Designers visiting this year’s Winter Decorative Antiques and Textiles Fair in London’s Battersea Park (Jan. 20 to 25) will be able to source everything they need for their clients' ski chalets and hunting lodges. According to show organizers, this year's theme, “Chalet Chic,” was born out of designers' practical use of the winter version of the fair: to buy the unusual pieces their clients craved for their winter lodgings.
This year, the foyer will become an Alpine-inspired retreat meant to celebrate all that’s best about interiors for winter hideaways. The area will be stuffed to the gills with wintry fare: antler and Black Forest furniture, upholstered seating, Swedish painted antiques, decorative period rugs, hunting trophies, ski posters and quirks like antique skis revitalized as floor lamps. Everything, of course, is sourced from exhibitors and on sale.
After walking through the retreat, visitors will browse treasures from 158 exhibitors, able to spot everything from fine 18th- and 19th-century decorative pieces to Georgian and Victorian antique glass. Key exhibitors include Andrew Collier Antiques, Jenna Burlingham Fine Art, Lenson-Smith Antiques and Norfolk Decorative Antiques Limited.
Exhibitors come from across the U.K. and Europe to exhibit a wealth of wonderful period design, and unlike other antiques events, dealers style their stands as faux rooms, so visitors can better imagine how items might work in their own homes.
A theme that emerged at the autumn edition of the fair and is expected to continue through the winter fair is folk art and country accessories. A lover of this category? Oprah Winfrey, who visited the Autumn Fair in September with her decorator Rose Tarlow.
The Autumn Fair also saw a resurgence of interest in a more formal, classic style, with traditional antique wood furniture finding particular popularity. Quality pieces with beautiful patina or more unusually-figured veneers also sold well, as well as items exceptional in scale or decoration or provenance. A 13-foot-long Gothick Victorian bookcase from 1860, for instance, sold for €29,500.
While collectors may come to buy fine furniture, objects and art, new younger customers are also finding affordable “entry level” purchases, such as vintage French wine glasses starting at €15.
The fair is located at Battersea Evolution at Battersea Park in London, SW11 4NJ. Hours are Jan. 20 from noon until 8 p.m., Jan. 21 and 22 from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Jan. 23 and 24 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and Jan 25 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Tickets are €10 at the door and include a catalogue and free re-entry at any time throughout the fair. Tickets can only be purchased with cash or check.