From Classical busts to Contemporary furniture, PAD London is a chance for shoppers and decorators with deep pockets to snap up top pieces in design.
Set in Mayfair’s Berkeley Square, it runs from September 30-October 6, coinciding with Frieze and Frieze Masters (October 3-6), the super-high-end art fairs in Regent’s Park.
The growing set of events taking place during ‘Frieze Week’ features mostly Contemporary art.
But a range of opportunities remains to find more traditional pieces (such as the British Art Fair in Chelsea and the Decorative Antiques & Fine Art Fair in Battersea).
For its part, PAD, now in its 13th edition, remains the prime destination for design, its eclectic look targeting not only interior designers but also curators and the general public.
Exhibitors divide into eight sections: 20th century design and decorative arts, antiquities, Contemporary design, glass and ceramics, jewellery, Modern art, sculpture, and tribal art.
Highlights this year include a selection of furniture and lighting by the English architect and designer WAS Benson (1854-1924), offered by Parisian dealer Oscar Graf, who set up additional premises a few streets away from Berkeley Square earlier this year.
An assortment of historical Latin American design also appears by figures such as Brazilians Sergio Rodrigues (1927-2014) and Joaquin Tenreiro (1906-92) from Side Gallery, one of the newcomers to the fair.
Tribal art specialist Lucas Ratton, meanwhile, brings a Jukun shoulder mask from 19th century Nigeria. Masks like this are rare and their production ceased once the first examples were released on the art market. Linked to secret societies, they were used during agrarian rites, but their exact function remains unknown.
In all sections of the fair there are pieces occupying the area between art and design such as Ring W by Ai Wei Wei from Elisabetta Cipriani and an ancient Roman marble head of the Roman emperor Caracalla from Phoenix Ancient Art Gallery. The life-sized head still bears traces of original red and possibly black colour in the hair.
The event has sister fairs in Paris, Geneva and Monaco (launched in April) and there is always an international feel. Dealers representing 14 countries are set to attend this year, including Modernity from Sweden, Didier Luttenbacher of France and Switzerland’s Galerie von Vertes.
Eleven newcomers will attend out of nearly 70 overall. The concentration of first-timers is in the jewellery section, where five dealers of the total 13 represented will debut, mostly offering Contemporary pieces.
Design specialist Southern Guild from Cape Town and glass and ceramics dealer Thomas Fritsch of France are also fresh faces.
The PAD Prize is presented for best Contemporary design, 20th century design and stand. It is awarded during the fair by a judging panel including Jasper Conran, Tom Dixon and Deyan Sudjic.