'Still Life of Vases of Flowers' is a silk screen tapestry on canvas by French artist Roger Bezombes (1913-94) offered by The Canon Gallery for £6250.

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With Christmas coming – but also continuing coronavirus restrictions – it is the perfect time to curl up at home and flip or click through a catalogue.

Many indoor fairs are on hold for the foreseeable future, so dealers have been working on these showcases of latest and prize stock individually as well as in groups.


The Armchair Art Fair catalogue.

One of the largest recent undertakings was spearheaded by John and Felicity Rae-Smith of The Rae-Smith Gallery. Titled The Armchair Art Fair, the catalogue combines more than 400 fine art offerings from 12 dealers. Among those taking part are Freya Mitton, Harry Moore-Gwyn and Ottocento Fine Art, all regulars on the UK fair circuit.

“It’s been something to do in difficult times and it’s come in perfect time for Christmas,” says dealer Kaye Michie. Some buyers have been past clients who had stopped attending physical fairs even before lockdown, demonstrating the reach of the project.

Though the idea came about during the first lockdown, the catalogue was not launched until late last month, enough time to round up dealers, select works and have around 3000 copies of the catalogue printed. For Michie and many other participants sales started quickly, and other traders have already signalled their interest, putting their names on a waiting list should another issue be on the cards.

“It has been a success and is possibly something for the future,” Michie adds. “We could even widen it or have it in conjunction with a fair.”

Online and paper copies are available from participating dealers. In this issue of Dealers’ Diary, we look at a selection of the collaborative and individual catalogues that have come out recently, some with a Christmas bent, others simply showing high-quality stock.