One dank Saturday afternoon last year, I snapped up the Georgian portrait you see here in a near-empty Northamptonshire junk shop. I haggled him down to £8. Even so, you might think I was robbed, since it is a fairly unremarkable picture. But the lady shown was one of the more interesting characters of the late 1700s.
If you sell Antiques here you face an uphill struggle. If you sell a 'look' you start at an advantage. There are dealers who strive to achieve both, but it is not easy. It is a sort of Holy Grail. It is a credit to the fair that both strands have their place but the team playing in the old, historic, antique way are definitely the B team.
TEFAF is 260 exhibitors, seemingly miles of corridors and countless objects, pictures and jewels to admire. But behind all of this sparkle lies a delightful human drama. It is the people that make this show happen, it is the daily flow of passing crowds and hurried meals and chance encounters that create a unique ambience.
As someone who spent almost every major school holiday in Yorkshire, I should have visited York at least a handful of times by now and yet my visit earlier this year was my very first - shameful, no? So it was with great enthusiasm and excitement that I accepted an invite from Visit York, to discover 'Britain's most beautiful city'.