Jewellery dealer Sonia Jackson with her dog Pickles.

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Howard Emmerson, silver specialist at Class Antiques, had a very good Saturday at the Jaguar Fairs’ event at the Derby Conference Centre, which hosted 50 exhibitors.

By early afternoon on November 19 he had sold two big-ticket items: an 18th century Welsh Bible box for £400 that had been bought as a golden wedding anniversary present and his showstopper, an Austrian antique bejewelled peacock, for £2400 to a buyer who loved the shape and detail.


Class Antiques sold this 18th century Welsh Bible box for £400.

“I always do well here,” he told ATG. “There are discerning buyers that come here and know what they are looking for.”

For Alan Cartwright, organiser of Jaguar Fairs this particular event is about quality.

“Although the fair is a bit smaller than some of the others, the quality and variety of the dealers is a huge draw,” he told ATG. “Many of them remain dedicated regulars but there are always new exhibitors every time to keep things interesting.”

He recently handed over much of the organisation to his daughter Hayley, who has ensured it retains the variety crucial to its appeal. Across the fair the different exhibitors offered anything from watches to metalwork, toys, and ceramics.

Keeping her hand in

Among the other exhibitors was Sonia Jackson, recently retired as Hansons’ senior general valuer. A hobby dealer in costume jewellery, she is now a regular both at Derby and Jaguar’s other fair at Wetherby Racecourse – with her dog Pickles. She loves these events as a “side hustle”.

She said: “The advertising from Alan is great to get people in. It is great to stay in the trade and see friends who work and visit all these fairs.”


Dealer Paul Howe.

Fellow dealer Paul Howe, who specialises in vintage metalware, shared similar sentiments. This is the only fair he does, and he will continue to do them as he has a dedicated customer base that enjoy coming to it.

The organisation of Alan and Hayley was something that all the exhibitors were quick to mention.

Jane Richards from Heanor Antiques, who has stood at the fairs since their inception, said that “it’s always very good and, particularly in the winter, it’s warm and comfortable”.

Rod Blest, a newer dealer from Hi Vis Antiques & Collectables of Nottingham, had booked in to do this fair last minute and found his brightly coloured stall attracting new clientele. Among them was a woman who was in the process of furnishing a new tattoo parlour, and purchased a wooden sun pendant for £5.

“The main thing I like about the fairs is that I’m able to chat to the customers here, unlike manning the shop where the items really have to sell themselves,” said Blest.

The event had a festive mood, and for many shoppers, the hunt for Christmas items and gifts seemed to be at the top of the list.

One buyer, Iain, had been looking for some centrepiece glasses for the Christmas table and snapped up a set of six hand-painted glasses in belle epoque style for £25. He thought that the green and white would complement the table set-up. His wife, Sally, had treated herself to a new ring and bracelet to wear on the day. She had not come looking for them but when she saw them, she could not resist the price of £39 for the two pieces.

First-time visitor to the fair, Laura, had been perusing it for the perfect Christmas present for her dad. After wandering the fair and checking out the different stalls, she walked away with a model ship which reminded her of one that had been in the window of her parent’s room. She thought it was at the perfect price of £25.

Most of next year’s dates for the Derby Conference Centre fairs are to be confirmed shortly, but the next Jaguar Fairs event will be a two-day fair at the Great Wetherby Racecourse on January 7-8, 2023.