Business ‘brisk’ at art and antiques fair

AN INCONGRUOUS mixture of old English Masters and Spitting Image puppets were on show as Yorkshire’s major summer antiques event got into its stride yesterday.

After selling half-a-dozen Spitting Image puppets at Sothebys, Red Bus Antiques are selling a striking example of the genre – former Tory Minister David Mellor – for £2,400 at the Yorkshire Showground.

Views of old York, Scarborough and Whitby were a major attraction at The Pavilions of Harrogate Antiques & Fine Art show, which ends tomorrow.

English watercolour paintings and drawings are widely regarded and some of the most sought after in the world, the UK enjoying a golden age of watercolour painting from the mid-18th to the early 20th century when artists vividly captured the vistas of town and countryside.

Today, these views provide detailed historic records of the past. At the Harrogate Fair, Derek Newman, of Newman Fine Art from Gloucestershire, showed off a number of accomplished paintings by leading artists of the genre. These included a view of York from the castle walls which was signed and dated 1829 by William Frederick Wells. Wells was founding member and principal instigator of the Old Watercolour Society in 1804.

A contrasting view of the same scene from another angle is offered in a painting by Albert Goodwin (1845-1932), signed and dated 1924, and the same artist is shown again with a view of picturesque Whitby. A view of Scarborough is provided by Edward Tucker (1849-1876), always a sought-after artist. Often described as the father of English watercolour painting, John Varley is represented by A View of the River Wharfe, Yorkshire.

Held in two sumptuous rooms of the Pavilions of Harrogate venue, the fair offers something for collectors from vintage jewellery to scientific instruments. A spokesman for the event said: “selling has been brisk.”