The Firle Place Antiques Fair is one from the Penman Fairs stable, and is held at a venue a few miles outside the East Sussex town. It is only the second annual run for the three-day fair and organisers have accommodated this to fit surrounding events.
Fair director Caroline Penman says: “We’ve come forward in the calendar to early June to slot comfortably between the garden fair and the vintage fairs in Firle Park.”
The fair is fully vetted, a feature that Penman says distinguishes her events: “Buyers can make their purchases confident in the knowledge that exhibits are checked for authenticity by a panel of experts prior to going on sale.”
It hosts around 30 dealers. Among those exhibiting this year are local dealer Gallery 16, bringing furniture and glass, as well as fine art specialist E Stacy-Marks, S&J Abbott Ceramics with fine porcelain and Ben Cooper Oriental Ceramics.
An appraisal service provided by experts Mark Stacey, Henry Nicholls and Ben Cooper (all of whom may be recognised from BBC antiques programmes) involves a £3 donation to the British Heart Foundation for each valuation.
The venue is the Georgian Riding School at Firle Place. Nestled into the South Downs, the Firle Estate encompasses villages and farms as well as Firle Place, home to the Viscount Gage and family for 500 years.
The original medieval house built of Caen stone was extended in 1543 by Sir John Gage, trusted counsellor of Henry VIII. It was then re-modelled in the 18th century, providing its current façade.
Firle Place House will be open from noon-4.30pm each day of the fair and is full of interesting furniture and Old Masters as well as a collection of porcelain. Admission to the house will be £5 with an antiques fair catalogue (entrance is normally £9).