WOODSTOCK, England – After a spectacular first show last year, the Cotswolds Art & Antiques Dealers’ Association Fair returns to the elegant setting of Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, Oxfordshire OX20 1PP from Thursday, April 18, to Sunday, April 21.
Lady Henrietta Spencer-Churchill, eldest daughter of the present Duke of Marlborough, is the new patron of the Association.
Over 4,000 visitors came to last year’s hugely successful inaugural event and, as a result, the fair has been enlarged to accommodate extra stands and is now being staged over four days. All the initial exhibitors have rebooked and the seven new dealers exhibiting are Andrew Dando from Bradford on Avon, Freshfords Fine Antiques from Bath, Hall-Bakker from Woodstock, Elizabeth Harvey-Lee from North Aston, Kinghams Art Pottery Ltd. from Chipping Campden, the Kyffin Gallery from Woodstock, Stuart Boyd Fine Art from Chipping Campden and Spencer-Churchill Designs Ltd. from Woodstock. Everything is for sale with prices ranging from £100 to £100,000.
Highlights within the fair include a portrait of a brother and sister, attributed to Sir Godfrey Kneller (1646-1723), circa 1705 from the Kyffin Gallery. Traditionally said to be the Honorable Thomas Culpepper Fairfax with his sister, the Honorable Katherine Fairfax, this double portrait of a brother and sister features a young man wearing an unusual cravat, infrequently seen in British portraiture, called the “Steinkirk” named after the Battle of Steenkerque of 1692. The girl is dressed in the fashionable loose dress and mantle of an English baroque period portrait. There are similar portraits by Sir Godfrey Kneller in Blenheim Palace.
From David Pickup of Burford is a marble-top center table on an exceptional iron base in the form of griffins, the design of the legs being patented by William Bullock (1773- 1849) in 1805. This example is circa 1820 and is priced at £8,500.
More interesting pieces of furniture include a pair of spectacular Gothic Revival burr walnut corner cabinets, circa 1850, in the region of £6,000 from Kit Alderson of Tetbury, a rare George III Sheraton period circular rosewood breakfast table, circa 1790, £9,750 from Freshfords Fine Antiques and a William & Mary period oyster kingwood parquetry escritoire attributed to Thomas Pistor for £100,000 from W.R. Harvey & Co. (Antiques) Ltd of Witney.
Collectors of ceramics will enjoy a gorgeous Austrian Secessionist green glass vase with copper overlay for £680 or a Royal Lancastrian “Pilkington” luster vase with four painted panels designed by William Mycock, dated 1913, from Hall-Bakker of Woodstock and a Martin Brothers grotesque bird, dated 1897, priced at £27,500 from Kinghams Art Pottery. Provenances are always very important and John Howard at Heritage is bringing a Staffordshire pottery equestrian figure, circa 1750 purchased by HRH The Princess Mary, Princess Royal, Countess of Harewood in 1940 from Thomas Goode & Co, with a price tag of £15,000. Chinese ceramics include a famille verte octagonal plate made during the Emperor Kangxi’s reign, circa 1710, £5,000 from Catherine Hunt Oriental Ceramics of Cheltenham.
With Blenheim Palace enjoying a strong artistic patronage various highlights in the fair include a Blenheim connection such as an exquisite early 19th century silk embroidery of Britannia mourning the death of Nelson from Witney Antiques. Distinguished visitors were sometimes received by the Duke of Marlborough but on the occasion when Horatio Nelson visited Blenheim Palace in 1802 with Lord and Lady Hamilton, the 4th Duke refused to receive him and greatly offended Nelson by sending out his refreshments into the park and not the palace. John Howard at Heritage has sourced a rare tureen and cover of Blenheim Palace, circa 1820, with a price tag of £1,200 as well as a dish from the Foliage Border Series with a transfer mark on the back “Blenheim Oxfordshire.” The dark cobalt blue decoration indicates the set would have been made especially for the American market. This is priced at £750. The fair includes three illustrations of Oxford colleges, a watercolor of Christchurch, signed and dated 1858 by George Pyne (1800-1884) from Stuart Boyd Fine Art, “The Thames, Oxford, Christchurch College beyond,” signed 1887 by John Fulleylove RI (1845-1908) from Newman Fine Art of Painswick and an etching of the Gateway of Queen’s College by William Walcot from Elizabeth Harvey-Lee. On a contemporary note, among the works by Edward Noott of John Noott Galleries from Broadway is an oil of the entrance to Blenheim.
An impressive gilt brass repeating carriage clock signed Dent London, circa 1850, is to be found on Montpellier Clocks of Cheltenham’s stand. Edward John Dent (1790-1853) was granted the Royal Warrant as Chronometer Maker to the Queen in 1841 and in 1852 he won the commission to make the great clock for the Houses of Parliament, but died in 1853 before it was completed. Other clocks include an 8-day walnut long-case clock by William Webster, circa 1730 from Jeffrey Formby Antiques of Moreton in Marsh.
The Titian Gallery, Stow on the Wold, known for their traditional works of art, is expanding into the contemporary market. Their stand includes a visually striking chess set by an Italian sculptor, Carlo Zoli, which features one side made in silver and the other side in gold. Hampton Antiques at Heritage, known for exquisite antique boxes, is bringing a decorative red sewing cabinet, circa 1810, priced at £3,250. Silver is a new discipline to the fair this year. Howards Jewellers of Stratford upon Avon are taking two stands, one exhibiting jewelry including an Art Deco yellow and white diamond pendant necklace, circa 1925 and the other for silver – a new discipline to the fair this year. A rare neo-classical claret jug decorated with scenes from the compositions of John Flaxman RA is one of the highlights on Jeanette Hayhurst of Tetbury’s stand. Textiles include a silk Ikat coat from the Ferghana Valley, Uzbekistan, circa 1860-70, £4,000 from Legge Carpets of Oxford, who are also bringing fine silk Kashan rugs from Iran and, for a more contemporary look, a decorative Spanish carpet from the first half of the 20th century.
Not forgetting the outdoors, Architectural Heritage of Taddington is bringing a pair of mid 19th century wrought iron gates stamped by the maker Butterley who was responsible for many prestigious commissions, priced at £2,800 and a pair of mid 18th century Bath stone finials originating from Barford Park, Somerset for £12,600.
The addition of the fair has significantly enhanced the profile of the Cotswolds Art & Antiques Dealers’ Association (CADA) and the membership has grown to 48 top quality dealers. Blenheim Palace is the perfect fit to host the fair and it provides a unique experience for the visitor and consolidates the Cotswolds as the antiques center for the scholar, the collector and the interior designer.
The show is open daily, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
For details log onto the CADA website: www.thecada.org.
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