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Florida has a new fair to reckon with.

Three Florida jewellery dealers, Kris Charamonde, Scott Diament and Rob Samuels, organised the event, which was held from February 13 to 17, and, at their first attempt, reported an astonishing gate of more than 50,000 visitors.

Only a fraction of that crowd were serious buyers but the figure certainly impressed the international array of 232 dealers – no fewer than 70 of them from the UK – and most of them seem to be ready to have another stab at this fair next year.

It seems that, on the whole, the American dealers enjoyed better business than the British contingent, although all the UK exhibitors I spoke to praised the organisation and thought the fair had much potential.

Even those who barely covered costs, and that was a fair proportion, said they would go back.

It was the British dealers with a speciality, particularly those who had previous experience of American fairs, who found sales.

Dealers in period furniture who have had a lean time over here did not fare any better in Palm Beach, but a number of them said they would return.

With 52 jewellery dealers this fair has limited its appeal as a prestigious international event, but there were high-end exhibitors and some high-end sales.

On the opening night New York picture dealer Robert Simon sold an El Greco with a price tag of $1m while New York’s TK Asian gallery sold a number of Tang pieces for high six-figure sums.

I see no conflict between this new venture and Palm Beach Classic. It is perhaps the equivalent of Olympia to the Classic being Grosvenor House. A fair with a future but a note of caution. Many exhibitors, particularly those from the UK, were attracted to the new fair by low booth rents, and next year those prices will rise significantly. But that does not seem to be deterring many so far.