Last Thursday, I went to the antiques show at the NEC. The first two hours were almost intoxicating as people thronged through the door and charged to make purchases. The large hall got quite hot. The show is not as big as it used to be and, sadly, there were not as many dealers selling figures. Philip Carrol was there--or at least his lovely stock was. I tried to catch up with him twice but missed him each time. Roger De Ville, as always, had a lovely small selection and he had a good day. Another dealer who must have had a good day was John Howard. No surprise here because John stocks the very best, and that is just what collectors want. Figures vanished quite quickly from John's stand--including the lovely dray men group I posted recently-- and I returned home to several emails from happy buyers.
I did buy one little figure in the UK. (Poor picture and the figure is dirty....needs a bath.) But, as you can see, this man with a barrel organ is formed from the same molds as used for the figure in John's troupe. You also find him on large "Sherratt" menageries. I was pleased with my purchase.
I spent a day visiting Andrew and Jan Dando in Bradford-on-Avon. The shop was charming and I was struck by the quality of the stock. I know Andrew takes fabulous pictures, but the stock was even nicer in real life. Andrew clearly has a great eye. I even found myself admiring some of the early porcelain figures, but fear not! I shall never be a porcelain collector.
Am I in a hurry to go back?. Not after my ten-plus hour wait for a connection in Washington. I got home at 4:00 a.m. and don't intend hauling out a suitcase for a long, long time.