Published: June 27, 2006
Celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2006, the International Ceramics Fair & Seminar, which was conducted June 15-18 at the Park Lane hotel, proved as popular as ever with private collectors and academics. As Jonathan Horne of Sampson & Horne commented, “It is like a club and we are all happy to be members.”
Museum attendance was as impressive as ever, reflecting the fair’s international reputation as an academic forum.
The fair coincided with a heat wave, but the high temperatures did not deter visitors. There was a long queue waiting patiently in the sun from early morning until the 11 am opening on the first day and, as usual, there was a crush as buyers rushed in to have the pick of the choicest pieces from among a selection of the finest and rarest early English and Continental porcelain and pottery, on view alongside contemporary ceramics and glass, including British Studio ceramics from Adrian Sassoon and contemporary porcelain from the Manufacture Nationale de Sèvres.
The manufacture, celebrating its own very special anniversary this year – 250 years of continuous production at Sèvres – was a first-time exhibitor at the fair, and reported keen sales from under $1,000 up to about $45,000 to English and American clients and to a French client living in the UK.
Earlier Sèvres of the more traditionally recognizable type also featured among the strongest sales at the fair. Often richly decorated, these wares were selling strongly at John Whitehead (London and France), Dragesco-Cramoisan (Paris) and Adrian Sassoon (London) in particular. Notable sales to both regular and new clients at Dragesco-Cramoisan included an elaborate and heavily gilded unique Sèvres hard paste covered milk cup, cover and stand, decorated with vignettes featuring dogs and an early Vincennes glass cooler, circa 1750-52, both at in excess of $18,000.
Brian Haughton Antiques reported an excellent fair, collectors responding enthusiastically to a selection of English and Continental porcelain on view on the stand. Brian Haughton described this group as the finest he has ever put together, highlights included the unique first period Dr Wall Worcester teapot and cover, decorated in the atelier of James Giles, and the senior piece in the “Harlequin Service,” circa 1770, among the biggest of the many attractions.
Continental porcelain from the German and Austrian factories was on offer at Brian Haughton Antiques, Daniela Kumpf Kunsthandel (Wiesbaden), who was returning to the fair after an absence of several years, and Angela Gräfin von Wallwitz (Munich). All reported good business.
A group of early Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century French and English porcelain attracted steady sales at Chris Girton Antiques, prices ranging from a very collectible few hundred dollars to around $8,000. With a stock featuring factories such as Mennecy, St Cloud, Chelsea, Bow, among others, the dealer reported an excellent fair throughout all four days – one buyer purchasing no fewer than five pieces. Typically the best pieces sold within hours of the fair opening, one such being a rare St Cloud snuff box, circa 1740, modeled as a recumbent shepherd, which was bought by a Canadian collector. The asking price was around $6,450.
Early English pottery, long the special preserve of Jonathan Horne and Alistair Sampson, whose two businesses have recently merged to form Sampson & Horne, attracts its own following. Teapots were popular this year, among these a pineapple teapot and an apple teapot, both early Staffordshire examples, which sold in the “high single thousands.”
Another returnee this year was Christopher Sheppard, leading dealer in English, Continental and antique glass. Significant sales included an important Seventeenth Century Dutch decanter in clear glass at around $12,000.
E. & H. Manners (London) reported an excellent fair, across a wide price range up to around $36,000. Sales included a pair of faience figures of dancing ladies from the Holitsch factory (Hungary) in the mid-Eighteenth Century and a Niderviller rococo potpourri.
Adrian Sassoon’s display of Eighteenth Century Vincennes and Sèvres, shown alongside British Studio ceramics, brought sales in all areas to buyers from Australia, North American, Italy and the UK.
For information, 20 7734 5491 or www.haughton.com.
5 Church Hill Road / Newtown, CT 06470
Mon - Fri / 8:00 am - 5:01 pm