It has been a tumultuous year for the British Antique Dealers’ Association. In September many members were shocked by news that the trade body had sold a majority stake in its annual fair at Duke of York Square, Chelsea to “make it sustainable for the future”.
Dealer Thomas Woodham-Smith and Harry Van der Hoorn, owner of Dutch stand builder Stablio, bought an 80% share in the fair for an undisclosed sum.
Some dealers – still smarting from an earlier decision to ‘streamline’ the old BADA Cellini logo – complained that the family silver was being sold.
They were of the opinion that such a major decision should have been taken with the input of all members, rather than via a council vote. A meeting was called on October 1 when the association’s position was explained and discussed. In short, there were not enough association members exhibiting at the fair to keep it alive.
Woodham-Smith and Van der Hoorn, who were co-founders of the Masterpiece fair 10 years ago, will rebrand the ‘BADA fair’ as The Open Art Fair and invite new exhibitors to participate. BADA’s fair team will remain involved in directing and vetting the next fair on March 18-24, 2020.
Further change was to come in October, when a key architect of the modern BADA – Marco Forgione, BADA’s first-ever CEO – said he would be stepping down after four years. He will soon head the Institute of Export and International Trade.
Lamond leaving Halls
Halls of Shrewsbury announced that fine art director Jeremy Lamond would be moving on after 23 years at the firm.
Lamond, previously at Phillips in Chester, joined Halls in 1996 and became head of its fine art department in 2005.
He decided to resign from the Shropshire auction house to relocate from Shrewsbury to south-west England with his wife Jessica, who is a professor at the University of the West of England in Bristol.
He was not without employment for long. As reported on this week’s front cover, he will become head of valuations at Woolley & Wallis of Salisbury.
Trevanion & Dean changes
Meanwhile, fellow Shropshire auction house Trevanion & Dean announced the hiring of four new members of staff as joint founder Aaron Dean left the firm. Christina Trevanion – formerly of Halls – has taken on sole ownership of the saleroom.
Trevanion & Dean was launched in 2014 in Whitchurch. Dean has now re-located to the north-west of England.
Bonhams in Oxford return
Elsewhere in the regions, Bonhams announced that its Oxford office was to reopen as a saleroom for two auctions in the autumn season – the first sales at the site since September 2015.
The spacious facility at Shipton-on-Cherwell, near Kidlington, once hosted a calendar of 45 sales a year but has since operated as a valuations and consignment office with items removed to London for sale.
The regular specialist Oak Interior sales were long conducted in Chester before moving to Oxford in 2014 and then New Bond Street.
Bonhams believes vendors of oak and vernacular material are better served by a country rather than a central London saleroom.