Until Sunday 10th this week, Olympia is hosting the Winter Art and Antiques Fair, with stalls from dealers presenting their lot in London’s final significant showcase before Christmas. We greatly enjoyed experiencing the line-up of 70 stalls from some of the top dealers in the UK, as 2019 marked the fair’s 29th year. The event is attached to the Spirit of Christmas Fair giving it a hearty festive milieu. Drawing in collectors, antique and art enthusiasts, interiors experts and even the curious early Christmas shoppers, the winter fair was not one to miss on the art and antiques yearly calendar.
Objects of interest filled the cabinets, dating from the 16th to 20th century, and sourced from around the globe. The fair is the ideal place to find authentic, inspirational items with a wealth of history behind them. As we wandered around the top floor of the beautiful Olympia Exhibition Centre, dealers were more than happy to converse about their collections, their endeavours and their experiences of art and antique affairs around the year in general. It was a testament to the importance of the fair that dealers had travelled from far and wide to be there; with attending shops from Derbyshire, Devon, Sussex and Buckinghamshire, to name but a few. Talking with the sellers it was clear that many were regulars at the fair, lots having been at Lapada Art and Antiques and were pleased to be a part of the smaller event in Olympia to round off 2019.
For art lovers, there are pieces available to peruse from some of the greats and modern masters. A selection of wonderfully colourful prints by Henri Matisse are displayed directly by the entrance at Dinan & Chighine’s stall. Further into the corridors of collections, hung Damien Hirst and Andy Warhol sketches at Haynes Fine Art, with more acclaimed names popping up in nearly every stall from a plethora of artistic disciplines. With a meticulous vetting process occurring for each piece on sale, the authenticity is confirmed. Chatting at Thomas Spencer’s Fine Arts stall, we were shown a beautiful Jean Viollier oil on canvas that was hastily flown in from Paris that morning, following the success of the preview day’s trading. This goes to show just how constant and evolving the art and antiques world moves.
The Art and Antique Winter Fair represents a market developing with the times while remaining steadfast in its roots. The scope of articles on display illustrates how the history of an item can coincide with today’s 21st-century world. A particular product that caught the eye was the set of five Aubusson cushions produced from a repurposed 1830s tapestry panels in 1860 with divine result, from Robin Haydock based in Mayfair. Items like this which possess a story behind them certain special essence and it is the story behind art and antiques that continues to fascinate and motivate sellers and buyers. Some merchants at the fair had been coming for years and dealing antiques for decades, such as Peter Bunting. It’s a rare occasion that a space is full of the quality products found in Olympia this week, and though a traditional leaning event there was still something for all tastes.
As an avid fan of colour, the vivid hues coming from the dazzling 20th-century art deco vases at Richard Hoppe Antiques was absolutely a highlight. It’s stalls like this one that has represented the transition of the art and antiques world into the modern age, as online presence is said to be as significant for business as face to face transactions. There’s nothing quite like seeing art and antiques of this excellence, in person, however, so it’s definitely worth popping by – even if just to enjoy the festive spirit in the Olympia Hall.
The Winter Art and Antiques Fair is on until Sunday 10th November, at the Olympia Exhibition Centre in Hammersmith, London.
Find out more information at the website here: www.olympia-antiques.com