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Organised by London-based Brian and Anna Haughton, who cut their teeth decades ago with a niche event, The International Ceramics Fair and Seminar in London, this fair proved an instant success at its first staging in 1996.

The Haughtons already had a track record in New York, having established the city’s top fair, The International Fine Art and Antique Dealers’ Show, at the Armory 15 years ago and a fine art fair at the same venue in 1994.

The Asian fair proved completely in tune with the market. Over the recent, very difficult, past it is the Asian field which has proved the most consistently popular. But not only is the event a commercial hit, it has also earned a reputation for serious works and has an important academic following.

Not only has the Asian fair itself become an international destination for curators and collectors, it has spawned Asia Week in New York with specialist sales at the major auction houses and a myriad shows at galleries hosted by New York and London dealers.

This year there are 55 exhibitors from nine countries at the fair, with the largest contingent – 27 dealers – coming from the UK (America provides 18).

Some of the world’s top Asian dealers are exhibiting with four newcomers. Making their debut are noted New York textiles specialists Cora Ginsburg, while from London come Knapton Rasti with Chinese works, Japanese specialist Grace Tsumugi and Katie Jones with Japanese antique and Contemporary works of art.

They join established names like John Eskenazi, Doris and Nancy Wiener, Simon Ray, Flying Cranes, Marchant, Roger Keverne, Grace Wu Bruce and Sydney Moss.

What constantly delights visitors to this fair is not just its considerable visual appeal, which always manages to captivate and surprise, but the vast variety of items on offer.

There are so many cultures within the Asian range that the stock of sculpture, paintings, textiles, ceramics, jewellery, metalwork, and almost every other medium you can imagine, is bound to strike a chord with almost any taste, be it antique or Contemporary. Which is why this fair, unlike many others, transcends fashion.

Interior designers will vouch that a choice piece of Oriental can fit as well into a minimalist as into a cluttered country house look.

This is, justifiably. the top fair of its kind, and tends to improve with time.

It reflects the trends within the market. For example, the strong current demand for Chinese costume and textiles is well reflected in the number of specialist dealers in this area, while the increasing interest in Japanese works was a major factor at last year’s fair and is echoed in the increased presence of Japanese specialists this year.

From zen-like simplicity to almost decadent exoticism, the whole gamut of styles – and, I would venture, emotional responses – are evoked at this unique event, to which admission is $16.