Set up a vast marquee in Mayfair’s Berkeley Square, in the West End of London, the internationally renowned LAPADA Art and Antiques Fair took place this September, celebrating its tenth anniversary. Unequivocally a greatly illustrious event for London, LAPADA’s Art and Antiques Fair has grown each year since its inception in 2009. LAPADA as an organisation hosts a number of similar events throughout the year and has become the largest association of art and antique dealers in the United Kingdom.
This year’s LAPADA Mayfair showcase boasted over 110 exhibitors and their goods, from Lapada’s 550 plus dealers, presenting their lot in the tent’s allocated exhibit spaces. Everything from clocks to rugs, jewellery, antique furniture and fine arts, the fair had it all; making for a compelling afternoon spent browsing all on offer.
LAPADA membership is exclusive only to the distinguished upmarket dealers with objects of intrigue and status, so in contrast to standard auctioneering events, customers are protected in the knowledge that their products are the finest quality, accurately priced and accompanied with extensive expert description. A good thing too, because the items on sale range from £500 to £500,000 at the fair.
The price point indicates the calibration of the items on display. A piece which particularly stood out was the Royal Cabinet, featured in the Butchoff collection. Originally made for Marlborough House for the Prince of Wales, later to be King Edward VII, and Princess Alexandra, the incredibly decorative cabinet is formed of Thuyawood and Circassian walnut with intricate porcelain and ivory engravings. It speaks volumes that the 1865 cabinet was able to stand out, even amongst the immense indulgence of all the products surrounding it from contending dealers.
Another highlight was the Wakelin & Linfield collection, housing a beautiful white French Walnut Duchesse set from the 19th century. This was just one of the fair’s stunning furnishings, ideal for an interior enthusiast keen to observe the context behind certain design trends.
While many represented the traditional styles deeply rooted in the heritage of the past, the more modern pieces in the collections of those, such as Callaghan fine paintings and contemporary bronzes, and Boccara’s Gallery of modern sculptures work, to balance the LAPADA portfolio. This broadens LAPADA’s appeal to those of more contemporary leaning and extends outreach to cement its relevance into the modern world of collectorship.
Exploring the multitude of dealers’ stalls, which range so widely in their offerings, we felt the fair was steeped in a sense of history and prestige. In a climate in which the art world moves at such a rapid pace and consumerism breeds a culture of disposability, LAPADA represents a foundation for maintaining the value system we place on authenticity in arts and antiques. The pieces found in the LAPADA tent were intricate and original, standing the test of time to become the cherished possessions passed through generations to those privileged enough to own them.
It was a pleasure having some insight through witnessing the heart of London’s art and antique world in operation.
Visit LAPADA’s website for information on similar upcoming events: lapadalondon.com