Lon­don An­tique Rug and Tex­tile Fair

Country Life Every Week - - Art Market -

The move of the an­nual Lon­don An­tique Rug and Tex­tile (LARTA) Fair to the Mez­za­nine at Bat­tersea Evo­lu­tion (for­merly Mar­quee) along­side the Winter Dec­o­ra­tive An­tiques & Tex­tiles Fair was ac­counted a suc­cess, with praise from cus­tomers, dec­o­ra­tors and mem­bers of the trade—in­clud­ing Dec­o­ra­tive Fair deal­ers ex­hibit­ing down­stairs. With ex­hibitor num­bers in­creased to 17, plus two spe­cial­ist col­lec­tors’ mag­a­zines, LARTA re­vived some­thing of the souk-like spirit of the old Hali fairs at Olympia. With­out ex­cep­tion, the deal­ers loved their stands, the view over Bat­tersea Park, the space and the lay­out. They also ben­e­fited from many new vis­i­tors and pass­ing trade greatly in­creased com­pared to the pre­vi­ous venue in Maryle­bone.

One of the first-time ex­hibitors was Lib­erty Ori­en­tal Rugs, which at­tracted a great deal of at­ten­tion with a stand de­signed to rep­re­sent the frontage of the fa­mous Lon­don store. In this field, Lib­erty re­mains faith­ful to its tra­di­tions—and the prac­tice of car­pet deal­ers such as Vrouyr of An­twerp and Che­va­lier in Paris— by of­fer­ing both old and newly com­mis­sioned rugs. Sales were split 50/50 be­tween an­tique and con­tem­po­rary de­signs, in­clud­ing an an­tique Turko­man camel trap­ping to a col­lec­tor priced in the re­gion of £3,000 and ‘Se­cret Gar­den’, one of a new silk range hand­wo­ven in Laos, priced in ex­cess of £15,000 (above).

For Andy Lloyd, a vet­eran, this was quite dif­fer­ent to pre­vi­ous spe­cial­ist fairs, in­clud­ing past LARTAS. His sales were mainly to new pri­vate cus­tomers, in­clud­ing a Swiss col­lec­tor who came to Lon­don specif­i­cally for LARTA and an Amer­i­can col­lec­tor who just hap­pened to be in Lon­don. Sales in­cluded an early Cop­tic panel dat­ing to about the 8th cen­tury AD, which was priced in the re­gion of £2,500, and an an­tique quilted ikat cha­pan (right), or coat, from Uzbek­istan, which was made in about 1890 and sold to an Amer­i­can for a sum in the re­gion of £2,500. It was in par­tic­u­larly good con­di­tion.

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