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Tuesday, March 21, 2023

BADA Antiques & Fine Art Fair

Patrons wait in line for the 2011 BADA Antiques & Fine Art Fair.
by Brittany Good

Guests browsing at one of the 100+ booths.

Located in the Duke of York Square, one of London’s most posh areas, The BADA (British Antique Dealers’ Association) Antiques and Fine Art Fair enjoyed another successful year. Founded nineteen years ago, the Fair brings together the best art and antique dealers in the UK and features everything from furniture and paintings to silver, jewelry, ceramics, glass, and textiles.

Blessed with perfect spring weather, the show brought in over 1,300 attendees during the first hour, nearly 300 more than in 2010. The Fair is held in a purpose-built pavilion next door to the Saatchi Gallery and a selection of high-end boutiques and restaurants. Filled with enormous bouquets, the show’s atmosphere was bright and light and although the Fair was consistently busy from open to close, the mood remained relaxed.

BADA Antiques & Fine Art Fair

The Duke of York Square, Chelsea, London SW3 4LY

For information call +44(0)20.7589.6108
or visit

BADA Antiques & Fine Art Fair 2012: March 21–27

Simon Shore, director of exhibiting gallery, Trinity House, remarked, "BADA is by its nature a very British affair. Its location in the heart of Chelsea ensures that it is earticlely well supported by the local community, who regard it very much as their own fair." While this is true, the Fair’s attendees span the globe with guests from eastern and western Europe, America, and the Middle East. The 2011 BADA Fair drew a particularly cosmopolitan crowd. On hand was advertising mogul and collector Charles Saatchi, comedian Ricky Gervais, social and human rights campaigner Jemina Khan, and various other collectors, royalty, and well-know figures from entertainment and commerce.

The 100+ exhibitors are all members of the prestigious British Antique Dealers’ Association. Sylvia Powell Decorative Arts, winner of the Best Stand award, garnered plenty of attention with an extremely rare Picasso screenprint on cotton. A similar one had been featured on the popular English television show Antiques Roadshow a few weeks prior. Besides Best Stand, the Fair also awards an exhibitor with the distinction of Object of the Fair. This year’s winner was a Thomas Chippendale mahogany secretaire-cabinet belonging to Fair newcomer, Mackinnon Fine Furniture (Fig. 1).

Fig. 1: The Foremark hall secretaire cabinet by Thomas Chippendale. A magnificent George III mahogany breakfront secretaire-cabinet commissioned by Sir Robert Burdett, 4th Bt., and supplied by Thomas Chippendale between 1766 and 1769 for Foremark Hall, Derbyshire. H: 100-1/2" (255 cm), W: 64" (162.5 cm), D: 23" (58.5 cm), Charles Mackinnon.

During the show’s seven day run, the excited and enthusiastic crowd was not only browsing but also buying. Shore noted that Trinity House "sold a number of very good Impressionist paintings and sculptures to new and old clients." Included in their sales was a 1901 pastel on paper English landscape by Sir George Clausen to a buyer from New York for around £10,000. Ironically, they also sold Joseph Pennell’s A View of New York to a UK collector for about £25,000.

Interior of the 2011 BADA Antiques & Fine Art Fair.

Other sales included a breakfront display bookcase sold by Patrick Sandberg Antiques to a private English collector for £30,000, a 17th-century Dutch Old Master painting sold by William Thullier for five figures, and eleven early needleworks sold by Witney Antiques to various patrons; the pieces ranged in price from £6,000 to £20,000. After selling three French clocks, exhibitor Richard Price said that on Sunday he had "the best day he had ever had at any fair." Lucy Johnson sold so many pieces that she had to return to her gallery in order to restock her booth.

In addition to the remarkable turnout and sales, this year’s BADA Fair also presented a loan exhibition from two different collections. One half of the exhibition displayed gallantry medals won by the SAS and other British article Forces heroes from the collection of international businessman, Lord Ashcroft KMG. The other half was comprised of an impressive selection of silver, bronzes, maiolica, early German panel paintings, and Dutch 17th-century portraits and landscapes from the Schroder Collection, which was started in the late 19th century by Baron Sir John Henry Schroder, a prominent figure in the City of London at the time.

Brittany Good is an editorial assistant and dealer relations coordinator at Antiques & Fine Art Magazine.