One crazy year cannot mar 30 years of The Bath Decorative Fair. The Fair is celebrating its 2021 return this Fall, from October 22-24. With a regional and international audience, this captivating countryside fair has a unique atmosphere and has a loyal following of exhibitors and clients.
We had a chance to catch up with Gail McLeod, publisher and editor of Antiques News & Fairs, and EU & UK Markets Director for Ronati. Gail is a highly respected leader and representative of the antiques industry and the manager of The Bath Decorative Antiques Fair.
As such a prolific player in the antiques world, we wanted to know how she got started in the industry and the Bath Decorative Fair.
“I was working as a kitchen designer. Then the company folded in the economic crash of the late 80s, and I saw an advert for a manager in an antiques shop in Bath. I thought, ‘I can sell; I like antiques; this should be easy!’ It was a complete revelation and an entry into a world I had no idea about but pretty soon made my own! I forged a very valuable education and a little black book of the best trade dealers on both sides of the Atlantic, which has been the bedrock of my career to date.”
“The Bath Decorative Fair began with a very popular local Bath dealer, Robin Coleman, who was something of a trailblazer in the evolving decorative trade, in 1989. The regional and highly influential antique dealers’ association, Bath & Bradford on Avon ADA, was persuaded to put its name to the first fair to give it stature because the decorative trade was not as established as it is now.”
“As expected, the Fair was a raging success, and Robin took sole ownership for the next 25 years with me as his partner. The Fair became a major fixture in the fairs calendar across UK, USA, and EU. Having been there since the beginning and brokered the sale to the new owner, Sue Ede of Cooper Events, I feel completely invested in the Fair, and it has been a marker in my life for more than 30 years.”
The tag line of this Fair is Decorative Diversity because of the spectrum of the decorative trade exhibiting. “From a stylish young duo dealing Hollywood Regency to established dealers in folk art, Mid Century design, industrial chic, Swedish and French chateau furniture of the best quality, English country house furniture, Italian pottery, early textiles, carpets from the Levant and Iran, garden ornaments from France and the UK, fine chimneypieces and other architectural gems sourced in France, sculpture from Belgium and France, tribal art and art from respected dealers in Modern & Contemporary Art and decorative art.”
Several dealers will be making a debut in October, including Bath duo, House of Hummingbird, who will bring a dazzling collection of lighting, barware, art de table, and stylish Mid-Century furniture for the contemporary home.
Other exhibitors include The Home Bothy, dealing in decorative, naive, and country manor Décor, Chris Vin of Rug Addiction, showcasing the finest and brightest collection of rugs and coverings, and La Place Antiques with a wonderful stock of furniture, lighting, and European decorative antiques.
Approximately 50 of the UK’s finest dealers reveal stock saved, especially for the event. McLeod says, “it brings it all together under one roof for them in the wonderful Georgian City of Bath.” For 2021 the Fair is offering overseas clients the opportunity to shop remotely with 1/1 Facetime videos.
Visit the Bath Decorative Antiques Fair website for complimentary tickets, more information, and the complete exhibitor list.