Famous vintage fair comes to rural Somerset
I love scouting around vintage shops and fairs, flea markets and auction houses (and to date, not won anything accidentally by scratching my nose) for unusual, beautiful things for the house and garden. Ever since moving to the West Country, I’ve been meaning to go to the famous and eclectic Bath Decorative Antiques Fair – but somehow I’ve never quite got around to it. So I was really excited to hear that the people behind the Bath Fair were coming down our way this October with the launch of the very first Bruton Decorative Antiques Fair.
They’ve gathered together around 35 dealers from all over the UK, including some of the best in Somerset (like Alchemy in Bruton and The Factory, Castle Cary), in the modernist new extension of the Haynes International Motor Museum at Sparkford – if you’ve not been there recently, or have only seen it in the distance from the A303, it’s stunning. Over the weekend of the 14-16 October, the place will be filled with top dealers selling all sorts of quirky, wonderful stuff – jewellery, furniture, glass, art, lighting, textiles, folk art, garden antiques and architectural salvage pieces – from the elegant 18th century right up to the mid-century modern designs of the 20th. The Antiques Roadshow‘s miscellaneous and collectibles expert Mark Hill will be on hand to officially open the Fair at 10am on Saturday 15 October.
What I love about this type of event is that you never know quite what you’re going to find, there’s always something to surprise, and when you do come across something special you can feel pretty confident that you’re not going to go into someone else’s home and see the same piece of furniture, china, picture (whatever) there.
The dealers at the Bruton Decorative Antiques Fair have got all bases covered. So for example, if you’re looking for something for the garden, check out Devon dealer Violet Grey, who sells pots and urns, wire plant stands and garden furniture.
Or how about this gorgeous mid-century Italian toleware sconce from Gloucestershire’s The Oscar Collective? I last saw something like this a few years ago at the famous Arezzo antiques fair when I was on holiday in Tuscany – and I missed out there. So hands off this spectacular sconce – I want it! It would look stunning against a dark grey painted wall or on one of the stone walls we often have in old Somerset houses.
If you’ve got a space that’s calling out for the right painting – or a stunning photograph – how about one of these?
Peel me a grape, Beulah. I can so easily imagine myself lying back on this splendid chaise longue. I do like faded grandeur – and a piece like this would look amazing in either a period property or contemporary surroundings.
Does anyone fancy giving this chap a home?
On my must-see list will also be Not Wanted On Voyage’ (love the name) with their selection of furniture, art and accessories from the 60s and 70s, Scandinavian by Design (iconic furniture from the North) and Twentieth Century Glamour – does what it says on the tin, with fabulous costume jewellery dahling, Art Deco figures and the like. So a little something for yourself…?
Or for your dad…?
Prices start low and go up to around £10k. Entrance to the Fair costs a fiver but if you go through to their site right now, you can get a free ticket – and you’ll also be in with a chance to win a dinner or lunch with wine for two people at one of my favourite Somerset restaurants, At The Chapel in Bruton.
Opening hours: 2pm-5pm Friday 14 October; 10am-5pm Saturday 15 October; and 10am-4pm Sunday 16 October. There’s lots of free parking in front of the museum and a cafe inside serving lunches, drinks and snacks.
See you there?
Bruton Decorative Antiques Fair, Haynes International Motor Museum, Sparkford, BA22 7LH. 01278 784912. brutondecorativeantiquesfair.co.uk