Clarion Events says the 27-year-old event is “no longer financially viable in its current format”, although the organiser has suggested running a small-scale November antiques fair alongside a consumer event.
The October 31-November 5 fair, which ended on Sunday, hosted around 80 dealers, well down on the number of exhibitors at the fair two decades ago.
The loss of the event would leave a vacuum in the fairs calendar. “It’s always been a good time to have an antiques fair and there is no other one of this quality going on at this time,” said long-time exhibitor Sue Norman.
Archie Parker of The Parker Gallery agreed that the event “fills a spot” in his annual calendar.
This time next year Clarion Events will hold its separate Spirit of Christmas consumer fair in the downstairs space of the Olympia National Hall, where the antiques event has been held since 1991.
A gallery fair
Clarion is offering the option to hold a new version of the antiques fair in the upstairs gallery area.
“If there is enough interest from the dealers we will run an adapted version of the winter fair on the gallery level, with a reduced stand build to keep the costs down,” said fair director Mary Claire Boyd.
“Dealers will have to come to the party and say what they do and do not want,” said regular exhibitor Jeremy Astfalck of The Old Corkscrew.
“The nice thing is that the organisers are reaching out and offering a consultation.”
“Dealers will have to come to the party and say what they do and do not want
Running an event alongside a mainstream consumer fair, Astfalck added, might allow for the possibility of “cross-pollination” with a different group of buyers.
The flagship summer Art & Antiques Fair Olympia will continue and has extended its run for next year by one day (June 20-27).
It has joined forces with the annual House & Garden Festival (June 20-24), which takes place in an adjacent hall at the exhibition, in the hope of creating a cohesive event on the five days when the two overlap.