The Antiques & Fine Art Fair returns to Harewood

The Antiques & Fine Art Fair at Harewood returns at an earlier time this year, from Friday 12 to Sunday 14 May 2017. Organised by The Antiques Dealers Fair Limited, the fair is staged in a purpose-built marquee overlooking the stunning ‘Capability’ Brown landscape towards the 18th century country house, hailed as one of the great Treasure Houses of England.

Supported by Knight Frank Harrogate and Wilson Mitchell & Co, senior partner practice of St. James’s Place Wealth Management, the fair is now in its 6th year, and is a firm fixture in the diary for the discerning interior decorator and private buyer looking for distinctive, unusual and individual pieces for the home. The fair is a boutique-style event with around 30 specialist exhibitors taking part, the majority being members of BADA or LAPADA, the leading UK dealers’ trade associations. All abide by strict codes of practice.

Major highlights of the fair are to be found with first time exhibitor, Mary Cooke Antiques, specialist silver dealers from central London, who are bringing some exceptional pieces of York silver. York silver is very rare to come across as York was a small centre of silver and the assay office closed in 1856 resulting in very little surviving from that period and earlier. One piece is an Argyle, made in York in 1790 by Hampston & Prince, £8,950. Argyles are generally accepted to have been containers for gravy or sauce as the design incorporates some form of heat preserving element. The credit for inventing these Argyles goes to the 3rd Duke of Argyll as he and his Duchess had become tired of their sauces arriving cold at the dining table at Inverary Castle. Argyles made in London are scarce, however, it is thought that only a handful were made in York and examples are exceptionally rare. Two more pieces of York silver are Charles II tumbler cups which were used to drink from when travelling in carriages so they would always tumble back to the flat point. One was made in York in 1680 by Richard Waynes, £8,950, and the second was made in York in 1678, £8,950. Near identical examples of both cups are in the William Lee Collection, held in the York Minster Undercroft.

Another interesting piece with a local provenance is a Spode porcelain spill vase, hand-painted with a view of York Minster, c.1820, from Carolyn Stoddart-Scott, £340. Antique maps are always a source of fascination and J Dickinson Maps & Prints has an excellent choice of local topographical subjects including a map of the West Riding of Yorkshire by Jan Jansson from 1646, £595.

Northern artists have a strong following in this part of the country and Haynes Fine Art is putting on a good show including Warm skies over an industrial landscape by Brian Shields (aka Braaq), who was born into a Liverpool family in 1951 and A View of the Royal Mile, Edinburgh by Louis H Grimshaw (1870-1943), £235,000, born in Leeds. For something more contemporary, Richwood Fine Art is bringing a study for the painting Four colours, Black + White Visual Grey, warm and cold yellow sensation by Bridget Riley (born 1931) , one of the foremost exponents of Op Art, £45,760. Other fine art dealers are Ashleigh House Fine Art and Cambridge Fine Art.

A mix of 19th and 20th century bronze sculpture such as Reflections among the Ruins by Dominique Alonzo, c.1920, £4,450, and contemporary wildlife bronzes by Robert Glen (b.1940), who lives in Tanzania, are being offered by Garret & Hurst Sculpture. More options are available from Hickmet Fine Arts with an excellent early 20th century bronze figure of a reclining lioness, c.1900, signed Valton, £2,650 and a late 19th century bronze group of a family of hares, signed J Moigniez, c.1870, £6,850.

The ‘look’ of the fair is always cleverly defined by the dealers, who go to great lengths to create a room-set in order to give visitors ideas and inspiration on how to display items at home often using a combination of antique and contemporary pieces. William Cook Antiques has a number of eye-catching pieces of furniture such as an unusual William IV games table, c.1835, £1,600, and a Regency period mahogany bookcase, c.1800, £3,300. A great choice of oak and country furniture is available from Melody Antiques as well as quirky accessories tracked down by Mike Melody, who has an excellent eye for spotting the unusual.

Lighting is paramount in any interior and Fileman Antiques’ stand is cleverly lit with a pair of cut glass and ormolu candelabra by F & C Osler, c.1880, £3,200, as well as other glass items including drinking vessels and a pair of Regency cut glass drum base candlesticks, c.1800, £5,000). Antique glass, both English and Continental, is also available from another specialist glass dealer Mark J West and more silver highlights are on offer from Ilkley based silver dealer Jack Shaw & Co including a Charles II silver porringer, c 1683, £6,500.

A 2,000 year old apple is one of the more intriguing objects to be found with Odyssey, a dealer in ancient and medieval antiquities and coins. This carbonated apple was found with other fruit during the late 19th century excavations on the site of the market place in the Roman city of Pompeii. Its blackened and petrified state is a result of the intense heat due to being buried by hot volcanic ash when Pompeii was engulfed following the famous eruption of Mount Vesuvius on 24th August AD 79. This extremely rare example is from the collection of antiquities formed by the late Rev Geoffrey Elford Stephens, £550.

Jewellery, whether for the gentleman or the lady, is well provided at the fair with a sparkling choice from Plaza showing a 1950’s 18 carat gold, sapphire and diamond brooch by the Swiss master jeweller, Gubelin, £7,500, a sapphire and diamond ring, c.1950 from Anderson Jones, £5,000 or for something less showy, Sue Brown is bringing an Austrian carved amethyst, nephrite and diamond brooch in the shape of wild violets, c.1930, £2,400. For the gentleman, there is a good selection of vintage timepieces from Howell 1870 including a men’s steel Jaquet Droz chronograph, c.1960, £750.

The Antiques Dealers Fair Limited has an ongoing relationship with the Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust (QEST), the charitable arm of the Royal Warrant Holders Association. QEST is represented at Harewood by two scholars demonstrating their skills, Teresa Dybisz, a stone carver and sculptor based in Leeds and Andrian Melka, a sculptor working in bronze, living in Tadcaster. Both have pieces for sale at the fair or commissions can be taken for a bespoke item.

There is also the opportunity to seek advice and look at examples of work carried out by T L Phelps Fine Furniture Restoration. Tim Phelps has worked on restoration of Chippendale furniture at Harewood House.

Light refreshments are available within the fair or more substantial catering is available at the Courtyard at Harewood. Ingrid Nilson, director of The Antiques Dealers Fairs Limited said, “We are looking forward to returning to Yorkshire in May and to seeing many of our loyal visitors again as well as welcoming new faces. There is plenty for everyone to discover”.

Harewood House members are welcomed at the fair free-of-charge. Tickets are £5 each and include free parking and access to Harewood’s grounds and Below Stairs. For an extra £5, antiques fair ticket holders can visit Harewood House’s State Rooms, including the current Victorian Harewood exhibitions and other contemporary exhibitions. Harewood House was a major set for ITV’s Victoria series with the Cinnamon Drawing Room, the Gallery and the Old Kitchen being prominent features in the lavish period drama. Victoria – a costume exhibition presents an impressive collection of costumes from the programme, including the iconic Coronation dress worn by ‘Queen Victoria’, played by Jenna Coleman, in series one. Victorian Harewood also showcases the many rooms used in the series, plus personal objects, letters and archival material from Harewood’s collection including a collection of personal etchings of their children and family pets by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. This collection was given to Princess Mary on the day she married Viscount Lascelles, who became the 6th Earl of Harewood.