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As we have seen at many fairs of late, Art Nouveau and Art Deco – here especially sculpture and ceramics – were in strong demand, with Tony Croston from Lytham St Annes selling a life-size 1920s Goldscheider figure of a black dandy for £22,500 within minutes of the doors opening. He described business as fantastic and sold to many new collectors.

This area proved popular in both Sections One and Two.

As one has come to expect at the NEC, ceramics and glass sold well, but a number of the dealers in better-quality wares found trade back up to par.

More encouragingly, period furniture was again selling well, not all round the stands, but on enough to indicate this area is regaining ground. Vaughan Antiques from Stamford almost sold out of their stock of Georgian and Victorian pieces, and others in the same field had their best NEC for a while. Pictures sold well on a number of stands, although silver performed moderately and jewellery proved disappointing.

Fair director Fran Foster felt there was more optimism around the fair than for some time and added: “We have also taken a large number of fresh bookings for our forthcoming Glasgow fair and the next NEC fair in July.”