and exquisite glass chandeliers. Our stock is split in to four areas of expertise: Aeronautical, 20th Century, Optics and Classical.
David Brooker Fine Art
David Brooker Fine Art has been dealing in America for over 20 years. He has one of the largest collections of English and European paintings in North America.
Catharine Miller is a family-run gallery specialising in vibrant, varied, affordable art from Europe and South America. They collect paintings, prints and sculpture from 1950 to the present day, with prices ranging from £50 - £5,000.
Gray M.C.A is recognised as being the international leader in the specialist art field of original Fashion Illustration from post war 1940s to the present day. From original artworks by the masters of fashion illustration including Carl ‘Eric’ Erickson, René Bouché, René Gruau, Antonio Lopez & Kenneth Paul Block to the contemporary masters including Bil Donovan & Jason Brooks; these artists works have graced the front covers & inside pages of leading fashion journals worldwide from Vogue, Harpers Bazaar, W Magazine & Elle to The New York Times, The Times & Women’s Wear Daily.
Justin Evershed Martin
Justin was previously Managing Director of Mallett Antiques, where he worked for 10 years in both New York and London, leaving in 2016 to create his own company.
Justin has curated collections and sourced individual pieces at the highest level for private clients and institutions around the world.
Caroline de Kerangal
Caroline de Kerangal has been working in partnership with her husband Peter Berg for 10 years. They have become a recognized and well respected name in dealing in 20th century design, in the Antiques and Interior Designer world. Their skill is in sourcing, quality and unique furniture, lighting and works of art that will stand the test of time and enhance any interior.
Nicholas Price is an independent dealer specialising in British and European prints and oils from the early eighteenth century through to the present day.
He works from home in London where he can be reached by appointment. Meticulous about authenticity and condition, he remains one of the few dealers in Britain to continue holding stock in top quality eighteenth and early nineteenth century prints and engravings.
Lee Wright Antiques and Interiors
Lee has been dealing antiques for thirty years. He has a great talent for sourcing fine quality pieces from all over Europe. His travels have resulted in him amassing an unrivalled range of resources. He carefully oversees all aspects of the restoration of his antiques, working with his special team of craftsmen on each piece from start to finish.
Joost van den Bergh
Based in London since 1988, Joost van den Bergh has dealt in Indian and South East Asian art for over 15 years, focussing particularly on sculpture and works of art.
He also deals in other areas of Asian art, including Tibet and Japan.
Cool Stuff Across The Pond
Mid century & industrial lighting, furniture. Aeronautical antiques & posters.
France & London based company owned by Phil Taylor.
Overseas company which I feel the need to mention due of the stunning set-up of their stand and the beauty and simplicity of their ceramics. Established in 1999 in Madrid, in spring of 2011 they opened a second store on Núñez de Balboa.
Website (in Spanish only): http://berenis.net/