Our booth for the Winter Show is now ready in anticipation of the party this evening, followed by the formal fair opening tomorrow.
The Fair runs from 18-28 January.
Opening times are daily from 12-8pm, except Sundays & Thursday 12-6pm and Tuesday 12-4.30pm.
In anticipation of the opening, we have collated a brochure – Important English Furniture Vol VII – with some of the highlights on offer and invite you to have a browse here.
Today, Wednesday 24th June, is the Preview Day of the wonderful Masterpiece Fair. Apter Fredericks once again has some thrilling offerings on their stand – C6 (enter and turn left!) – and we are looking forward to sharing our treasures with you. The fair is open to the regular ticket holders from Thursday until Wednesday 1st July.
Apter Fredericks’ “Social” Table to designs by George Hepplewhite
Amongst other gems, we are presenting this amazing ‘conversation piece’ – a social or drinking table – to designs by Hepplewhite. We only know of one other example which was made for the Marquis of Salisbury and is currently at Hatfield House.
We have had lots of press interest in the table from both the UK and the US and Pol Roger are coming to see it tomorrow. This is an opportunity for ‘the man who has everything’ to buy something which is sure to get any party started – and the champagne is included with the price of the table!
We welcome your impressions of Masterpiece and look forward to seeing you at the Fair.
Harry, Guy and Alice
The Apter Fredericks Stand at the Masterpiece Fair 2015
By Guy Apter
As I write this, so the 6th production of the spectacular Masterpiece Fair is fast approaching. I use the word production intentionally. When I started in this business in 1984, the premier fair in Britain, and some would say the world, was the Grosvenor House Antiques Fair. This grand old lady had been going since 1934 and was held in the Great Room of the hotel of the same name. It was relatively small, which limited both the number of dealers and the size of their stand, but was hugely successful.
Grosvenor House attracted visitors from across the world. It drew in the very rich but it also attracted Mr & Mrs Averagely Wealthy who wished to buy beautiful things for their home – something with age, history and character – and it was a ‘must come to’ destination for collectors. The queue outside the hotel before the fair opened was astonishing and when the doors opened, so the collectors would come running into the fair. It is no exaggeration to say that we could sell half our stand in the first hour and continue to sell the other half and more by the end of the fair.
Approximately ten years ago things were clearly changing. Visitor numbers were down at the Grosvenor House Fair and indeed at most other fairs. Then seven years ago it was very clear to the three of us who founded Masterpiece that the antiques fair of old was tired – very tired – and the market needed something new.
But it wasn’t just the fair that was tired, the market had changed. People do far more shopping online and are far more event oriented. There are of course people who still collect but there has been a change here too. Twenty years ago someone looking for an eighteenth century sideboard for their dining room might have toured the antiques shops of London and then selected the one that best suited their room, budget or style preference. Nowadays, that customer is far more likely to be eclectic in their taste. The piece they buy could just as easily be Art Deco, turn of the century or modern, and be mixed with pieces from other periods.
It was abundantly clear that if a fair was to succeed it had to reflect these changes. It had to be re-invented and that is exactly what Masterpiece set out to achieve, and hence my using the word production at the beginning of this blog. Masterpiece is designed to excite, impress and attract visitors and some of these visitors are people who would never normally visit a traditional antiques fair. To do this it had to include a broader range of disciplines and periods than would generally be found at other fairs, and it has to live up to its name – “Masterpiece”. The dealers who attend are amongst the best in their field and they bring their finest pieces to the fair, many of which may not have been on the market before. They display these treasures with imagination and flair. The restaurants are pop-up versions of London’s finest and you would never know that the fair is housed in a temporary building.
Naturally, we would encourage you to come and judge for yourselves but if you are still in any doubt let me leave you with this: when visitors are asked why they came to fair, the most frequent answer has been “because friends told us we had to.”
By Alice Freyman
Apter Fredericks exhibited at the Winter Antiques Show for the first time in 2015, and we were so pleased that we did!
Alice Freyman and Guy Apter at the Young Collectors Night 2015. Jewellery courtesy of S. J. Shrubsole.
Robust sales, busy days with interested punters – despite the New York blizzard, and really fun neighbours (you know who you are!) which made for fantastic camaraderie between dealers. It was a whole lot of fun, a great opportunity to meet a new market and some good business was done to boot. What’s not to love?
One of the major highlights of the Fair was the Young Collectors Night #YNC2015 sponsored by Brooks Brothers and held on Thursday 29th January.
We had been warned by other dealers to hide away the precious valuables, move the furniture to the back of the stand and have some coasters at the ready to catch the discarded empty glasses, of which there would be many.
Well, it was true that the event was the furthest thing from a musty old antiques shop you could possibly imagine. It was WILD. Pumping soundtrack. 800 of New York’s Beautiful People in their beautiful clothes. Buzzy atmosphere.
But what was a pleasant surprise was the amount of quality decorators and genuinely interested young people that we met. It was a far cry from “The Young and Check-less” that we had been cautioned about. Bring on # YCN2016!
Jeremiah Brent, Nate Berkus
Caitlin Frank, Rachel Schaeffer