Offered at the LAPADA fair by Adrian Alan for £175,000 is this Napoleon III gilt-bronze mounted parquetry pedestal desk, c.1860.

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Among the highlights at the relaunched LAPADA Berkeley Square Fair is a Napoleon III pedestal desk by Guillaume Grohé (1808-85).

It exemplifies the revived popularity of the Louis XVI-style in mid-19th century France. Richly ornamented, the parquetry and gilt-bronze desk contains many compartments including a pen tray and safe box. Of particular note are the locks by Huby of Paris, a respected supplier of the day, which fitted the desk with Bramah model locks. The tips of the keys have slots of different depth and turn the lock under sprung tension. It is offered by Adrian Alan for £175,000.


A detail of the Napoleon III gilt-bronze mounted parquetry pedestal desk.

The desk is a sample of the sort of high-calibre offerings visitors are likely to find at the fair, which runs September 27-October 1, returning for the first time since 2019. In the intervening time it has been cancelled due to Covid restrictions, scrapped altogether in the face of rising costs and then revived as a slightly reworked event for this September.

Partners and sponsors

Many of the important differences are behind the scenes. To make the fair possible, LAPADA partnered with Stable Events, also organiser of the annual Game Fair, where the trade association takes a space for its members every summer. It continues to share a tent with PAD London (October 10-15).

In the lead up to the fair Freya Simms, CEO of LAPADA, told ATG that the fair is “stable not just by the name of its events company but also by nature and has already provided dividends by attracting new partnerships and dealers”.

Sponsors and partners include The Royal Mint, Investec Wealth & Investment, The Wallace Collection, and Sotheby’s.


MacConnal-Mason offers A Country Road by LS Lowry, 1963, for a price in the range of £400,000 at the LAPADA fair.

Stand prices are now substantial at £950 + VAT per square metre. LAPADA has opened the fair to non-members, but there is a price incentive for those who have joined the association. The result has been an influx of new subscribers. Karen Taylor Fine Art, N&I Franklin and Sandra Cronan, are among those who signed up to the association as well as the fair.

The changes mean that the event, though always a bright spot for the London antiques trade, may be a higher-end affair than before.


This Belle Époque aquamarine and diamond brooch, c.1905, was once owned by Deborah, Duchess of Devonshire, who can be seen wearing it in a photograph by Cecil Beaton. It is available at the LAPADA fair from Facet and Fable for £195,000.

Among the 60 or so exhibitors are Wick Antiques, which stages a special exhibition titled Britain on the High Seas: Wars and Wealth; 3details, bringing an 18th century English rococo looking glass and an early 19th century commode stamped Jacob; and Lennox Cato offering a pair of Dutch marquetry chairs and pieces of miniature furniture.


Believed to be a copy of a medieval casket, this silverwork box by Barnard & Sons, 1923, is priced at £7650 by The Peartree Collection at the LAPADA fair.

An intriguing item, offered by The Peartree Collection for £7650, is a pseudo-medieval sterling silver casket by Barnard & Sons. Fully hallmarked for London 1923, the 1.5kg casket has been worked and oxidised to give the appearance of rusting iron. The many padlocks are decorative as the casket closes with a strap.

In person and online

During the lockdown years, internet platforms were crucial to keep the trade going when in-person buying stopped. This year Ronati, a tech solutions company for the trade and one of the fair’s partners, provided an online preview sale of items coming to the fair.

During the event, a new app dubbed Dealer2Dealer will be launched by the company SeekUnique. It is one of a number of products that help dealers buy and sell virtually without commissions and listing fees.