Reflections on LAPADA 2017 & an Exclusive Art Preview!
Walking towards LAPADA Art Fair you are met with an impressive view of a building that seems to fit perfectly within the high end and opulent area of Berkeley Square, Mayfair. Surrounded by exclusive restaurants, brands such as Rolls Royce and couture fashion houses, the mid eighteenth century sculptured square provides the perfect setting for a splendid display of antique treasures and modern masterpieces.
The very British feel of the Art Fair is prominent as doormen in top hats and tails welcome you to discover the history of select pieces displayed beautifully by their creators or collectors. The intriguing appearance extends inside where chandeliers twinkle adjacent to trees older than the square, which grow through the building. A particular favourite piece that caught my eye was a gold and glass Grand Piano played by a talented musician for the duration of my time at the fair.
The Lucas Rarities’ stand is the first you see when entering the event and resembles a fairground. I took advantage of the opportunity to poke my face through cut outs of 18th century nobility caricatures and look at the jewellery displayed in glass ‘grabber’ cases. Other stands, though perhaps less peculiar, were equally as intriguing. A piece I was particularly drawn to, displayed at The Store Street Gallery’s stand, was a pin and fine string weaving of a Dalmatian. The artist Debbie Smyth delicately weaves fine cotton around small pins to create wonderfully intricate pictures.
Moving on, the portraits and landscapes by notable artists, such as Henri Martin displayed at Trinity House Paintings, were brilliant to see up close. Some of the antique jewellery displayed may have been a little extravagant for me; however there were small delicate pieces that definitely caught my eye! The extensive range of artwork and antiques that were available at LAPADA 2017 would appeal to all ages; there was something there for everyone. Even set within the exclusive area of Mayfair, prices ranged significantly with prints starting from around £50 and paintings fetching over £250,000. This made the event an accessible and welcoming experience for all.
I contacted a few of the collectors we spoke to at the fair to share their thoughts of their time at LAPADA. A notable stand was Bentleys. Tim Bent (Founder and Owner) showed me Bentleys’ collection of antique leather travel accessories displayed beautifully. The stand was a treasure trove for the globe-trotting connoisseur. The stand had a theme of exploration, the antiques included aeroplanes, boats binoculars and telescopes arranged around an armchair, as if you’d stepped into a collector’s home. It was Bentleys’ first time exhibiting at LAPADA, however Tim expressed that it was a very successful few days for them. Bentleys were not only able to build relationships with local clientele but expand into a wider market, they will certainly be returning next year.
Lennox of Lennox Cato Antiques kindly shared some time to discuss the history of LAPADA and the dealership’s time at the event. Having exhibited at LAPADA for the past nine years Lennox is familiar with exhibitors and coordinators and this year had been busy giving talks, voluntarily showing guests around and sharing his knowledge of the Antique trade to those at the fair. His expertise and passion for his trade was palpable. The location is something Lennox is particularly proud of, describing Berkeley Square as “the playground” for displaying an eclectic array of artwork and antiques. He describes the fair as “a jigsaw puzzle that fits together perfectly.”
You can see Lennox Cato’s wonderful display of antiques at their pop-up shop located at 58 Jermyn Street St James’ this December. During this special event visitors will be delighted to witness Lennox Cato’s pairing with Dickinson’s (Simon Dickinson and David Ker) who will present a fantastic display of Antiques along with fine paintings, ranging from Old Masters to Contemporary pieces. You can view the exhibit during ‘London Art Week’ from Friday 1st December to Friday 8th December. This unique occasion provides a rare opportunity to view paintings from the 1700s to mid-1950s, fine furniture and related works of art discussed throughout history in one of London’s most historically luxurious locations. It is certainly not be missed!
My time spent at LAPADA added to my knowledge of the Fine Art world, for this reason it was both productive and enjoyable. It was great to speak with art experts and antique lovers about their passions; it was common to see collectors comparing pieces and enquiring about their origins. All in all I would certainly return to the event, it was a great opportunity to network with industry people and gain more first-hand experience regarding the sale and transport of Fine Art and Antiques.
Written by Harriet Lodge - Recruitment Resourcer at Alchemy Recruitment Ltd