Get ready for Winter Art and Antiques Fair

Held annually, the Winter Art & Antiques Fair is a showcase of the finest art and antique dealers, offering a wide choice of high-quality objects from around the world. Positioned just as the nights are getting darker and thoughts are turning to Christmas, the 32nd edition of the Olympia Fair returns to London from October 30 to November 5.

Established and knowledgeable dealers present authentic pieces from ancient to contemporary including classic and 20th-century jewellery, Art Deco, glass, mirrors, silver, furniture, and all periods of art, Asian objects and much more. Prices start at under £100 and heading well over £100,000 for rare, museum-quality pieces. To ensure quality and authenticity, each piece for sale is vetted by a specialist expert committee enabling all buyers, at any level, to buy with confidence.

Georg Jensen solid 18k gold watch designed by Vivianna Torun Bulow-Hube
An ‘Original Rare’ Georg Jensen solid 18k gold watch designed by Vivianna Torun Bulow-Hube, made in Denmark c.1960. Exhibitor Grasviler

Art makes up a good proportion of the fair and ranges from 17th century to contemporary. Specialising in art from all periods, Karen Taylor Fine Art brings a signed chalk drawing by Paul-César Helleu (French 1859-1927), Alice Helleu à sa toilette. The model is the artist’s wife who he drew many times. An accomplished portrait artist, his other subjects included the Comtesse Greffulhe, Queen Alexandra and Consuelo Vanderbilt and the Duchess of Marlborough. In 1889 Paul and Alice Helleu spent some time with Sargent at Fladbury in England, and the American artist made several studies of Alice and an oil of Paul painting her (Brooklyn Museum, New York). Helleu’s work can be found today in many museum collections including the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Musée du Luxembourg, Paris and the Musée d’Orsay, Paris.

English artist John Piper (1903-1992) is best known for prints and paintings of the romantic heritage of Britain; his explorations of rural Britain throughout his life have much influence on his paintings. In his prints, his subject matter was predominately architectural; often abbeys, churches, houses, castles, cottages or details of architectural design. Haynes Fine Art has ‘A Chantry Chapel, Lincolnshire’, mixed media on paper.

Several dealers at the fair specialise in the Art Deco and Art Nouveau periods. Hickmet Fine Art brings an early 20th-century art deco geometric green onyx and black marble 8 day movement clock with gilt metal face by Ferdinand Preiss c1925. The clock has a figure of one of Preiss’s most famous carvings ‘Thoughts’ – a seated nude in thoughtful contemplation. The art ceco 8-day movement clock is typical of the iconic art deco style popularized in the 1920s and 1930s. It features sleek geometric lines, bold colours, and luxurious materials.

Murano blown glass bird on copper wire legs by Alecssandro Pianon for Vistosi
Murano blown glass bird on copper wire legs by Alecssandro Pianon for Vistosi

20th-century design dealer Morgan Strickland will be showing a 1960s Murano blown glass bird on copper wire legs by Alecssandro Pianon for Vistosi. Born in Venice, Pianon studied at the Architecture School in Venice to become an architect and designer. Prolific glass manufacturer Vetreria Vistosi hired Pianon in 1956 to design the company logo. Pleased with his work, the manufacturer retained Pianon as a designer. At Vistosi, Pianon developed his glass- blowing techniques and designed a series of collections of pieces for the company. The maker’s “Pulcini” bird sculptures are particularly well-known.

Jeroen Markies is known for his art deco furniture as well as 20th century sculpture, glass and objects. His Elizabeth Frink sculpture is dated 1970 and titled, ‘Horse and Rider’. Always in demand at the Olympia fairs, his furniture collection includes an art deco cocktail cabinet by Maurice Adams. Made from satin birch veneered with figured walnut banding, it comprises an upper section opening to reveal mirrored lit interior with mahogany lined doors and satin birch glass inserts. English c1930.

An 18th-century Georgian oak dresser base
An 18th-century Georgian oak dresser base from exhibitor S&S Timms

Some of the oldest furniture on sale will be through Peter Bunting who specialises in old oak furniture. His oak credence table, c 1640, with drawer has exceptional carvings. Credence tables were small sideboards, originally one at which food was tasted for poison before serving. They were also used for the Eucharist in Christian churches. Fellow furniture dealer S&S Timms has a George III period mahogany drum top library table, c1800, of unusually small proportions. Drum tables, in their more normal larger form often referred to as rent tables, were originally designed for a variety of different spaces around the home, hence being perfect for a wide variety of spaces around the modern home.

Moving further afield outside Europe, Asian specialist Laura Bordignon has specialised in Japanese works of art since 1997. Amongst her collection coming to the fair is a Japanese bronze vase of ovoid form carved in high relief with flying bats in the moonlight signed on the base with chiselled characters Oshima Joun, Meiji period (1868-1912).

Finally, the Olympia halls are given extra sparkle by the jewellery dealers. Spanning almost two centuries is a spectacular choice of pieces from iconic designers. Grasilver specialise in Scandinavian design and brings an original and rare Georg Jensen Solid 18k Gold Watch Designed by Vivianna Torun Bulow-Hube and made in Denmark c.1960 Design No 1237. It comes in the original box and is in perfect working order. The exhibitors also stock some silver design objects alongside their jewellery.

Murano glass Olaf vase by Dino Martens for Aureliano Toso
Murano glass Olaf vase by Dino Martens for Aureliano Toso

Other silver dealers include the South Africa based, The Old Corkscrew who has a pair of parcel gilt silver candelabra marked for London 1975 by well known designer Stuart Devlin and an art deco silver cocktail shaker marked for Sheffield 1937 and designed by Keith Murray (1892-1981) for Mappin & Webb. Jewellery dealer, Anthea AG Antiques brings a Victorian large lapis and gold pendant of an urn design, which is English from circa 1860, as well as works by Cartier, Van Cleef and Buccellati