A wonderful antidote to brighten up a dull February day is a visit to Art Antiques Cheshire taking place at The Mere Golf Resort & Spa, near Knutsford, Cheshire WA16 6LJ from Friday 22 to Sunday 24 February 2019. Returning for the seventh year, the fair has a reputation for bestowing a warm welcome to everyone, and creating a stylish layout offering visitors practical ideas on how to furnish and decorate their homes. It is also an opportunity to chat to the specialist dealers, who are happy to impart their knowledge or advise on starting a collection.

At this next event, around 25 leading experts will present an impressive showcase of furniture, silver, paintings, sculpture, jewellery, watches, glass, maps, antiquities, ceramics and other decorative arts from the modern, eclectic and quirky to the classic and traditional. It is a must visit destination for design professionals and art and antique aficionados.

There is an exciting line-up of specialist dealers, many of whom are well- known names from London’s international fairs circuit including Garret & Hurst Sculpture from East Sussex, Stephen Kalms Antiques from the London Silver Vaults, Cambridge Fine Art, Greenstein Antiques and Shapiro & Co, both from Gray’s in London’s West End, T Robert, J Dickinson Maps & Prints from Derbyshire, Granta Fine Art from St Neots, Odyssey Antiquities & Coins from Southport. Local Cheshire dealers include Melody Antiques, Plaza and Les & Rhoda Howard Silver Collectables.

Creating a contemporary or modern look alongside more traditional pieces is very much in vogue at present. One way of creating this effect is by placing Chinese pieces, often antiquities, in a prominent setting such as a painted terracotta Ferghana horse’s head, (206BC-AD220) from ancient China priced at £395 from Odyssey Antiquities & Coins..

An object with a sound provenance always adds to its desirability. Shapiro & Co has a decorative Russian shaded enamel case from the 6th Artel of Moscow, together with its original Asprey retailer’s case (£4,500). The 6th Artel (1908-1917) was one of the most famous in Russia and was a big Court supplier of high quality enamelled silver.

Another item of note is a Georgian sterling silver double tea caddy by Peter Gillois, London 1759, in its original fitted shagreen box. When tea was first introduced to Europe it was extremely expensive. Therefore, the containers used were often costly and decorative to fit in with the rest of a drawing room. This piece is from Stephen Kalms Antiques is priced at £5,500.

Exhibiting for the first time is Rountree Tryon Galleries Limited, selling traditional art and contemporary wildlife paintings. Amongst the art on the stand are sizeable paintings by Emily Lamb (b.1985), grand-daughter of renowned British wildlife artist, David Shepherd, who has been making an impressive name in her own right. One such oil on canvas is ‘Emergence’, measuring 110cm x 170.2 cm, it would make a striking feature on a large blank wall and is priced at £13,500. Earlier this year, Rountree Tryon Galleries was granted a Royal Warrant of Appointment to HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh as a Specialist Art Dealer.

For anyone wishing to purchase a painting, there is an excellent choice available from mid-century British artists, such as renowned East Anglian artist Margaret Green (1925-2003) and Irish author and artist Ronald Ossory Dunlop (1894-1973) with prices ranging from £1,000 to £7,000 from Granta Fine Art. Charming Victorian oils on every subject can be discovered on Cambridge Fine Art’s stand. Local Cheshire oak furniture dealer Melody Antiques creates an interiors look with all manner of furniture from oak chairs and dressers to kitchen tables alongside decorative antique posters, slipware, mirrors and one-off quirky objects.

To mark an anniversary or an engagement or even a late Valentine’s gift, the fair glitters with an abundance of fine jewellery including a pair of fancy yellow and pink diamond cluster earrings (£4,950) or an Art Deco diamond and platinum ring (£3,950) both from Greenstein Antiques. From T Robert comes an 18 carat gold Ceylon sapphire and diamond flower pendant/brooch, c 1850 (£7,400) and Shapiro & Co has an 18 carat gold multi-diamond and South Sea pearl brooch, c 1970 (£5,750).

Enjoy a first-class meal in Browns, The Mere’s contemporary restaurant with 2AA rosettes or relax over light refreshments within the fair whilst considering your purchases. The venue is a haven of a hideaway nestled by the Mere Lake and surrounded by stunning Cheshire countryside. Take advantage of the free parking making it a one-stop shop and an enjoyable day out.