Shepton Mallet Antiques Fair

If you’ve never attended the Shepton Mallet Antiques Fair, held at the Bath & West Showground, then you really should make a date to go.
Five times a year it is home to the West Country’s largest antiques & collectors fair, with stalls inside and out, and a vast array of antique, vintage, salvage and collectable items up for grabs. Whether you are attending as a buyer or seller, this really is a first-rate event.
It’s four halls, and numerous outside pitches, give the antiques hunter enormous variety. The choice of antiques and the quality of stock and expertise on site is mind-boggling and makes for a truly unique 2½ -day experience.
It also has its own impartial resident expert – John Tossel – who will be holding free appraisals from his location near the cafe in the Showering Pavilion. This is very popular with the public and even helps many traders with a good second opinion regarding their more unusual items. So, bring along any items you feel you would like to know a bit more about, and if John doesn’t know himself, he’s sure to know someone who does.
Many of the stallholders at Shepton Mallet are regulars and have been attending for many years, but at every event there are always a few new dealers with unique, interesting and beautiful stock, meaning there is always something different for the regular visitor to peruse. One such ‘newbie’ for 2019 will be the stall exhibited by Liz and Michael Flatter.
Michael & Liz started in the trade 9 years ago, after Liz’s mother – who was a dealer in Victorian and early 20th century handbags – retired from the business.
They sold her remaining stock and enjoyed the experience so much that they diversified into general antiques and collectables. Over the last 2 years they have specialised in glass, after finding that they were selling much more of it than anything else. Whilst they also buy & sell ceramics, they tend to limit these items to makers like Dresden, Meissen & Royal Dux.
When they exhibit at iacf fairs they try to have an eclectic mix of both new and old items, with glass from exciting contemporary makers such as Adam Aaronson (for whom they are an authorised retail agent), along with older items, and other exotic glassware from a variety of locations around the globe.
1. Mr & Mrs Flatter – Please tell us a bit about your special area of collecting and dealing.
We pride ourselves on having not only the best quality glass from studios from all over the world, but to have an eclectic range to try to suit all tastes. You buy with your eyes first, so our stand has to look good at all times.
2. What designers, makers and eras do you specialise in?
We have glass ranging from Georgian to present day, covering all aspects, including drinking glasses, vases, bowls, and sculptural items, just to
DEALER PROFILE: MICHAEL & LIZ FLATTER
FIRST TIME AT SHEPTON MALLET ANTIQUES & COLLECTORS FAIR
take home, to love and admire. We are the retail agent for Adam Aaronson, a glass maker in Surrey, and hold a good range of his present stock.
3. What are the rarest items you have bought/sold recently?
We currently have a very early piece of Peter Layton glass, made by him in Rotherhithe in 1979, a prototype of Reef which was reissued recently. Also, we have a piece by WMF. The glass bowl is called Myra, and it is stunningly beautiful, rings like a bell. A fantastic survivor as it is a deco piece of glass.
4. Where are you based?
We live in Hertfordshire, but travel around the country, including Wales, exhibiting at mostly Antique & collectors fairs, but also gift & Christmas fairs, this year, The Frost Fair at Aldenham Park in Hertfordshire in November.
5. How long have you been coming to Shepton Mallet Antiques & Collectors Fair?
This will be our first time at Shepton Mallet. We thought that we would try this well-established fair, and if we like it and the customers like us, we will sign up for more in 2019.
6. What makes it so unique?
Like all IACF fairs, the varied items offered to all the customers who attend.
7. Have you made many friends at the fair and do you have regular buyers?
We have a brilliant social life gained from doing fairs, sellers both local & not, who we see on a regular basis outside of the fairs and one, who next year, we are taking a trip aboard with to go hunting for glass and ceramics which are hard to find in the UK. We also travel to France every summer to hunt for the wonderful items they have to offer.
8. How can we contact you?
We call ourselves “Glass of all Ages” and our contact details are Liz 07870295431.
The next Shepton Mallet Antiques & Collectors Fair will be held from Friday 18th – Sunday 20th January; and Fri 29th – Sun 31st March.
For all 2019 dates and further info, please visit www.iacf.co.uk or email: enquiries@iacf.co.uk