In a few weeks, the marquee will be hoisted in the grounds of Petworth House, Petworth, and over 50 specialist fine art and antiques dealers will gather for the annual Petworth Park antiques and fine art fair.
The fair, which will run for three days from tomorrow until Sunday, has gained an impressive reputation over the past three years and has more exhibitors this year, many of which are members of the British Antique Dealers Association (BADA) or LAPADA The Association of Art and Antiques Dealers.
There will be 17 newcomers this time including Blackbrook Gallery from Leicestershire with 19th century naive animal paintings, Hatchwell Antiques from Chelsea in London offering inspiring design pieces, some created from highly sophisticated aircraft parts, engines and models. Also at the fair are Art of the Imagination selling limited edition books, original book illustrations and contemporary sculpture; Precious Flora from Antwerp displaying and selling antique and vintage floral inspired jewellery and S&J Abbott Ceramics Plus selling 18th to 20th Century ceramics, prints, silver and other small collectables. Other stands include Solo Antiques specialising in art nouveau and art deco sculpture and glass (mainly European) as well as arts and crafts (English and Scottish) of the period 1880 to 1935 and Titus Omega selling decorative arts from 1870 to 1950, which covers art deco, art nouveau and arts and crafts periods.
Highlights at this year’s fair include a superb and important Regency period gonçalo albes centre table attributed to Gillows and part of John Hargreaves’ commission of 1843, £9,500 from returning exhibitor, William Cook Antiques.
BBC Antiques Roadshow horology expert Richard Price is showing a French empire ormolu mantel clock depicting Louise XIV clad as a Roman emperor, the white enamel dial signed Bousset à Paris. The base depicts a well cast plaque of a city under siege, c.1810, £6,950.
With the Royal wedding taking place just a week after the fair, there will be a nod to royalty permeating the marquee, not least with the inclusion of the newest member of the Royal Warrant Holders Association.
This month, Rountree Tryon Galleries Limited and James Rountree Esq have been granted a Royal Warrant of Appointment to HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh as a specialist art dealer.
Among the art Rountree Tryon Galleries is exhibiting is Portrait of a Gentleman on a Bay Horse with a Church Beyond, an oil on canvas by Sir Alfred James Munnings PRA RWS (British, 1878-1959), priced at £950,000.
Hatchwell Antiques has a bronze coat of arms, which was formerly the symbol of the Royal Warrant issued to Garrard and Co, the crown jeweller from 1853 to 2007, c.1930, £7,500.
The Antiques Dealers Fair Limited supports the Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust (QEST), the charitable arm of the Royal Warrant Holders Association.
Nick Hobbs, local QEST craft scholar and mural artist will be present on two of the days, demonstrating his artistic skills and promoting his mural painting workshops.
Other artists appearing at the fair include Sean Jefferson (Kaye Michie Fine Art), Michael John Hunt (The Hunt Gallery) and Anna Pugh (Lucy B. Campbell Gallery).
Lucy B Campbell Gallery is devoting the whole stand to Anna Pugh’s art, the first time the West Sussex artist’s work has been the subject of a one woman show.
Anna Pugh, born in 1938, is admired as a colourist and storyteller. In 30 years Anna has produced more than three hundred paintings, all in private collections in Great Britain, Europe and America.
Her paintings have the freshness and irreverent vitality of life lived close to nature, recording the countryside, the flora and fauna with humour and, at times, poignancy.
Other royal inspired items for sale include a 12cm George II bell shaped mug, printed from an engraving after a painting by Thomas Worlidge, c.1759-60, £1,095 and a King of Prussia bell shaped mug, dated 1757, £695 both from Jupiter Antiques.
Nineteenth Century, 20th Century and commemorative pottery expert Roger de Ville has a very rare Worcester mug commemorating King George II, with the trophies of war, c.1760, £1,375 and a rare mug commemorating the death of George III in 1820 with an excellent print of George III, £1,395. From Sarah Colegrave Fine Art comes a watercolour painted in 1981 at the time of the wedding of Prince Harry’s parents.
Royal Wedding Window by Barbara Dorf is a small watercolour, selling for £85 and Windsor Castle - Morning by Alfred William Hunt, a watercolour heightened with scratching out, £3,500.
This work is related to the artist’s large 1889 watercolour of Windsor Castle now in the collection of the Tate Gallery. Another watercolour version can be found in the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery and a related sketch is in the collection of the British Museum.
In the language of flowers, a floral code made popular by Queen Victoria, the lily of the valley means ‘trustworthy’ and symbolises the return to happiness, which is probably why the pure white flower is used in bridal bouquets and as a suitable buttonhole flower at weddings.
While Kate Middleton’s bouquet was made almost entirely from lily of the valley, it may well again be favoured at the forthcoming royal wedding in May.
Other future brides might like Precious Flora’s white gold gem-set earrings in the shape of a bunch of lily of the valley (convallaria majalis).
The leaves in these vintage earrings are made from nephrite, the petals from pearls featuring diamond stems, £1,025.
King Edward VII referred to Cartier as “the jeweller of kings and the king of jewellers”. One of the pieces of jewellery to be found with Belgian exhibitor, Precious Flora, is a Cartier clip brooch of lilac (syringa vulgaris) with the individual flowers made of blue montana and pink sapphires set in gold, £10,600.
Flaxman Fine Jewellery’s shop is based in Windsor with a royal wedding shopfront window already planned.
Flaxman Fine Jewellery is exhibiting a pair of Cartier 18ct rose and white gold plaque cufflinks depicting the four national flowers of the United Kingdom (rose, thistle, daffodil and shamrock) and probably commissioned for Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation in 1952, £4,950.
There is also a King George VI coronation gem set brooch in the form of a royal trumpeter set throughout with sapphires, rubies and diamonds mounted in 18ct gold by the Goldsmiths and Silversmiths Company Ltd, English, 1937, £4,750.
The Goldsmiths and Silversmiths Company Ltd were by royal appointment to the King.
First time exhibitor, Ed Flaxman, who heads up Flaxman Fine Jewellery, is a direct descendent of John Flaxman RA (1755-1826), who was the most famous English neo-classical sculptor of the late 18th and early 19th Centuries.
John Flaxman was commissioned by the third Earl of Egremont to make two important sculptures for the North Gallery at Petworth House, St Michael overcoming Satan and Pastoral Apollo.
It was generally considered at that time that St Michael was one of Flaxman’s outstanding achievements and in his funeral oration at the Royal Academy, Flaxman was compared with Michelangelo.
Local gallery Moncrieff-Bray Gallery always uses the fair as a preview for an exhibition of established and emerging artists’ work later in the month.
Rountree Tryon Galleries also represents contemporary artists, including Emily Lamb, Bea Forshall and Camilla Le May, all of whom use their work to raise money for endangered wildlife conservation.
Sudan was home to the world’s last male northern white rhino, which died in Kenya last month, aged 45-years-old.
This terrible loss inspired Le May to create a bronze sculpture in an edition of 12 and Rountree Tryon Galleries is donating a percentage of the sale to the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation.
Local Sussex scenes have motivated many an artist over the years and a number can be found at the fair, including Chanctonbury Ring by Stephen Palmer, oil on board, £1,300 from Moncrieff-Bray Gallery; an oil on canvas entitled At Littlehampton, Sussex by Benjamin Williams Leader RA (British, 1831-1923), priced between £10,000 and £15,000 from Haynes Fine Art - London and Cotswolds. Also at the fair is Rye Harbour, oil on canvas board signed and inscribed by William Llewellyn, £4,500; and La Folie de Brighton, £1,850, an oil on board signed and dated ‘63 by Francis Rose, which was previously owned by Dame Flora Robson, both on Sarah Colegrave Fine Art’s stand.
Art nouveau and art deco sculpture, glass and metalware are well represented at the fair.
Hickmet Fine Arts has an early 20th Century art nouveau glass cream jug, etched and enamelled with a purple floral decoration against a white field, signed Daum Nancy and with the Cross of Lorraine, c.1900, £2,850 and Solo Antiques has a stunning large acid etched vase also by Daum Nancy with the Cross of Lorraine, enamelled and vitrified with ‘Volubilis’ flowers and leaves, French, c.1905-1910, £5,750.
There is much more to discover and tickets to the fair cost £10 each on the door or in advance through Eventbrite.
Light refreshments are available at the fair or visitors can take advantage of the many restaurants and cafes in Petworth. A courtesy shuttle runs between the antiques fair and the town of Petworth. Parking is free for fair visitors. Larger purchases at the fair can be safely packaged and delivered around the country or abroad by Bridgefields.