Art, Antiques, Block work and Sunsets

Day Three,

Yesterday went well, a delivery of building supplies to keep Clive busy. I spent a few hours on the laptop, organising folders and removing duplicates of all sorts of photos and files, emails updated and blog updated, followed by parents evening. all in all, a good day.
Delivery for block work

Friday, 20th Jan.

I thought it was going to be a quiet start to today, after the (now) normal walk to school and then walking Snowy around the block, I bumped into someone in the village who, after chatting a while, I found had a mutual interest in planes and tools, and has amassed a reasonable collection over the years.

Then back at home, A chat with Clive, when we had a couple of visitors, Lynn's uncle Paul and Tracey (Al's other half), with the possibility of some work when I'm sorted with a workshop. A quick cup of tea then I'm off to the NEC.

My review of The National Fine Art & Antiques Fair, NEC. Birmingham. UK.

The NEC is only 20 minutes drive up the road for me, and today the motorway was easy and I drove straight into the N2 car park.


On entry, I thought I ought to ask if I can take photographs, after a chat with the Show Director, I was amongst some of the finest art and antiques money can buy. Walking through the dark subtle lit hall, all of the stands looked great. At the far end was an eating and restaurant /dining area, all very contemporary and very relaxing, just right for getting the cheque book out. Here you can see pieces from an old oak refectory table to very grand little davenport desk.

I normally come here with Lynn and the sometimes bring one or two of the children, but today I'm on my own and can enjoy the atmosphere and what the dealers have got to offer. As you walk around you feel as though you are walking through a country House, but without the architecture. Some are selling  paintings, others jewellery, furniture, ceramics, glass etc. I usually have a wonder round, getting to know the layout, what's where, and who's selling what. Then while I'm walking down one of the aisles, I'm just approaching one of the central seating areas, where you can sit and wonder whether you really should buy that painting or the gorgeous console table at the other stand, when in front of me is a face I recognise but, it takes a second or two to realise that I know him, but he hasn't got a clue who I am, and why would he? Mike Melody, one of the antique dealers, now associated with day time television, from Dickenson’s Real Deal, who specialises in antique country furniture. I shook his hand, introduced myself and sat down on the central seating. We nattered about our lives in general, how the show was going and future prospects, it was like chatting to an old friend, and gratefully accepted his advice, I wished him well and carried on my initial viewing. (I really should have got a picture, next time eh..) If you are not sure who Mike Melody is, then click on this

As I made my way around the the bottom end of the hall, and was walking around the dinning area (which looked really good) and the prices didn't look bad either, now I really wished Lynn was with me, It has been a while since we've eaten out on our own. Someone else I recognise Allan Bellamy, I was introduced to Allan by Beverley at an 'Antiques for Everyone' event at the same venue, about six or seven years ago. His stand has some beautiful examples of Art Deco and Art Nouveau, from glassware that would sit lovely in one of his cocktail cabinets to a beautiful and unusual Art Deco Chest on Chest.


the picture really doesn't do it justice, it is beautiful..notice the zig-zag detail in the plinth

Just sitting up the corner of his stand were two fantastic Belgian Art Deco Rosewood club chairs, with just about the best figured Rosewood veneer on the sides of the cream coloured soft fabric seat and back, an Art Deco fanatics dream. Now I'm glad that Lynn's not with me, because they were really stunning.



fantastic eh..


just look at that grain pattern..


and comfy too..




Thanks to Allan Bellamy for permission to photograph some of his pieces.

Also on show, on the LAPADA stand, was the Battle of Britain lacework, just breathtaking the amount of work that went into making  the piece was outstanding, and a tall bookcase from the house where the Downton Abbey series was filmed. They also have some great literature that they give away, and some of these have free tickets in the back for other fairs, cool eh.

One stand had some wonderful Daum and Lalique glassware, as well as some lovely modern pieces of art. I spent about three hours there, if Lynn had been with me, it would have been longer, we wouldn't have been able to pass the dinning restaurant due to the lovely atmosphere and the fact that the food was sensibly priced, and I do think we would have had to have bought the lovely little Lalique figurine, £300 a snip.

So, by now you've worked out that I love Art and Antiques, and yes I really do like Deco, oh one small criticism, apart from one or two of the people working on the stands, or working for the venue, I was one of the youngest there, how can we get younger people involved or was it just because it was a Friday?

Anyhow, the parking was free and a courtesy coach takes you right to the door, tomorrow is the last day Sunday 22nd January 2012. If you have managed to read through this, then you probably should go. If I had another ticket I would take Lynn tomorrow.

Just a short drive home, then walked over to meet the girls from school. Clive has had a good day, with some blocks down the side of my workshop.

not quite above the ground yet


Then when all was calming down, and I was out with Snowy, just up the lane I saw this, not a bad day...


If you do go, or have already been, then contact me


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