Victorian chest of drawers with a line and scumble glaze finish, c.1850, available from Modern Antiques Bristol for £1350 at the Bath Decorative Antiques Fair.

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Modern Antiques Bristol is a newcomer to the Bath Decorative Antiques Fair and brings to its inaugural stand a Victorian chest of drawers with a distinctive line and scumble glaze finish.

Running from March 10-11 (with a preview day on the 9th) at The Pavilion, Bath Decorative caters to buyers in and outside the trade. Decorative and country house furniture as well as home and garden accessories are all available.

Like many of the pieces on offer at the fair, the chest from Modern Antiques Bristol is familiar with a little twist. According to the dealer’s catalogue: “This style of painted furniture was stripped quicker than the Amazon back in the 1960s and 70s so these pieces with original paint are now pretty hard to come by.”

The chest, which offers “one of the nicest scumble finishes we’ve seen in a long time”, is available for £1350.

Stands mostly booked

Organised by Sue and Peter Hodder (who are also behind Cooper Events), the Bath fair offers folk art, pictures, Mid-century design, traditional antiques and much more.

For fairs these days, staying open is partly an act of defiance.

Two more events recently tumbled out of the calendar (The Open Art Fair, which had been preparing for its second edition, and the entire raft of Galloway Antiques Fairs).

But Bath returns, with stands mostly booked at the time of writing.

The trade has a chance to show its appreciation at the preview day on March 9, which usually boasts impressive queues snaking around the venue well before doors open.


Desired Effect Antiques brings an early 20th century George III style wingback armchair raised on mahogany legs and upholstered in thick pile velvet to the Bath Decorative Antiques Fair, priced at £1250, as well as a 19th century mahogany chest of drawers, offered for £1395.

Like all events, the fair has seen its share of changes.

Its sister event at Bruton, which was launched in 2016, ended quietly. In 2020 it was called off due to a dates clash with the Decorative Antiques and Textiles Fair in Battersea, and did not return following the lockdowns.

However, Bath is the original fair, founded in 1989 and acquired by the current organisers from founder Robin Coleman in 2011.

Sue, Peter and their team worked hard to bring the event back when restrictions lifted, staging the first post-lockdown edition in October of 2021, followed shortly by last year’s edition in the normal spring timeslot.

Each time, a batch of loyal dealers have shown up bringing a haul of antiques and collectables both large and small, strange and traditional.