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The new fair for members of America’s oldest association is the initiative of New York dealer in European furniture Clinton Howell, president of the AADLA.

“Our intent is to create a high-quality, rigorously vetted fair with a diverse mix of specialities from all disciplines, ranging from antiquities to the 20th century,” said Mr Howell.

A fair of some 60 exhibitors is planned and the announcement has been well received, with around 75 per cent of the space already booked. Among those who have signed up are Kentshire Galleries, Hyde Park Antiques and Jack Kilgore.

The AADLA have selected The Art Fair Company, owners and organisers of the successful SOFA shows, to run the new fixture and Michael Franks, the company’s chief executive, will be show director.

Michael Franks was for many years a senior executive with DMG World Media and is an experienced organiser. Among other events, he oversaw the Palm Beach fair when it was owned by DMG.

Mr Franks said: “Our goal is to help the League create a fair that reflects their high standards and make it one of the pre-eminent fairs in North America.”

However, Clinton Howell has wider ambitions than just the launch of a new fair.

New York has been particularly badly hit by the recession and is slow to recover. Mr Howell envisages the fair as the pivot of a week-long celebration of antiques throughout the city involving as many dealers as possible in an attempt to kick-start business.

But a new antiques fair in the extremely expensive uptown Armory already can be seen as a glimmer of a return of the confidence the New York trade so badly needs.

By David Moss