Arts & Antiques Fair, Olympia / 15 July 2011
After the Impact Art Fair I took up an invitation to visit a friend in Germany and stayed there a week. My week in Germany back in May was not restful but I learned a lot in the Tuteburger Forest. I flew back from Osnabruck to Stanstead and got the train in to Liverpool Street. I met my friend Ed at St. Pancras on the way back to Brighton and he gave me a couple of tickets to the Arts and Antiques fair at Olympia on 19th June.
I like to do a bit of incognito mingling occasionally. Breezing into seminars and private views and letting people take me for what they will. Three years ago I was invited out to Spain by Polaris World with a view to purchasing a golf resort.
Now I don’t like golf and I haven’t any money but they weren’t to know and they were not going to tell me they were going bust that very week. Still it was a good little jaunt as they paid for a flight for two, first class and five star accommodations with chauffeur.
So I thought I’d give Olympia a try. To be honest I didn’t think the fair would be up to much and we nearly didn’t go. It so happened that Colleen and I were at a loose end on Sunday 19th June, the last day of the show so we went to London and caught the last hour.
It proved amazing. Lots of expensive toys I couldn’t afford such as brace of flintlock pistols at £14,000 and a mandolin embossed with mother of peal for £4,500, but I think an extra zero got snuck in for a chuckle on that one.
My favourite stall was an art dealer with some large-scale work by a former keeper of the Queen’s pictures, whose name escapes me, but who I’m sure you can Google given the mind. The queen in question being Victoria. The paintings were in the style of the Du Berry illuminated manuscripts of the early fifteenth century but the artist had obviously had a lot of fun doing them.
In the corner I was shown a portrait by Edward Burne-Jones of his wife at the bottom of which she had written of her disfavour with the piece in tiny scriptiform. I wish I could remember what it was she said but by that time they were packing up for home.
The next Art & Antiques Fair happens at Olympia from 14 - 20 November 2011