Two days after the Lincoln fair it was Newark International Antiques & Collectors Fair. Despite walking around the showground for over four hours my experience was similar to that at Lincoln. It was difficult to buy - at a price that was affordable. I was struck by how many empty spaces there were in the inside areas. April should be one of the busiest fairs in the calendar and, while there were hundreds of outside stalls, (although one complete aisle was missing), many dealers I usually see were absent.
I don’t know whether this was a sign of the fairly depressing economic climate at present in the UK but French stall holders - of which there used to be many - were noticeably absent too.
However, I did find some more Hungarian linens from Beyond France and a lovely set of toile drawers from an English seller who lives in France.
I was also happy to see good German linens - the fine pure linen mangle cloths are a dream and can be used for so many purposes. They make great window blinds and, of course, cushion covers.
I was delighted to come across a piece of Toile de Nantes dating from 1810 and think I will have a problem parting with it.
Fortunately I later visited and old dealer friend and bought several things from her which made up for the disappointment of the fair.
These picture hook covers are delightful. I have had those similar to the small ones before but the large are quite rare. Depicting Napoleon on his horse they are backed with velvet and, I think, date from around 1850. Only the French would think of producing decorative elements to hide mundane picture hooks!
More antique French ticking, a coat hook on a shaped wooden support together with a French corner shelf in oak were other buys.
The reason for this post so long after Newark is because my cottage has resembled a Chinese laundry for the last few days as I have been busy soaking, washing and ironing those textiles which needed it - and don’t mention mattress ticking which once contained feathers - I had forgotten how labour intensive removing those little blighters was.
Some of these buys will find their way onto ebay - but some will, I think, stick!