Originally established in 2013 as an event to support Oxfordshire traders and collectors, and still organised by those same locally-based dealers, Antiques@TheHolt now has a country-wide reputation, writes Marcus Potts

It remains loyal to its roots, however, and the majority of those who ‘stand’ at The Holt are based in Oxfordshire or surrounding counties. More than 80 per cent re-book after each fair, but there’s always room for a few new faces.

Brenda Haller will be stalling out with us this time. She’s best known for setting up the Antiques Centre in Deddington more than 30 years ago, but is also a regular expert on Dickinson’s Real Deal. The Centre itself has probably appeared in more episodes of Road Trip than any other single outlet, and has been voted one of the Top 50 antiques shops in the UK.

Although Brenda is retiring and closing her shop at the end of March, she will continue to do the occasional fair, of which Antiques@TheHolt will be the first. She will focus on antique and vintage jewellery.

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While Brenda is an established hand at the antiques trade, we have a genuine first-timer at The Holt – Banbury-based Jodie Houghton. Although this will be her first fair, she certainly doesn’t lack knowledge or experience.

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She is the jewellery expert at JS Fine Art in Banbury, and as well as following in Brenda’s footsteps as a seller of antique pieces, she is also a jewellery designer in her own right. In addition to period pieces, she will be offering a repair and restoration service.

Heading over from France for their first attendance at The Holt will be Michelle and John Lander who have a huge following for their charming objets de vertu and bijou collectibles. They join dealers from Antiques at Heritage in Woodstock, the centre owned by ceramics expert John Howard. displaying choice items of silver and ceramics.

Other newcomers will be Brian Jeffels (arts & crafts and Victoriana), Sue West (porcelain), and Annie Gowler who will be offering a mixed selection of antiques and collectibles.

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Returning are Ron & Ann Wheeler (art glass), Ted Gribben (C19th and Grand Tour pieces), Michael Allwright (portrait miniatures), Mark Ditchburn (art deco and period bronzes), Peter Stevens (C19th ceramics and glass), Paul Baker (Royal Doulton and fine ceramics), Brian & Pauline Fell (silverwares), Stephen Walters (British maritime history) and Andy Briggs (fine country furniture).

Our aim is always to offer visitors a fair mix of stock, so we rarely invite more than three or four specialists in a particular field. The formula appears to work and our reputation for quality and variety continues to grow steadily.

* Antiques @ The Holt is at The Holt Hotel, Steeple Aston, this Saturday and Sunday.

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