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Looking forward to Wednesday-tomorrow-I will be on the train to Sheffield. Not exactly the Riviera, but the huge antiques fair is held in Newark on Thursday, which is why I will be staying in Grenocide over night.I love going to Newark and this year it promises to be sunny. You can drive, esy parking in a field. Or take the train and courtesy bus. There used to be a special coach as well. It is huge about two miles across with enormous tents bursting with antiques. it is tiring but fun. Good hunting, see you.

Newark was great as always. The weather was perfect, sunny but with a breeze. The only thing missing was the American Doughnut stand? That stop for three doughnuts [shared] with a coffee, was the high light of the morning. I can’t believe they have gone forever. The fair covers about 40 acres, it is huge. I think you need two days to cover it properly. It is like a holiday, if you find a nearby B&B, treat yourself to an over night stay and enjoy the fair in leisure. If you buy anything big, you can get it delivered to one of the main gates. Then you can drive into the gate and get it loaded into your car. If you are car-less, there is a very good shipping service. More later, I have just returned.

I noticed a general drying up of supplies of small collectables, especially made of silver. Having quite a few orders for silver pincushions, I found a few but noted how much the prices had risen. Demand outstripped supply in this case. Pretty silver sewing tools pre 1900 were at a premium, if found. Because of the lack of ‘objets de Vertu’ specialist dealers are dying out, we have had to start selling a broader range. In my case, art and jewellery. Evidence of a strong chinese market is everywhere. The problem with breaking into the chinese world of antiques is there are so many clever copies coming out of China! The Japanese market may be cooling down owing to the stagnation of the Japanese economy. Shabby chic painted furniture continues a favourite, though less of the real and more of ‘if you can’t sell it-paint it’ variety. Went to the antiques fair at Alexandra Palace on Sunday. A good attendance, nearly all the stalls were taken and a fair crowd. Speaking to dealer friend, they all remarked they were having to work extra hard just to meet costs. Partly due to council’s shop rates being so high, pushing up rents on stands, and now an added VAT charge, some dealers are giving up. Every obstacle seems to be thrown into the path to recovery! I still found some delightful objects, made contact with collectors who wanted to sell some duplicates and had a good day.

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