Published 19th October 2011
Backed by Honiton Town Council and its Mayor, Councillor Vernon Whitlock, Honiton Chamber of Commerce, Honiton Museum and Honiton Tourist Information Centre, the town's dealers, restorers, auctioneers and curators alike will be opening their doors to a week-long mouth-watering range of activities including lectures, exhibitions, auction views and displays.
Said organiser Elizabeth Chilcott: "Honiton is the jewel in Devon's crown when it comes to hunting for antiques and by joining forces, we the traders in antiques-related businesses in the town, intend to attract a big influx of collectors and enthusiasts during the seven days of the Festival.
"We also hope to showcase the diverse range of skills and knowledge our people have about antiques and fine art from all periods in history. We're sure there will be something to interest people of all ages and tastes," added Valentine Butler.
The Festival will also promote the message that "Antiques are Green" and encourage new, young collectors who might be looking to turn their hobby into a career. The organisers will communicate with careers advisers in the county and students from Honiton Community College will film events during the week.
Said BBC Antiques Roadshow personality Mark Hill: "National Antiques Week aims to promote antiques and collecting. Over the past year, a growing number of young people have seen the value and individuality of antiques, and the thrill of the hunt, and begun to buy antiques and vintage pieces for their homes. Furthermore, a report commissioned by the antiques trade from industry experts Carbon Clear has found that an antique chest of drawers is 16 times more eco-friendly than a modern, flatpack equivalent. Antiques really are green!"
Exhibitions happening all week in Honiton include: 'Chairs from 1650 to the Twentieth Century' at Roderick Butler, Marwood House; 'Clarice Cliff Pottery', at Upstairs Downstairs Antiques; 'Prints and Maps of Honiton', at Graham York Rare Books; 'Contemporary Art', at The Grove Antiques Centre and, on the quirky, 'Skirt Lifters' and 'Glass Hats', also at The Grove,
Honiton's auctioneers are also backing the Festival. Bearnes, Hampton and Littlewood will be holding a series of free specialist valuation days culminating on Friday, 18th November 2011 with a reception and preview of an Antiques Auction, while Chilcotts will auction the important Carl Rosen Collection of Honiton Pottery on Saturday, 19th November 2011 (see separate press release).
Antique shops and both Auction rooms will be open on Sunday, 20th November 2011 and Allhallows Museum is opening specially and the Tourist Information Centre will have longer opening hours offering assistance to guests and visitors throughout the week.
Another innovative event is the Restoration and Renovation Fair at Mackarness Hall on Saturday, 19th November 2011. Local specialist restorers of furniture, silver, ceramics, pictures, paper, clocks, textiles, rugs, books, stained glass and gilding will demonstrate their skills and offer advice to anyone looking to have a treasured possession repaired or renovated.
Dr Todd Gray, local historian and lecturer at Exeter University, will give a talk on the fascinating life both upstairs and downstairs during the 17th century at Combe House in Gittisham on Wednesday, 16th November 2011 (To be held at Honiton Community College. Booking essential - please see advertisement).
A 'Guess the Value' Competition, running throughout the week in shops up and down the High Street will give the lucky winner dinner for two at Combe House, now a beautiful hotel.
For further information, visit:-
The picture (above) shows some of the individuals involved in organising the event. Left to right: Sue Bellamy from Bel-Ami Antiques and Interiors, Colin Wright Chairman of Honiton Chamber of Commerce and Honiton Tourist Information Centre, Elizabeth Chilcott from Chilcotts Auctioneers and Valuers, David Newton from The Honiton Clock Clinic, Valentine Butler of Roderick Butler Antiques, Chris Hampton from Bearnes, Hampton and Littlewood Auctioneers, Antiques trader Nichola Symes and Graham York form Graham York Rare Books.