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The Olympia International Fine Art & Antiques Fair
April 16, 2012  | 
The Olympia International Fine Art & Antiques Fair opens June 7 - 17, 2012. Now in its 40th year, Olympia has gone back to its roots, reestablishing itself as a broad-based trading place for up to 200 dealers. The organisers have revised the floor-plan and modernised the look with the addition of contemporary, decorative and design-based dealers.

The organisers’ strategy combined with strong sales at the 2011 fair has seen dealers keen to return as well as attracting some good new names to the 2012 fixture. New exhibitors include: Nicholas Haslam, Clive Loveless Primal Art, Mullany Ltd and contemporary dealers Long & Ryle and Natasha Kerr along with international dealers Galerie Sabine Vazieux and Miguel Arruda Antiquidades. Exhibitors Gordon Watson, John Hawkins, Robert Miller, Anthony Hepworth, Lennox Cato and Anthony Outred have all returned to the fair.

The fair is known for its unrivalled variety of ‘vetted’ stock which includes: fine art, contemporary art, prints, photographs, antique furniture, 20th century furniture, kitchenalia, silver, glass, jewellery, icons, sculpture, vintage luggage, scientific objects, lighting, clocks, books, Asian art, armour, antiquities, mirrors and textiles. Prices range from £100 - £1m.

The fair has introduced a contemporary element in recent years. New to the 2012 fair is exhibitor and artist, Natasha Kerr, who creates portraits celebrating real and fictional lives. Kerr works on antique linen which is hand painted,silkscreen printed, hand stitched and appliquéd. Recent works include the history of a Gurkha officer who mapped India and Burma during WW2. The maps he created were incorporated into the artwork as was his school tie and various other keepsakes. She has also created a piece of
work about Fortnum and Mason’s beekeeper Steve Benbow who tends to the rooftop hives. Her work is in several public collections including Victoria & Albert Museum, Nottingham’s Djanogly Centre, Merseyside Museums and the Royal Mail. Fellow new exhibitor Long & Ryle bring works by some exciting contemporary artists including: John Monks, Simon Casson, Paul Coldwell, Ramiro
Fernandez Saus and Maro Gorky.

20th century art is well represented at the fair. Barcelona-based, Mayoral Galeria d’Art has the iconic work by Robert Indiana, LOVE in painted aluminium 1966-99. The gallery also stocks works by Pablo Picasso, Miquel Barcelo and Alexander Calder. Print dealer, Gilden’s Art Gallery brings Tete de Faune Heureux, 1954, a signed, dedicated ink drawing by Pablo Picasso (1881-1973). The dealer also brings Quai de Bercy by Marc Chagall from the edition Derriere le Miroir, 1954, a hand signed and numbered Lithograph.
2012 is the centenary of post war painter, Keith Vaughan's birth. Anthony Hepworth has Assembly of figures vii 1964, oil on canvas
(121.9 x 137.2 cm) - one of Keith Vaughan’s most important paintings of the 1960s. Surrounded by scandal, Dod Proctor’s nude oil
painting Virginal caused a sensation upon its unveiling in 1929. Rejected by the RA, the public flocked to Leicester Galleries to see the work. Now on sale through Peter Petrou, it received as much publicity as the artist’s work, Mourning, that now hangs in the Tate Modern.

TEFAF exhibitor, The Maas Gallery Ltd, specialises in Victorian paintings. Among his works at the showwill be a striking Edward Louis Laurenson 1868-1940, The Wooden Plough, a signed oil on canvas. Fellow Victorian art dealer, Campbell Wilson brings an oval
oil on canvas by William Henry Margetson (1882-1953) Poseidon's Daughter, signed and measuring 112 x 88cm. It is on sale at £25,000.

In celebration of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee year, Argyll Etkin has letters from the Queen including one relating to the christening of Prince Charles. This specialist in royal memorabilia also has a rare Cecil Beaton photograph of the late Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother signed by both the photographer and the subject in 1940. This was the last of this series to be signed by her majesty before she deemed such glamorous photos inappropriate during the war. More internationally-focused photography can be found
on Lisa Tao and Z Liu’s stand. They will be offering a set of eight hand-tinted photographs of views in Peking, China dating from c1920.

There are over 50 furniture dealers at the fair covering multiple styles and 20th century furniture sits comfortably alongside
17th, 18th and 19th century pieces. Gordon Watson, one of the UK’s leading dealers in 20th century furniture brings a leather and wood chair by Ico Parisi, Italy c1960 (h73 x w80 xd72cm). Now a rising trend in furniture design, the world’s first piece of commercial recycled furniture is for sale on Peter Petrou’s stand. Bar & Knell, 1993, Germany, was made for the international trade fair, PLASTIC 2000. There is a similar example in the Victoria & Albert Museum.

Lucy Johnson combines 16th and 17th century furniture with 20th century Modern British art and ceramics. On her stand is a
museum-quality, mid-17th century walnut and oak enclosed chest of drawers with a snake-wood moulded front. This piece
illustrates the development of the chest with drawers in the late 17th century, when the front first started to be embellished with striking, moulded decoration and exotic veneers which used form, colour, light and shade to maximum effect.

Butchoff Antiques brings an octagonal, oak centre table with provenance from Windsor Castle. The design is firmly attributed to the Gothic revivalist A.W.N.Pugin, who has several works in the royal residence due to George IV’s love of Gothic architecture. Another fine British maker, Hampton & Sons of London produced the display cabinet also on Butchoff’s stand. Hampton & Sons’ commissions included the furnishing of the Royal Yacht Britannia, the liners Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth and the palaces of Nizam of Hyderabad and the Maharajah of Kashmir. The cabinet is constructed in ‘Plum Pudding’ Cuban mahogany and adorned with complex
and etched inlay work in the Renaissance Revival manner therefore utilising ivory, satinwood and bois de rose.

Third generation antique dealer, Julian Bly of Solomon Bly brings a rare George I early cabriole leg mahogany centre table with inset needlework top. The needlework is in exceptional condition and depicts the lion rescued by Androcles.

Neo classical specialist, Craig Carrington brings a set of the 12 Caesars of exceptional quality in Giallo Antico marble on porphyry
and rosso antico marble roundels, set on a Black marble panel. This panel was probably purchased on the Grand Tour around c1780 –1790.

South African-based dealer, The Old Corkscrew, brings a silver gilt version of the famous Warwick vase. The original was
discovered in 1770 at Hadrian’s villa outside Rome, dated from 120-35AD and stood 1.75m high. This example was modelled from Giovanni Battista Piranesi’s three engravings executed in Rome in 1778 after the original. The central busts represent Bacchus and the elderly Silenus or Hercules, while those flanking them are either additional busts of Silenus or bearded satyrs. It has been
suggested that the female mask on the opposite side represents Bacchus’s wife Ariadne. This example dates from London 1891 and stands 26cm high. It weighs in at 167 Troy ounces.

Ceramic dealers at the fair cover a wide range of periods. Alexandra Alfandary has a very large Meissen vase at approximately 83cm high which is unusual due to the size and very intricate decoration of nudes bathing. Works by one of the most famous pottery decorators of the 20th century, Clarice Cliff is on sale through new exhibitor, Andrew Muir. Some of her best pieces will be
offered for sale including a rare Palermo wall charger from the 1930s appliqué range.

Tribal art is an expanding area of the fair with several specialists including Clive Loveless who brings a 19th century very rare twinned Coco-de-Mer (18x18x26cms) from the Seychelles. The Lodoicea Maldivica palm is the giant of the plant world with the longest leaves and largest and heaviest seeds. Loveless also has a collection of Swedish dowry cushion covers including an
embroidered wool on felt, initialled BPD and dated 1823, (115x53cms). These covers were made by rich farmer’s brides after the wedding and only bought out at festive times – hence they are in very good condition. The tradition died out as people left the land and sheep farms of the southern county of Skane by the 1850s.

Textile dealers Christopher & Angela Legge stock textiles dating from the 19th century to contemporary works. Jan Kath is at the forefront of Contemporary Rug Art and has won numerous international awards for his designs; his latest award is the Carpet Design Award 2012 for “Tagged” in the category Best Innovation, awarded at Domotex, Hannover, Germany, in January 2012. He
combines excellent craftsmanship and top-quality hand processed materials (Tibetan Highland wool, silk, nettle, hemp, even cashmere) and links age-old carpet traditions with the 21st century. His series “Erased Classics” is a good example of this and Roma Vendetta from this series is a mix of silk, nettle and wool.

Probably the oldest piece at the fair can be found at Fossil Décor’s stand. The dealer brings a number of 10,000-year-old mammoth tusks from Siberia. The largest weighs 60 kilos and is 9ft long. Prices range from £6,000 to £50,000. These are extremely rare in the marketplace and popular with Chinese buyers.

Both first-time and seasoned collectors can be reassured by the knowledge that every single piece has been checked by a 100-strong team of trade experts, who 'vet' the show before it opens to ensure it is genuine and of good quality.

There is a programme of tours, events and lectures suitable for both first-time visitors and regular attendees.

For more information:
Olympia Exhibition Centre, Olympia Way. London W14 8UX

Fair Hours
Thursday 7th June – Preview Day 11am – 9pm
Friday 8th – Monday 11th June 11am – 7pm daily
Tuesday 12th June 11am – 9pm
Wednesday 13th June – Saturday 16th June 11am – 7pm daily
Sunday 17th June 11am – 5pm