Mary Hossack’s stand at Bath Decorative Antiques Fair.

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Hossack, who specialises in antique and Contemporary items that are both decorative and “usable in the home”, sold the birdcage to a new client.

The fair, which ran from April 1-3, is celebrated for its trade day – when designers and dealers come in early to snap up their pick of the items on offer – which sets it apart from many other UK events of this type. Despite the past two years bringing its share of challenges, long queues and quick sales at this year’s trade preview on March 31 proved that some things never change.


A view of the recent Bath Decorative Antiques Fair.

Experienced exhibitor Simon Wharton said: “It’s the most important business day for me here. My advice would just be to sell at the trade day.”

He succeeded in parting with around three quarters of his stand during the preview and continued to sell during the fair’s public opening days. He also noted that most of the dealers specifically save new inventory just for the Bath fair which is why it makes it so popular.

Wharton added: “That’s what we’re known for and why we have a huge trade queue – people know they won’t be seeing things that they’ve seen before.” One piece that he was very pleased to sell was a pair of Portuguese wooden fragments from the 16th century which went to a new customer who was happy to pay the asking price of £800.


Sam Wharton’s wares.

Patrick Macintosh from Macintosh Antiques was among those in the trade queues. He previously had a stand at the fair for 25 years but stopped exhibiting around five years ago.

He’s since begun to come back as a buyer, rather than a vendor and considers Bath to be the best in the calendar: “I’ve bought so much I’ve had to leave and empty my van to come back and restock.” Macintosh also met some new dealers at the fair and has picked up a few items from them, as well as returning dealers that he has purchased from before.

By the time ATG visited on the Saturday the atmosphere was relaxed and jovial. With most of the dealers having opened to a flurry of sales, the rest of the fair was able to proceed calmly with any extra purchases being a bonus.

Lovejoys Antiques said the preview was “so fantastic” that it would have been fine if it had just packed up and gone home then. The rest of the three days trickled through with some good activity, however. One stand-out sale was a pair of French lamps from the 1950s which went to a client for £1250.


An oil painting from King George Antiques at Bath Decorative Antiques Fair.

King George Antiques also had a successful fair with a very busy trade day. Having done this event for five years running, it mainly sells to a range of interior designers, country house and wedding venues. One highlight at this outing was a 19th century oil painting of a lady in the manner of Gainsborough which was snapped up by a wedding venue in Yorkshire for just over £4000.

Around 40% of the 45 exhibitors were newcomers. Among them was Hutt Décor, a local interior brand owned by Mollie Riach. Having recently closed her bricks-andmortar antiques shop in Bristol, she has moved her main business online, but the fair gave her the opportunity to meet some new people in person, as well as see regular customers from Bristol again.

Bath Decorative Antiques Fair has been at the Bath Pavilion annually since 1989 (not withstanding 2020 and 2021) and it is certainly great to see it up and running again. Sue Ede, one of the fair organisers from Cooper Events, was very pleased to bring it back with a bang in 2022: “It’s always a joy to come to Bath and we were delighted to see old friends and meet some new ones.”

The next fair will take place from March 2-5, 2023.