According to the Daily Telegraph, the credit crunch has had little effect on the popularity of antiques even with the demise of one of the trade’s most prominent fairs, Grosvenor House, last year. Art and antiques dealerships are expanding their business despite the credit crunch and antiques entrepreneurs like Caroline Penman and Sue Ede are increasing their portfolios of fairs held at grand venues in London.
Ede has focused her energies and acquired fairs in the spa town of Buxton and Powderham Castle in Devon. She promotes the importance of antiques fairs by saying:
Fairs are much more important to the trade than they used to be because a lot of the dealers don’t have shops anymore.
However the demise of Grosvenor House has made some fair organisers in London quite nervous where jostling by other fair organisers to take its place could potentially overwhelm a market where stakes are generally higher anyway. In America the higher end of the antiques fair market has not been so lucrative and some fairs at prestigious venues have been closed due to organisers getting cold feet.
Although the struggle to expose high end antiques through fairs in the capital continues, it would seem that lower value and the lower priced end of the market in London and the provinces is the order of the day for people like Caroline Penman. Many people worry about the opportunity at antiques fairs for rogue dealers to sell non-genuine items at higher prices.
Quality antique furniture can still be bought through established dealerships in Lancashire and other counties throughout the UK however where prices can generally be lower than those in London and antique dealers with a solid base are unlikely to risk their reputation by selling poor quality items.
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