Over the weekend of Her Majesty The Queen’s official 90th birthday, The Antiques Dealers Fair Limited returns to stage The Antiques & Fine Art Fair at Harewood. Supported by Knight Frank Harrogate, the fair opens in The Marquee, Harewood House, Harewood, near Leeds, West Yorkshire LS17 9LQ from Friday 10 to Sunday 12 June 2016 in the spectacular Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown landscape in which Harewood House nestles.
To mark the royal birthday, exhibitors are bringing items with regal connections. T Robert has a Cartier silver cigarette case, in its red Cartier box, both complete with the royal crown insignia. Presumably this was presented to someone by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, but it appears it has never been used, as it is in mint condition, POA. Mark J West is bringing a pair of Royal Brierley Crystal presentation goblets made to commemorate the 1937 coronation of the Queen’s father, King George VI, priced at £500 the pair. These would have been made rather hurriedly, following the abdication of his brother, King Edward VIII.
A regal name in vogue at the moment is Princess Charlotte. New exhibitor JA Yarwood Antiques, from Skipton, has an early 19th century English enamel patch box, c1816, priced at £895. This rare box depicts Charlotte, Princess Royal (1766-1828), eldest daughter of King George III, who married Prince Frederick of Württemberg. Another royal piece, an exceptionally rare pressed horn snuff box, has a lid modelled after the portrait of George I, painted by Sir Godfrey Kneller, which still bears traces of the original gilding, c1714-27, selling for £765.
Antiquities specialist Odyssey is bringing an impressive selection of royal autographs, all beautifully framed, such as King George V’s signature, £90; King Edward VIII’s, dated 1920 when he was still the Prince of Wales, £120 and also one from Prince Frederick, Duke of York, second son of King George III, £110. Prince Frederick was the famous Grand Old Duke of York and was responsible for licking the army into shape by forced marches and endless drills, immortalised in the well-known rhyme. More gruesome, but an important piece of history, is a document fragment bearing the signatures of four of King Charles I’s ‘regicides’, two of which signed the Warrant of Execution and two of the trial judges, together with the full biography of each person, priced at £575.
From Freshfords Fine Antiques comes a Regency George IV amboyna and rosewood side table, attributable to Morel and Seddon, c1826, £14,860. George Seddon formed a partnership with cabinetmaker and upholsterer Nicholas Morel to fulfil one of their contracts: to make furniture for Windsor Castle. They worked almost exclusively for the crown, particularly at Windsor, but also at other royal residences.
Ingrid Nilson, director of The Antiques Dealers Fair Limited said, “At this year’s fair, we are launching an affiliation with the Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust (QEST), the charitable arm of the Royal Warrant Holders Association, that funds the education of talented craftspeople through traditional college courses, apprenticeships or one-on-one training with masters. This will be ongoing with our fairs well into the future.”
First time exhibitors, amongst the 30 stands, this year include Lancashire based jewellery specialists Howell 1870, vintage watch dealer Timewise and Morgan Strickland Decorative Arts from London and JA Yarwood Antiques, who are joining other returning Yorkshire based dealers FJ & RD Story Antique Clocks, Jack Shaw & Co, Nicholas Daly Books and TL Phelps Fine Furniture Restoration, as well as others from the length and breadth of the country.
As we head into the English summer of strawberries and cream, Mark J West‘s Tudor Crystal mosaic glass cream jug and sugar bowl with silver mounts fits perfectly with its juicy red fruits hanging from green foliage, London 1921, £760 the pair. Ripe fruits often attract creepy crawlies, but people cannot fail to be charmed by the selection of gold and precious gem set insect brooches, c1895-1900, priced between £885 and £1,250 from T Robert.
Other highlights to be found at this annual event include a small bronze maquette of a seated figure by Henry Moore (1898-1986), from the Marlborough show of 1963, 15cm high, edition of 9, 1960, priced at £61,360 from Richwood Fine Art and Oh Jane, it is Bad News, oil on canvas board by Helen Bradley (1900-1979), 15.25″ x 13.6″, £39,000, also from Richwood Fine Art. Helen Bradley neatly wrote a story for the grandchildren, which can still be found verso.
New exhibitor, Timewise, joins the fair with a selection of watches including a vintage Rolex Oyster Precision steel watch with a white dial in the sought-after ‘Explorer’ design, priced at £2,790. Sticking with timepieces, clocks always bring a room to life and FJ & RD Story Antique Clocks has a diverse collection catering for most tastes, amongst which is an English double fusée bronze and ormolu mounted mantel clock by F Baetens, London, c1825, priced at £5,950 and a fine quality figured walnut longcase clock by William Allam of London, c1750, £12,000. Examples of Allam’s work were exhibited at the Guildhall Museum in London, founded in 1826.
Dating back around 70 million years, the oldest piece to be found at the fair is a dinosaur egg, measuring around 15cm, £550 from antiquities dealer Odyssey. This impressive fossilised egg is from a Therizinosaurus, which roamed the earth during the late Cretaceous period.
Jack Shaw & Co returns with a fine collection of silver, including a pair of French claret jugs by the renowned Parisian silversmith Emile Puiforcat, c1880, £4,500 and a pair of old Sheffield plate wine coolers, c1825, £3,500. Ceramics specialist, Carolyn Stoddart-Scott always has a decorative mix of fine English and Continental pieces. Amongst the porcelain she is bringing is a pair of puce mark Derby plates with yellow border and sprig decoration, c1800, and a pair of 12 inch tall pottery cockerels, c1870, both POA. JA Yarwood Antiques is also showing a collection of fine quality Japanese items, including a late Edo – early Meiji period hand carved ivory netsuke showing Ashinaga and Tenaga, signed, Japan, c1860, £3,785.
Antiques fair ticket holders gain complimentary access to Harewood’s grounds, gardens and Below Stairs. For £5 each, (saving £11.50 on an Adult Freedom ticket) fair visitors can upgrade to see the State Rooms and current exhibitions marking the 300th anniversary of Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown’s birth. Harewood House’s exhibitions and activities include The Art of Landscape which presents a full and fresh assessment of the cultural influence of the ‘Capability’ Brown design at Harewood. Great Capabilities; a celebration of “Capability” Brown at Harewood takes place from 4 to 12 June, celebrating the achievements of the great landscape designer at Harewood in a series of walks, talks and exhibitions.
For those seeking advice about the care of antique furniture, look no further than T L Phelps Fine Furniture Restoration, the north Yorkshire based company that has been responsible for working on some of the Chippendale furniture and a dining table in Harewood House in the past. A current project includes tidying up the damaged polish on a grand sized dining table from a royal household, made by Holland & Sons, as well as some matching chairs and side tables.
Even the caterers, The Yorkshire Party Company, who are providing light refreshments in The Marquee, have been inspired by the royal birthday and ‘Capability’ Brown’s anniversary year. The fair is supported by Knight Frank, Masons Yorkshire Gin and Wilson Mitchell & Co. Ltd, senior partner practice of St. James’s Place Wealth Management.