A Staffordshire based antiques dealer made an appearance on GB News (19 November) talking about the importance of fairs as the best places to go to see and handle fine pieces of art and antiques as well as talk to experts about them.
Tom Smith, the director of Dovecote Antiques, was a guest on Sunday with Michael Portillo who asked him whether, since Covid, people were not going to fairs in the numbers they once did.
Tom agreed there had been a shift in the antiques world including the increased amount of trade now done on-line but he insisted fairs were still the best place to go. He was talking ahead of a new three-day Antiques and Fine Arts Fair at Birmingham NEC from December 1-3 where some of the best known and most sought-after names in the antiques world will be assembled.
Invited to the GB News studio for a live interview, Tom showed Michael Portillo some of the items he planned to take to the Fair – a gold, ruby and diamond brooch; a Royal Crown Derby ceramic pot and a silver and enamel box made in Birmingham in 1929. Tom’s interest in porcelain began at the age of 12 when he bought his first piece and he now specialises in 19th century decorative arts.
Also a collector of ceramics is the man behind the new fair at the NEC, John Andrews, who has exhibited there for 35 years. Like many of his fellow dealers, he was disappointed when the events’ organisers announced there would be none of their fairs in 2023. A previous economic slump saw John switch careers from being a restaurateur to a ceramics dealer or as he says, he went from ‘putting food on plates to collecting them.’
He agrees with Tom that there is no substitute for customers being able to examine items and hear from trusted sellers all about their prospective purchases which is why he was so keen to launch his Classic Antique Fairs.
Among other dealers from the Midlands who have booked their stands are Eastdale Antiques and James Miles. Especially for the return to Birmingham, Somerset business, Levels Antiques, is bringing a rare 1920s signed silver and blister pearl brooch by George Hunt who trained at the School of Jewellery and Silversmithing in Birmingham, and an Arts and Crafts brooch by Bernard Cuzner who was Head of the Metalwork department at Birmingham School of Art.
The full interview can be seen on the GB News website from 12:45pm, on the episode replay: https://www.gbnews.com/shows/sunday-with-michael-portillo/2023-11-19
The Fair runs from December 1 to 3, 2023, and is open from 10 – 5 on Friday and Saturday and 10 – 4 on Sunday. To book a stand, or buy tickets to attend, email John at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.classicantiquefairs.co.uk/contact