NOT only was I at the first Pictura in Maastricht in 1975, but 25 years ago, I was on the vetting committee for the first British Antique Dealers’ Association (BADA) Fair at Duke of York Square. It was a sunny spring day and, although it seemed a pity to be busying about in the marquee, the quality gave promise of a successful launch. In recent years, the fair has been refreshed.
This is not just the fair’s quarter century, but BADA itself is gearing up for its full centenary next year, which has prompted the statement that the association ‘will unveil a new creative identity for the fair, highlighting BADA’S commitment to beautiful objects that can become cherished additions to the home. The new design will also underline the fair’s imaginative and creative juxtaposition of the contemporary and modern with the antique’.
This year, there will be more than 90 exhibitors and a loan show of watercolours by Samuel Prout (1783–1852), the master of picturesque Gothic, organised by the watercolour dealer John Spink, who is launching a book on the artist, co-authored with Timothy Wilcox (John Spink Publishing, £30).
Sussex dealer Wakelin & Linfield is a specialist in country as well as more formal furniture and always has a variety of Windsor chairs in stock. There is, in fact, a great deal of variety within the basic form made by Chiltern bodgers and others. Here, it will offer a very good custom-made country Windsor in ash, unusually with a hooped back, with turned spindles to the arm supports and a massive shaped saddle seat. It dates from about 1770
The coin, medal and objects-of-art dealer Timothy Millett has a 13in by 17in watercolour of what began life as the Royal Military Asylum, for army orphans, and later became the Duke of York’s Headquarters and, in part, the Saatchi Gallery. A print after it is unattributed, but there is an inscription on the watercolour’s frame: ‘J. Ziegler (1750–1812)'. This would be the Austrian printmaker Johann Ziegler, presumably a misattribution for Henry Bryan Ziegler (1798–1874), the British architectural draughtsman and royal drawing master
L’horloge by Samuel Prout will be part of a loan show by John Spink
Charles II apologised for being ‘an unconscionable time a-dying’ and was buried in Westminster Abbey ‘without any manner of pomp’, although his funeral effigy at the Abbey is dressed in full Garter robes. The Canon Gallery, based near Oundle, Northamptonshire, has a fascinating 3½in by 4½in watercolour on vellum of the King lying in state in more sombre black, with three crowns, a crucifix and rosary, which perhaps suggest propaganda