The First Penman Firle Place Antiques Fair was in early July 2016, well attended, and thoroughly enjoyed by both visitors and exhibitors.
A second annual Firle Fair has now been booked for 2nd - 4th June 2017, with plans to add 4 or 5 more stands. Most exhibitors expressed a desire to return and already there are good dealers booking up.
There was a wide diversity of antiques and furnishings for the home, from the 17th Century to the present day, and prices varied from £10 up to about £10,000. Furniture, jewellery, metalware, personal and household accessories, silver, ceramics and bronzes, plus a wide selection of paintings, of all ages.
There was a really friendly atmosphere in the fair, with all exhibitors getting on together, top BADA dealers making friends with smaller dealers, which was a delight to behold!
Appraisals were undertaken by 4 exhibiting experts featured on TV - Mike Melody, Mark Stacey, Ben Cooper and Henry Nicholls.
The Venue: The 18th Century Riding School, Firle Place, West Firle, A27, 3 miles South East of Lewes, East Sussex BN8 6LP
Nestled into the South Downs, the Firle Estate encompasses villages and farms as well as Firle Place, home to the Viscount Gage and family for 500 years. The original medieval house was extended by 1543 by Sir John Gage, trusted counsellor of Henry VIII, built of Caen stone, then re-modelled in the 18th century providing it’s current façade and many remarkable architectural features. Visitors can tour the House....
The house was open 2-4.30pm for the 3 days of the Fair. It is full of wonderful furniture and portraits by old masters as well as an excellent collection of Porcelain. Admission to the house will be £5 with your Antiques Fair Catalogue (entrance is normally £9).
The licenced Café in the Fair offered delicious quiches & home-made cakes. When the House is open, the Tearoom in the house will be open too - or you are welcome to bring a picnic and sit beside the long pond!
It is a tranquil, unspoiled venue that is sure to appeal to antiques enthusiasts.
Close by you will find Charleston Farmhouse, home to the Bloomsbury Set. Lord Gage, owner of the Estate, was deeply influenced by the neighbouring Bloomsbury Set, and is exhibiting 3 of his paintings at the Fair. There will be an exhibition of his works in London in October, arranged by art dealer Nicholas Bowlby from Poundgate near Uckfield.
Quality is assured by Vetting by committees of experts, who check the authenticity of every item, along with its description on the price label. There are detailed guidelines as to what is or is not allowed; however, there is no dateline. Pieces can be contemporary - but nothing made after 1918 can be a reproduction / in an earlier style.
Exhibitors at the July '16 Fair included
Art of the Imagination - illustrations & bronzes from Salisbury,
Bank House Antiques - a variety of interesting pieces, Leominster
Baron Fine Art - Paintings, from Chester,
John Bird - classic decorative furniture & accessories from Petworth
Malcolm Bowdery - Furniture & accessories, from Surrey
Nicholas Bowlby - 3 paintings by Viscount Gage,
Ben Cooper - Chinese ceramics from Herefordshire,
Gallery 16 - furniture & glass from Lewes,
Caroline Gee - early watercolours from Hastings,
Elisabeth Glen - An eclectic collection, from Norfolk,
Candice Horley - 20th C glamour! from Surrey,
Melody's furniture & accessories from Chester,
Newman Fine Art - watercolours from Cirencester,
Henry Nicholls - jewellery from Worthing,
Parkside Antiques with an eclectic mix from Oxfordshire,
T Robert - jewellery from Norfolk,
E Stacy-Marks - paintings from Eastbourne,
Trade Wind - silver & glass from Rottingdean,
Santiago Ventura Real - a variety of interesting pieces from Essex.
Vintage Edit - vintage & 20th C from Surrey