Lucy Ryder Richardson (left) and Petra Curtis, founders of the Midcentury Modern shows in 2003.

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Friends and business partners Lucy Ryder Richardson, an ex-fashion journalist, and former graphic designer Petra Curtis started Midcentury Modern after holding sold-out open days at Ryder Richardson’s home in Dulwich in 2002.

The duo have cornered the market since launching these specialist fairs, selling British and Scandinavian Mid-century furniture, lighting, décor and art.

Ahead of their next event, taking place at Dulwich College in south London, on Sunday, November 19, they gave ATG a taste of how the market - and their events- have changed over the last 20 years.

Ryder Richardson said: “We launched in November 2003 at Dulwich College with 30 Mid-century dealers, 20 Contemporary designers and 500 visitors. Now that mix is 65/20 with 2500 visitors.

“We focused heavily then on Scandinavian, American and British Mid-century but now cover a broader ground of styles.

“We have more dealers who sell high-end French pieces since the trend for south of France style took off a few years ago.

“We moved our parameters out a few decades to include Bauhaus from the 1930s and the 1980s as we started spotting great pieces from brands including Memphis sneaking in, but we do ask of dealers to keep as close to the design dates as possible and do not encourage late productions.”


HaresFur will be selling this yellow handpainted pedestal glass bowl designed for Swedish company Kosta Boda in 1986, priced at £325 at the Dulwich College show on November 19.

Mid-century’s appeal is unstoppable and so too is the rise in its prices. Curtis said: “Lucy and I were dealers at the first few fairs and I sold a pair of Kai Kristiansen paper knife lounge chairs for £350 each. They now sell for well over £2000.

“Merrow Associates are as popular now as they were then with a double-nest coffee table set at £150 in 2003 now making £1000.

“Dealers often talk about the pieces they’ve owned, especially when they could retire on the stock they had back in 2003. If only we’d known!”

The organisers are now so involved with the property staging side of their business and other projects that they now focus solely on the fairs they run at Dulwich College, dropping the events they held at Haggerston School in east London and the Hepworth Gallery in Yorkshire.