Antiques Trade Gazette can reveal that the move was decided at a meeting of the fair’s advisory board and the chairmen of vetting committees after this summer’s fair where there was disquiet about the quantity of 20th century derivative furniture and brocante appearing on some of the stands.
Concern about such overt reproduction furniture was paramount and has been mounting for some years. Now these pieces have been completely banned and a blanket dateline of 1914 will operate for English and Continental furniture.
The change will aid vetting but will not apply to original post-1914 styles such as Art Deco, and the rider remains that items of the highest quality and merit may be allowed.
In the past, whereas the gallery only accepted furniture over 100 years old, the ground floor had, with a few areas excepted, a general dateline of 1940. Some datelines, such as 1950 for carpets and pictures, 1960 for watches and 1970 for jewellery, remain unchanged. And in certain circumstances, such as ceramics, later items will be allowed. Previously the 100-year dateline applied to pottery and porcelain on the gallery but henceforth that changes to 1930.
At last month’s summer Olympia rumours were rife among exhibitors about possible dateline changes and there were fears that the intention was to exclude a whole tranche of unwanted dealers. This is definitely not the case and such fears can be allayed.
It is thought no more than five or six exhibitors may feel forced to leave under the revised rules.
The changes have not yet been officially released and full details will be supplied when they are.