Newark Antiques & Collectables Fair

The KING of British antiques fairs, legendary amongst collectors and dealers the world around! And I was going! Yay! If you have heard rumours about it going into decline, please dispel them immediately as the doom-laden thoughts of the terminally miserable. In my honest opinion, this event IS still worth going to, even on a Saturday after two days worth of trade buyers have rootled through. See www.dmgantiquefairs.com for details of when this mega-event is held.
I have a strict policy now (undoubtedly the Banker would approve), of taking out a small sum of cash and leaving my credit cards and cheque books at home. This way I have to limit my purchases, due in part to the strictly limited space at Hill Towers and also the restricted nature of my finances. It also means I have to scour the entire fair for the very best bargains. And they’re still there – this fair still yielded some great pieces. As a personal tip for the future, I’d pay attention to the designs produced by the numerous glass factories working under the Sklo Union banner in Czechozlovakia from the 1960s-80s. Super stuff, and undoubtedly underpriced. I’ve been amassing a growing collection for years. I came away with five fab vases in designs that I don’t already have and paid, oooh, let me tot it up….a whole £32. Sure, most of the pieces you’ll see are in clear, colourless glass, but look out for the coloured examples as they can only be described as jewel-like. The designs are so strong that even the colourless pieces have immense, almost Modernist, appeal. Well, I like them anyway. The quality is superb and beats much Whitefriars hands down in terms of variety and price. See the excellent www.sklounion.com for more information and pictures.
No Fat Lava though! Boo. As my trusty Editor on the Collectables Price Guide would say “Well, it’s your own fault!”. Mdina made an appearance as ever, as did the odd diminuitive piece of Isle of Wight Studio Glass, but nothing of great interest that would cause the heart to flutter. So maybe what I hear on the grapevine is true – everyone is stocking up and holding on to pieces by these two glass studios until my
next book comes out in late September. Exciting in a way, but a tad frustrating for die-hard collectors like me – I still have to feed my addiction guys! Save those pennies as I feel that if this is true, we’re going to see some shockingly good pieces emerge at the Cambridge Glass Fair, the book’s launch event! This in turn will cause the contents of living rooms around the country to be turned out offering yet more treasures.
After an exhausting speed walk and shopping trip around the entire fair (twice!), I joined Judith
for one of her events held on the day – a shopping trip for the winner of the Collectables Price Guide 2005 cover competition to win £500 to spend with Judith at a fair. Louise, the winner, was truly delightful and had a wide range of different collecting interests, which always makes things easier. We came away with a number of brass fronted Salter scales, a superb 19thC pine tool chest and a 19thC pine collectors’ cabinet with great patina, and a jelly mould or two — and a very happy Louise! It was a little like ticking things off a Tesco’s shopping list – there truly is something for everybody at such an event. It also just goes to confirm one thing I always say about us lot, we’re a jolly nice bunch really. All in all, the day was a real pleasure as well as a great success all round, and I have to admit to being a little sad when travelling back to the Big Smoke with Judith on the fast train. The next event held by the organisers that I can go to is at Ardingly in September and I for one am going….see you there.

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