16 April 2020
Trawling Newark International Antique Fair (Before Covid19)
How life has changed? Strolling round the antique fairs in early spring seems forever away as does my next visit to France to the Brocantes I love so much and calling on my favourite dealers for a cup of coffee and a chat.
Looking back I have probably taken for granted the opportunities I have had to buy quality antiques. Newark International Antiques Fair is held bi-monthly only a few miles from my showroom in Lincoln. A wonderful opportunity to browse and chat and find the occasional bargain.
One such occasion comes to mind when I wandered into a French Dealers marquee one lunch time where of course the picnic table was set for lunch with baguette, cheese and red wine Sound familiar? There were three men deep in conversation. I wandered around and came across a French Rosewood Fire Screen tucked in the corner looking as if it had been discarded because of its condition. The fabric was torn and hanging off and the wooden frame very dirty.
I approached the men who were almost indignant that I should interrupt their lunch "Prix Monsieur?" I asked
One of them spoke with a thick French accent and off the top of his head said €450. I am used to haggling a price but this was ridiculous. Was he looking at the same thing I was? "Non Monsieur" I said and walked away knowing any amount of haggling would not get to a price I was willing to pay. Oh well some you win some you loose !
Within a matter of seconds a young man tugged at my sleeve with the screen in his hand "pour vous "
I stripped away the old fabric and cleaned the frame with warm water, sugar soap and a soft tooth brush Fortunately the frame was intact and very sturdy After a good polish the frame looked lovely. Now for the recovering. I chose a traditional French Toile fabric in soft greys with a silk and velvet trim to finish