Petworth Park Antiques & Fine Art Fair

Petworth Park Antiques & Fine Art Fair

There is no more eco and ethical way to furnish our homes and build up collections of collectibles than by taking our custom to antiques fairs. And the upcoming Petworth Park fair in West Sussex offers much to tantalise

By Gail McGuffie
Colombes du L'été by F Huet, from Ottocento

The Petworth Park Antiques & Fine Art Fair takes place in the 'Capability' Brown-landscaped 700 acre deer park and takes place over 10-12 May. Tickets cost £10, which in addition gives you entry into the National Trust's historic Petworth House. (National Trust members also gain free access to the fair.) The fair offers art, furniture, glassware, sculpture, lighting, vintage watches, jewellery and ceramics from some 60 expert dealers. Prices from under £100 to the £1,000s. Pictured above: 1920 painting by F Huet, Colombes du L'été, offered by Ottocento

For anyone with an inner interior designer waiting to emerge or who wants to add to, or indeed start, a collection, then don't miss the Petworth Park Antiques & Fine Art Fair (10-12 May). The expert dealers taking part are offering an impressive range of pieces to suit all budgets, from delicate pieces of jewellery and vintage watches to glassware, ceramics, period furniture, lighting, sculpture, silver, to fine art paintings and contemporary art. 
Fair organiser Ingrid Nilson says while we've all been inculcated into buying new, the tide is starting to turn as we realise it makes sense to use what we already have - and antiques and vintage pieces are proof of craftsmanship and longevity: 'They are full of history and what better than to become part of that history by enjoying and looking after something beautifully hand-made many years ago, before passing it on to future generations?'
Ingrid says there is a misconception that the word antiques is synonymous with being expensive. 'People often think that a fair of this calibre is too rarefied and costly,' she says. 'Yes, there are extraordinary examples and prices into six figures, but there is a whole lot to discover starting at under £100. We work to ensure there is a great variety on offer in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere.'
The Petworth House estate sits in glorious countryside in west Sussex
French ebonies and painted games table, August Brandt dealer
Bosham, West Sussex by Peter Symonds. Rountree Tryon dealer
Marilyn by Andy Warhol, Haynes Fine Art dealer
Tall green overlay glass wine decanters, Mark J West dealer
One of a pair of George III boneur du jours desks, Walton House Antiques dealer
Hen & Chicks by Helen Denerley, Moncrieff Bray dealer
Daum Arbres en Eté glass vase, Solo Antiques dealer
Truly remarkable pieces for sale this year include two Egyptian beaded mummy masks, made of faience multi-coloured glazed composition beads from around 664-332 BC.  Other ancient and early items for sale include a restored 2,000 year old Ban Chiang vessel, from the north-east Khorat region of Thailand, as well as a very large selection of professionally restored 15th and 16th century central European glass. 'Glass was an expensive thing thought to be quite magical in those days,' explains dealer Mark J West. 'An original and perfect piece would sell for several thousands of pounds today, but the restored examples are much more affordable.'
Other antique and vintage glass ranges from the smallest decorative antique paperweight to a variety of drinking vessels and huge chandeliers. You'll also find plenty of Art Nouveau and Art Deco glass by European names including Lalique, Daum, Loetz, Schneider and Gallé, as well as Scottish Monart pieces.
Ingrid Nilson says she, for one, is delighted at the comeback of the until recently much derided 'brown furniture' and says now is a good time to find quality furniture at reasonable prices.'We have dealers who specialise in antique and vintage furniture from country oak chairs and dining tables to Welsh dressers.  Of course, there are also more elegant fine pieces and even a fifties' 'Banana' sofa with scalloped curved back, upholstered in electric blue hatched cotton velvet!'
Loetz silver inlay glass vase, Solo Antiques dealer
Poppies Evelyn de Morgan, Ottocento dealer
1950s Banana sofa, available from Hatchwell Antiques
Bronze nude by Paul Philippe, Solo Antiques dealer
You can pick up an Edwardian inlaid oval satinwood table, c.1910, for £495. Or look out for stylish and practical pieces of brown (ie wood) furniture, selling for under £2,000, that have already proved their longevity: a fine pair of French mahogany armchairs, c.1860s; an unusual mid-19th century Victorian amboyna, coromandel and marquetry inlaid pier cabinet, a Georgian mahogany small bow front chest or a late 19th century Victorian rosewood window seat. 
'I enjoy visiting fairs such as ours to find a unique gift for weddings, birthdays, christenings and Christmas - something that shows the recipient you care and that they can enjoy and treasure for a lifetime without costing the earth,' said Ingrid.
Make a weekend of it
West Sussex is a beautiful part of the world so if you're coming to the fair, don't rush in and out... you can also explore the fabulous grounds of Petworth House, visit the house and spend some time in the nearby town of Petworth with its galleries, shops, pubs and restaurants.
Petworth House & Park, Petworth, West Sussex GU28 0QY.
Fair runs from Friday 10 - Sunday 12 May 2019. Tickets (£10 each) through Eventbrite or from The Antiques Dealers Fair Limited, Telephone: +44 (0)1797 252030 or Email:,

A courtesy shuttle bus is available to take you from Petworth town to the fair.

Most fair exhibitors are members of the UK's two leading associations for professional art and antiques dealers - BADA and LAPADA The Association of Art & Antiques Dealers