Antiques galore: London Art Antiques & Interiors Fair

Antiques galore: London Art Antiques & Interiors Fair

This antiques fair at London's Excel Centre is a must for anyone with an interest in mid century modern furniture and accessories as well as early 20th century styles including art deco

By Hari Alexander
Czechoslovakian Exbor cut and polished glass bird

The London Art Antiques and Interiors Fair runs from 12-14 January 2018 at Excel in east London. Hear talks from interior designer Clare Pascoe who specialises in using mid century modern furniture in her schemes, and from BBC antiques experts Judith Miller and Mark Hill. Pictured above: Exbor Czechoslovakian cut and polished glass bird. Tickets £16 or £12 in advance

For your first antiques fix of the year head to London's Excel for the London Art Antiques & Interiors Fair. More than 100 dealers will be offering some 30,000 items for sale, with prices ranging between £50 and £50,000. And let's not forget an almost life-size white porcelain statue of Mao Tse Tung, one of two made in the late 1960s and on sale at £500,000 at Paul Harris Asian Arts.

This fair spans the centuries but it is a goody if you're interested in mid century modern furniture, with many top dealers offering furniture and decorative accessories from the era. Look out for wonderful vintage posters, Fornasetti lamps from Il Paralume and exquisite glassware such as Exbor polished birds and a Loetz Candia Silberstreifen vase.

Silberstreifen glass vase
From Red Door Posters, this Durham poster by Fred Taylor 68x105cm

It's a fair for all tastes but going back to the mid century... Specialist dealers include Modern ID, Danish Home Store, Form & Function and Scandinavian By Design. And if you want to learn more about using mid century furniture and lighting in your home, don't miss interior designer Clare Pascoe's talk.

She's besotted with MC and has a lot of useful knowledge to impart. 'Spend some time researching your chosen style so that you can distinguish between which pieces are worth collecting and the cheaper variations and imitations,' she advises. 'There’s so much available online, and all sellers enthuse that their pieces are ‘rare and collectable’, making it hard to know what to believe on face value alone.

'It’s only with exposure to your chosen epoch that you can work out the differences yourself. It often comes down to a nuance in how a piece is made to be able to differentiate between cheaply made and refined, collectable pieces, so if you learn how furniture is made you will quickly be able to identify the higher quality pieces. I studied upholstery for two years specifically to train my ‘eye’ and hone my ability.'

Other experts giving talks include Judith Miller and Mark Hill, BBC Antiques Roadshow experts and authors. Hill, incidentally, says 'eclectisism is the new minimalism' - and antiques and vintage pieces are, of course, crucial to the look.


The London Art Antiques & Interiors Fair runs at Excel from 12-14 January 2018