'The Poet' by Eutrope Bouret – £3000 from Garret & Hurst Sculpture at the virtual Mayfair Antiques & Fine Art Fair.

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Organised by The Antiques Dealers Fair Limited (ADFL), the ninth edition ran virtually from January 7-10, hosting some 42 dealers selling ceramics, pictures, jewellery and other antiques. Inevitably, this was a different beast to usual without the jazz, drinks and general luxury feel that has accompanied the event in previous years.

“We know that business is still happening and thought we could support our loyal exhibitors, who have taken a stand at our Mayfair fair over the years, by holding an online event to spread the word and assist in promoting their stock,” said Ingrid Nilson, ADFL director.

While the virtual element made the event “more accessible to people around the world”, she lamented “the lack of splendour and atmosphere that comes with a luxury venue and the buzz of a well-attended event”.

Among the dealerships reporting sales was Garret & Hurst Sculpture which sold a bronze by French sculptor Eutrope Bouret (1833-1906) for £3000. “Nobody is more shocked than us as online is not something that normally works for us,” said the company’s Margaret Cowley.

Historical medal specialist Timothy Millett sold a rare early 19th century plaster portrait of Admiral Lord Nelson by William Tassie, while Stewart Abbott of S&J Abbott Ceramics Plus found a buyer for a decorative chromolithograph of Mr Punch by John Brandard (1812-63).

Ron Hodgson of Ashleigh House Antiques said he was “quite pleased with the response from Mayfair virtual”, making two sales to clients in the UK and Ireland.