The Berkeley Square Fair will host 80 exhibitors this year.

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First up for the trade association is an online show running for 50 days from June 4-July 23. It showcases a range of “exceptional” items from across the stock of its dealer members.

Following on from that will be the LAPADA Berkeley Square Fair in Mayfair, London, running this year from October 22-27, later than in previous editions.

Around 80 exhibitors are set to attend including newcomers such as Olga Lagbesi, Patrick Mestdagh, VANT and Gallery V from Switzerland. Returning exhibitors wi ll include MacConnal-Mason, The Old Corkscrew, Lennox Cato Antiques and The Parker Gallery.

This edition features the debut of LAPADA Fringe, which is set to celebrate the cultural landmarks of the local area “from The Connaught to Cartier”.

Meanwhile, the anniversary is celebrated through a series of curated events leading up to and during the fair to recognise the organisation’s importance and history.

Challenging time

LAPADA was launched in 1974 during what current chief executive Freya Simms describes as “a critical moment for the art and antiques trade in the UK”.

Dealers were facing challenges introduced with the imposition of VAT and the association was launched to represent and support member dealers.

Simms adds: “In the face of a changing regulatory landscape, LAPADA provided a much-needed sense of community and support for dealers of all sizes.”


 Freya Simms, the current chief executive of LAPADA, who had the task of guiding the organisation through the pandemic and reviving the Berkeley Square Fair.

From its early days it has grown to become the largest UK antiques trade association representing more than 500 members. It also has international members from 16 countries.

Today it offers members logistical support, an online portal on which to sell their items and cost benefits at its annual fair, now open to members and non-members alike.

Dealer Ian Butchoff joined the board 12 years ago and says: “Working alongside the executive and fellow directors it came as a great shock of how much was actually involved behind the scenes which most members would have had no idea.

“Promoting the trade, running fairs, and internet site and, of course, trying to deal with all the myriad legislation that is being thrown at us year after year, and all the while maintaining the reputation and integrity of our members. Now more than ever we are in need of a body which can deal with all this ever-mounting bureaucracy and stand up for dealers’ interests.”

The online portal first launched in 2006 and is actively used by many of its dealers.

Fair highlight

In 2009 the Berkeley Square fair was launched and remains a major moment in the calendar for many dealers, who rely on the fair for its advantageous placement in the heart of London to reach a wide variety of buyers. An estimated £10m is spent by visitors across the week.

Dealer and board member Helen Wakelin says: “When the LAPADA fair was born, I had no idea just how important a part of our dealing year it would become. Participating in it every year has been a highlight of my membership.”