Esher Hall Antiques Fair & René Lalique

Being a born and bred Surrey boy, it’s always lovely to escape the big smoke for a bit of the countryside again. On my way back from a healthy walk in the hills overlooking Dorking, I stopped into the Esher Hall Antiques & Fine Art Fair to see what was going on, and say ‘Hi’ to some friends.
Now four years old, the fair is smart, elegant, and filled with over 30 of the best dealers from across the country. My friends Lennox Cato and Mike & Debby Moir reported that the first day was very brisk, with a good level of buying happening across the board. Top pieces sold that day included a very rare five-colour gold Fabergé perfume or snuff bottle from T. Roberts, and a fine Georgian figured mahogany extending dining table from WR Harvey & Co.. Both sold for five figure sums.
But these were only two of the many objects taken home by new owners, and the fair organisers had noticed that this was the busiest first day they have had so far. With interest rates being so low, and pension returns so poor, perhaps people are putting their money into fine antiques and collectables that they can use and enjoy whilst they appreciate in value. And this fair was a great place to start. With that in mind, it’s well worth checking out the organisers’ next fairs, which are held across the country – click here for a full list.
What would I have bought from the fair? That’s easy. It’s the eye-wateringly rare and delicate original Lalique production design in pencil, chalk and gouache shown below. Possibly by drawn by René Lalique himself, it dates from around 1932 and shows the design for his popular ‘Plumes de Paon’ bowl. Original Lalique design drawings are scarce enough but, for some reason, are almost impossible to find for designs that were actually produced. Most similar drawings found to date are for variants of known designs, or are for designs that weren’t produced. So this drawing is particularly desirable as it was for a design that was produced and that is also very popular.
If it hasn’t sold already, you can find it from Lalique, Gallé, and Daum glass specialists M & D Moir, who will also be at the next Olympia Fine Art & Antiques Fair in London from 14th-20th November. Contemporary in style despite being around 80 years old, it’d look sensational in any interior, plus it’s possibly that thing we all look for – the hand of the master.

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