Strong return to Berkeley Square Fair for LAPADA

LAPADA’s Berkeley Square Fair heralded the start of London’s art month with a return to its Mayfair home. After a three-year hiatus, the event received higher visitor numbers and prominent sales proving demand in the capital for high quality art, antiques and design. 

The organisers reported that the opening night saw more than 3,000 visitors to the Gusbourne reception, an increase of 30 per cent on LAPADA’s 2019 edition.

Amongst those reporting early sales was Macconnal-Mason Gallery, who sold several paintings on the preview evening totaling more than £500,000, including a work by L.S. Lowry.

Elsewhere, South African-based The Old Corkscrew sold a painting by the French artist, Jacqueline Marval, with an asking price of £38,000 to the family who had owned it 34 years previously and who always regretted selling it and were thrilled to rediscover it. Those selling to institutions included The Parker Gallery, which sold an important work by Dutch artist, Adriaen van Diest, the Classical landscape with figures bathing was acquired by a museum.

Among contemporary works, Gillian Jason Gallery sold two works by Jenya Datsko including Two minutes to midnight, which was the centerpiece of the fair’s Berkeley Square Collective space, curated by the celebrated interior design duo, Maddux Creative. JGM Gallery, specialists in Aboriginal art, sold Minamina Dreaming – Minamina Juk by Kitty Napanangka Simon.

Yorkshire-based artist, Steve Winterburn, who was live sculpting throughout the fair sold two works early on, The Hunt Begins and Wisdom both with five-figure asking prices.

In the furniture section of the event, long-time LAPADA member, Butchoff Antiques made several sales of both furniture and paintings including a Gothic centre table that features as the cover image for Christopher Payne’s new book British Furniture 1820-1920: The Luxury Market. Japanese armour specialist, David Thatcher sold a very rare set of Uroku-dô Gusoku samurai armour with an asking price of £90,000.

Jeroen Markies Art Deco enjoyed a buoyant fair selling several pieces including a nest of three walnut veneered tables, a pair of Art Deco early cloud design lounge chairs by Harry and Lou Epstein, a mid-20th century mantel clock by Jaeger LeCoultre complete with its original box, and an early Fuji Meibo pair of chrome and brass binoculars and a wood and chromed metal stand. 

First time exhibitors, Facet & Fable in the jewellery section, sold an 1880 old cut diamond brooch of a floral design kept in its original box. Long-time exhibitor, Anthea AG sold two pieces of diamond jewellery to a visitor from Kuwait who had travelled to London especially for the fair. Timewise Vintage Watches reported sales of over 10 pieces including several ladies dress bracelet watches by Piaget and Omega as well as a Patek Philippe 1951 watch for £17,500. 

The Chinese art specialist and first time LAPADA exhibitor, Michael Goedhuis, sold Peacock Pearl and Jade D, 2015 by Wei Ligang for a reported £85,000 to a midwestern museum in the US.  Another new exhibitor, N&I Franklin, sold an important pair of Regency magnum wine coasters to a private collector for a five figure sum whilst The Peartree Collection sold one of only two known 1906 silver “spaceship” inkwells for a five-figure amount which had originally been sold by Liberty as part of its Cymric silver range. A further important sale was an exceptional Nelson and Edith Dawson silver and enamel casket from the British Arts and Crafts movement, also for a five-figure sum.

The fair’s award winners for best object were chosen by the illustrious Selection Committee, a group of invited curators, designers and tastemakers. These included a Gallé vase made as a tribute to the Battle of Hartmannswillerkopf 1916 presented by M&D Moir; Laura Knight’s Portrait of a Lady presented by Karen Taylor Fine Art; Trophy (flight) by Barbara Hepworth presented by Alan Wheatley Art; a 19th-century specimen wood centre table presented by Lennox Cato Antiques; a Charles Ashbee silver claret jug with original Powell glass presented by The Peartree Collection; a late Elizabethan/early Stuart folio cover presented by Witney Antiques; and a Boucheron emerald pendant presented by Sandra Cronan. 

The award for best stand went to Michael Lipitch while the Seek Unique Award for Innovation was presented to David Thatcher Samurai Art.

Jewellery specialist, Sandra Cronan, was impressed by her first experience of showing at the fair, commenting: “There was a fantastic turnout of visitors, and we met both new international clients and returning ones.”

Summing up the week, LAPADA CEO, Freya Simms, added: “We are buoyed by our exhibitors’ success and very happy with the numbers and quality of visitors who attended the fair.  It was always a risk to take longer to return, but this week has proved it was the right decision to come back slower, but stronger.  We have always sought to promote the joy of collecting, providing a platform for our members and exhibitors to share their deep knowledge of craftsmanship and heritage with the public.  I think we can confidently say we achieved that aim.”