This year’s Cotswold Art & Antiques Dealers’ Association Fair is taking place for three days November 17-19, with some 27 dealers, mainly CADA members along with some guest exhibitors, exhibiting for the third year in succession at Compton Verney in Warwickshire.
The Association’s annual fair is this year coinciding with two events: Compton Verney’s exhibition History in the Making: Highlights from Woburn and the Crafts Council Collections, for which there is a special entry price for CADA Fair ticket holders, and BADA Week 2023 being held by members of The British Antique Dealers’ Association with exhibitions around the country, some of whom are exhibiting at this year’s CADA Fair.
Mayflower Antiques is putting together a special exhibition of Spanish and Portuguese colonial pieces, rare items from a period not really known about these days. Among the items coming up for sale on their stand is a fine and rare Spanish silver bernegal, marked on the side of the bowl for Zaragosa, circa 1650, £31,500. This form of drinking vessel, with handles and lobed edges to the top of the bowl, would have been passed around the table; the central spike designed for a bezoar nut, believed to possess magical power to prevent poisoning.
Guest exhibitor, Shaw Edwards Antiques, returns to the fair with a small exhibition of primitive chairs, mostly Welsh. In addition, there will also be some carvings for sale. Examples of chairs for sale include a very rare late 18th century chair with a half-moon sycamore seat and a single wide splat for the back priced at £6,950. Also bound for Shaw Edwards Antiques’ stand at the fair is a primitive comb-back chair with wonderful patination and surface quality with a thick two section seat of oak, circa 1780-1800, selling for £4,950. Similar chairs are shown in Tim Bowen’s book The Welsh Stick Chair.
Textile and carpet specialist Legge Carpets is exhibiting again with a rare Persian Tehran rug, a high quality part-silk rug in a prayer format with a classical design of vines and florals emanating from a vase on a desirable white ground, priced in the region of £1,900. This particular piece has spent its life hanging on a wall and is therefore in perfect condition. Also ripe for hanging on the wall is an impressive 16th-century tapestry, from Oudenaarde, woven in coloured wools with silk highlights, designed with a biblical scene from the story of Samson and the foxes, Samson’s first wife kneeling in the foreground, circa 1580, £11,500 from Houlston, also specialising in early oak.
A plethora of paintings and illustrations are available from different dealers, including an original etching of The Ringball Player or The Kolf Player by Dutch master Rembrandt Van Rijn (1606-1669), signed and dated 1654, priced at £6,500 from Elizabeth Harvey-Lee. An original colour etching, printed from four plates in black, red, yellow and blue is the Bon à tirer proof, from the only formal colour edition (11 + 5 proofs) of Marché de Gisors (rue Cappeville) by Camille Pissarro (1830-1903) and stamped with the artist’s initials (Pissarro had printed nine artist’s proofs of the final state in his lifetime), circa 1894, £7,500, also to be shown by Elizabeth Harvey-Lee. Pissarro arrived in Paris in 1855, the same year as Whistler, and within a few years had made friends with the group of artists who would come to be known as The Impressionists. He would be the only one of the group to exhibit at every one of the eight Impressionist exhibitions. Pissarro had made a few etchings prior to 1879, but it was Degas, in that year, who revived his interest in printmaking, which thereafter became an important part of Pissarro’s oeuvre.
Strachan Fine Art brings a handsomely striking portrait of Major Charles John Richardson, in the service of the East India Company by Samuel Drummond A.R.A. (1765 or 1770-1844), oil on artist’s board, £6,500, as well as more contemporary works amongst which is The Topiarist II oil on panel by John Boyd (b. 1957), 1995, £3,500.
Bink Fine Art exhibits at The CADA Fair for the first time, bringing a variety of works including original watercolours by Sue McCartney-Snape, who will be familiar to readers of The Telegraph. McCartney-Snape was described by John Julius Norwich as a master of caricature, whose paintings “illustrate the English social scene more brilliantly and with greater accuracy than those of any other painter today.” Danger by Mary Fedden OBE RA PPRWA (1915-2012) is a watercolour and gouache on woven paper of a windy beach scene, priced at £7,500, also with Bink Fine Art.
Sarah Colegrave Fine Art and Newman Fine Art have paintings depicting the Cotswolds and Warwickshire amongst which are Haresfield Beacon, near Painswick by Charles March Gere, RA, RWS (1884-1963), a watercolour heightened with scratching out over traces of pencil, signed with monogram and dated 1909, £1,800 to be found on Sarah Colegrave Fine Art’s stand. Gere was born in Gloucester and studied at the Birmingham School of Art under E R Taylor and he joined the staff of the art school in 1893. In about 1904 he and his sister Margaret settled in Painswick, near Stroud, and many of his subjects were found in the surrounding Cotswolds, which was to become his favourite painting ground. On show with watercolour specialist Newman Fine Art are Abingdon by Myles Birkett Foster RWS (1825 -1899), £2,200 and Kenilworth Castle by David Bates (1840-1921), who worked as a porcelain painter at the Royal Worcester porcelain works, from 1855, where he came to specialise in painting flowers, priced at £725.
Bronze sculpture for sale at the fair includes Diana La Chasseresse by Mathurin Moreau (French, 1822-1912) showing Diana the Huntress with her bow on a revolving red marble base, signed M. Moreau, 45cm high, £4,275 from Garret & Hurst Sculpture. Among the bronzes to be found with Hickmet Fine Arts is Racehorse and Jockey by Franz Xavier Bergman (1861-1936) an early 20th-century Austrian bronze study of an alert racehorse with its jockey, signed Bergman ‘B’ in an amphora vase, circa 1900, £3,450 or there is another animalier bronze Lapin Assis, signed by French sculptor Ferdinand Pautrot (1832-1874), circa 1870, £1,750 also from Hickmet Fine Arts.
For those seeking ‘brown’ furniture, currently seeing a revival, look no further than W.R. Harvey & Co. (Antiques) Ltd with an elegant George III period satinwood and kingwood crossbanded bow fronted chest of drawers, circa 1785, £5,750; a nest of four early 19th century Regency period rosewood quartetto tables, circa 1820, £4,250 from W.R. Harvey & Co. (Antiques) Ltd. The second table top is inlaid with a birds’ eye maple and rosewood parquetry chessboard, the smallest table with a pull-out drawer to house the gaming pieces; and an exceptional pair of mid-18th century mahogany Gainsborough chairs, circa 1760, £12,500 the pair. Clock restorer and expert Tobias Birch exhibits with a rare George III mahogany longcase clock with enamel dials, signed Holmes, 156 Strand, London, circa 1802, £35,000. The eight-day movement strikes the hours on a bell. Remarkably this clock has its original receipt from June 18th 1802 when it was sold to George Wollaston for £17.9.6.
Ever-popular jewellery can be found with Howards Jewellers from Stratford-upon-Avon bringing a late Victorian ruby, pearl and diamond pendant, circa 1885 and a sapphire and diamond bracelet, circa 1950.
Other CADA members exhibiting include Architectural Heritage, Jacksons Antique, David Pickup Antiques, Haynes Fine Art, box specialist Mark Goodger Antiques, Neil Schofield and Freya Mitton, both showing Modern British art.
Guest exhibitors include returning exhibitor Blackbrook Gallery with 19th century naïve animal art, amongst which is Lockinge Blagdon and oil on canvas of a working shire horse by W. A. Clarke, signed and dated W A Clarke 1908, priced at £2,250. Also joining for the first time are glass specialist Mark J West, Cambridge Fine Art and Burlington with 19th and 20th century British and European paintings.
Compton Verney is home to some notable portrait miniatures from the Grantchester Collection. At this year’s fair, there are some portrait miniatures for sale from new guest exhibitor Wigs on the Green – portrait of Sir John Deas Thomson in naval uniform by Henry Bone (1755-1834), enamel on copper, signed on the reverse, dated August 1806, 76mm high, £3,250 – and also from CADA member Lesley Blackford, who is bringing a portrait miniature of a gentleman painted by John Wright (1760-1820), circa 1795, who exhibited at the Royal Academy from 1795 to 1819.
There are a number of members of The Cotswold Art & Antiques Dealers’ Association not taking part in the fair, whose information can be found on the website. A visit to the Cotswolds, an area of outstanding national beauty, seeking art and antiques can be most rewarding through the seasons with plenty of places to stay from country pubs, cottages to rent to grand hotels.