25th London Original Print Fair

Although I’m usually associated with 20thC design and collectables, I’m an enormous fan of prints, from engravings to etchings and aquatints. I’ve collected them since I was at school, when I used to spend money earnt from my paper round at local antiques fairs and shops. Naturally, at that level, I couldn’t afford anything valuable – far from it. But the ‘wall of prints’ I’ve built up looks great and gives me enormous pleasure, so that’s value enough for me.
This rather miserable looking old lady is one I own. Based on Rembrandt’s etchings of his mother, it was etched by Francesco Novelli in 1792, and was printed later. Alas it has been cut down beyond the plate mark – but that’s one of the reasons why I could afford it!
So I was delighted to be able to make it back to London in time for a visit to the 25th London Original Print Fair at the Royal Academy. Offering prints from the 16th to 21st centuries, this really is the best one-stop place to shop. Dealers come from across the world to exhibit and sell, and it’s always interesting to learn what, and who, is hot right now. As well as a mix of prints, there’s also a great mix in audience. Fashionable 20-somethings shop for contemporary works by artists like Peter Doig, Phil Shaw or Peter Blake, whilst established collectors look for that rare 18thC satirical engraving by Cruickshank. Sometimes these generations and subjects cross over too!
I particularly enjoyed the displays put on by The Royal Society of Printmakers and the department of printmaking at the  College of Art. It’s all too easy in my line of work to forget that the designers, artists and craftsmen of today will create the antiques and collectables of tomorrow – but we should support the, for more reasons than that. I also found myself spending time browsing through the stands run by Christopher Mendez, Andrew Edmunds, Dr Markus Nass, Elizabeth Harvey Lee, and A&D Martinez. The next event is scheduled for the same time next year – click here to visit the fair’s website to find out more.

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