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SHOWS, AUCTIONS & EXHIBITIONS
The 38th Olympia International Fine Art & Antiques Fair
May 18, 2011  | 

The 38th Olympia International Fine Art & Antiques Fair will take place in London from Thursday 9th to Sunday 19th June, 2011. As London’s most established arts fair, it attracts over 30,000 interior designers, collectors and devotees over 11 days and is renowned for its exceptional variety of objects on offer, unexpected finds and inspiring presentation. Every piece for sale is ‘vetted’ by a team of experts to ensure quality and authenticity.

The fair has attracted a wide variety of collectors and enthusiasts over the years, including many famous ones such as Mick Jagger, Princess Michael of Kent, Dustin Hoffman, Elizabeth Hurley, Bryan Ferry, Oprah Winfrey, Nina Campbell, Jasper Conran and Piers Morgan.

The trend in the last few years to furnish homes with an eclectic, uncluttered mixture of pieces from different periods is exemplified by Lucy Johnson. She is one of very few UK dealers to specialise in fine, 16th, 17th and early-18th century English and Continental furniture. She mixes this with modern British masters such as Paul Nash, Ben Nicholson, Barbara Hepworth, John Piper, Sir Terry Frost and Henry Moore. For Olympia, she brings a rare 19th century Italian scagliole map of the Persian Empire set in a contemporary, bronze table base. Alongside this is a museum-quality early 17th century carved oak credence table from the collection of Lord Sothborough and Longridge.

A UK-based dealer with very eclectic stock who has named rock stars amongst his client list is Peter Petrou. He stocks a mix of old and new with iconic pieces by three exciting modern furniture makers.  Among them is Martin Gallagher, who was selected as a final nominee at the 2009 Royal Dublin Society National Crafts competition with Ardú - a console table in maple and brass. He also brings The Colander Table by Daniel Rohr, (born 1968) previously a car and shoe designer, made of milled aluminium and glass. Finally, Gerald Summer’s armchair, dating from 1933, is made from a single sheet of cut and bent birch ply and is considered a Modernist masterpiece.

Butchoff Antiques stock pieces by some of the great cabinet makers in England and Europe of the 18th and 19th century. Included is a cabinet signed by Henry Dasson (1825-1896), one of the most celebrated Parisien bronzier ebenistes. Based on a model by André-Charles Boulle, the cabinet was in a private collection of The Duchess of Montmorency (1896-1985), a member of the French Royal Family and the original model of thiscabinet by Boulle is in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford.

The late Andrew Grima’s jewellery was worn by both British and Hollywood royalty and is on sale through several dealers. Wimpole Antiques has an 18 carat gold sea anemone brooch decorated with pink and white diamonds in a naturalistic style, c 1960. Van Krankendonk Duffels has a cluster ring with the rubellite placed within a border of sapphires and diamonds dating from ten years later. Amongst the other jewellery exhibitors will be pieces by designers such as Cartier and Van Cleef and Arpels.

For visitors still inspired by the April Royal Wedding there is plenty on show in several disciplines.  Argyll Etkin specialises in royal and military memorabilia from all eras and brings a menus and cake from the wedding of Charles and Diana in 1981. Glass dealer, Brian Watson, brings a rare George VI covered goblet, (number 12 of only 25) produced to celebrate the accession and coronation of GeorgeVI in 1937. It is known as the Stuart Goblet and celebrates in Gaelic and English the Stuart associations of the Royal Family. Brian Watson also brings a candlestick given to the 2nd Earl Russell in 1886 by Winchester College. Known as the Wicked Earl after his conviction for Bigamy, Frank Russell (later Earl Russell) was the brother of Bertrand Russell. He went on to lay the foundations for radical changes to the divorce law, was a keen motorist and a minister in the first Labour Government of Ramsay MacDonald. New exhibitor from South Africa, The Old Corkscrew, brings a pen and ink watercolour by Frank Dadd who has works in the Royal collection at Windsor Castle and the Tate. The Oath Of Vengence was published in the "With The Flag To Pretoria" September 8th 1900. They also exhibit a pair of silver and enamel candlestick by Archibald Knox for Liberty & Co. Birmingham 1902.

Neo Classical specialist, Craig Carrington brings an exceptional quality, Grand Tour micro mosaic in original carved gilt-wood Florentine frame, c1840. To accompany this are a set of four Neo-Classical Grand Tour paintings depicting the contest of Apollo and Marsyas and other various deities, each with a matching decorated ruled border, attributed to Michelangelo Maestri of Rome circa 1785. Netherlands-based exhibitor, Floris van Wanroij brings a very rare Jan van Mieris (Leiden, 1660 –Rome, 1690) oil on panel depicting A Cavalier seated at a table smoking a Pipe, with an opened Tobacco Box, a Wineglass, a Flask and a pile of Playing Cards and Coins. Signed and dated ‘J. Van Mieris Fecit 1681’, the painting was sold by the American Art Association, New York, November 15, 1928 and comes from a private collection in The Netherlands.

William Weston is the most established modern print gallery in England and stocks works by Picasso, Miro, Salvador Dali, Andy Warhol and Pierre Bonnard among others. He brings a series of woodcuts dated 1990 by Antony Gormley. A Tuner-prize winner, Gormley has exhibited globally at one-man shows and has high profile public works in the UK including the Angel of the North (outside Newcastle). Pre Raphaelite specialist, Campbell Wilson, has an exhibition devoted to images of childhood including works by celebrated American illustrator, Willy Pogany as well as Maxwell Armfield, Nico Jungman, and George Spencer Watson.

Ceramics are well represented at the event. John Howard brings an English pottery pearlware figure of a bear adopted by the Atkinsons Bears Grease Company to advertise their hair product. Attribution to the maker Wood and Caldwell of Staffordshire, it dates from around 1820. Sylvia Powell specialises in 20th century ceramics by modern masters including Picasso as well as William de Morgan, Moorcroft, Jean Lurcat and Jean Cocteau. She brings a Picasso ‘Woman Lamp’ - a limited edition turned clay vase from 1955.

Olympia has long been known for a source of unexpected, often quirky and unusual pieces that visitors enjoy discovering down the acres of aisles. Geoffrey Breeze, specialist in antique walking canes, brings a George V walking cane. Made with an 18ct gold handle in the art nouveau style with a partridge wood shaft, the handle is engraved with a royal ducal crest and the letter “G”. It was presented to his valet, Mr Crisp by Queen Mary. Textile dealer, Marilyn Garrow has among her stock a pair of 19th century FrenchRegency shoes. Dealer in ethnographic textiles and works of art, Joss Graham brings a model boat made entirely from cloves from the Moluccas at the end of the 19th century. Chris Moore fossils has a 6ft Dinosaur leg from a 65 million year old Ankylosaur.

The organisers are keen to emphasise that there are pieces for sale at a wide range of prices from £100 upwards. Specialists in Victorian kitchenalia, Smithsons has a number of pieces under the £100 mark, including Sycamore Victorian Bread boards, Victorian Jelly moulds, butter dishes, blackbird pie funnels and brass household scales from 1880. Joanna Booth has preparatory sketches by John Absolon(1815-1895) from £75 and Joss Graham has 100 year old Ethiopian silver cross necklaces for around the £100 mark.

Corfield Morris, market leading, independent art advisors, will provide an impartial personal shopper service which is available during the run of the fair.

There will be a programme of tours, events and lectures for both first-time visitors and collectors.
www.olympia-art-antiques.com