LARTA The London Antique Rug & Textile Art Fair, 21-26 January 2019
The 10th anniversary edition of the London Antique Rug & Textile Art Fair (LARTA), which was founded by London dealer Aaron Nejad in 2011, in response to strong demand for a regular dedicated carpet and textile event in the capital city, returns for the fourth time to the ‘Tent’ in Battersea Park from 21-26 January 2020.
Year on year, and particularly since moving to the appealingly light and airy mezzanine floor in the Evolution London exhibition venue, alongside the popular and usually well-attended Winter Decorative Antiques & Textiles Fair, LARTA has become established as the UK’s prime regular specialist carpet and textile event. The fair sees an ever improving range of exhibitors from both the UK and elsewhere in Europe and ever better standards of presentation for both antique carpets and textiles, as well as contemporary designer material. Although the fair is informally vetted by the organisers, the quality and reputation of the participating dealers and competition for limited spaces guarantees a minimum level of fair-worthiness.
In 2020, the roll-call of well-established and well-respected UK-based exhibitors with diverse interests includes organiser Aaron Nejad himself, with a wide range of traditional carpets and textiles, and the former Cotswolds quartet of tribal rug specialist Brian MacDonald, eclectic rug and textile purveyors Owen Parry from Abergavenny in Wales, Andy Lloyd from Bath, and Tony Hazledine from Oxfordshire. Then there are the more conventional London-based Seneh Carpets, Hakiemie Rugs and the Carpet Restoration Studio as well as tapestry and textile specialists Peta Smythe and Marilyn Garrow.
Persian town and village carpet specialist Khorrum Gilani of Ornamentum returns to the fair from Mitcham and the Oriental Rug Gallery comes in from Haslemere, both in Surrey. They are joined by The Oriental Rug Shop from Sheffield in South Yorkshire. The list of UK-based participants is completed by Emily’s House from nearby Battersea, mainly showing Moroccan carpets, and modern carpet designer/manufacturer Gideon Hatch, for whom the Battersea fair is an ideal venue.
Although LARTA is essentially a British event for the UK market, the growing international contingent for 2020 will consist of regular participant Galerie Arabesque (Ulrike Montigel) from Stuttgart in Germany, as well as two very welcome newcomers: the veteran German dealer Bertram Frauenknecht, now operating out of Sultanahmet in Istanbul, who has been involved in rare and collectible tribal rugs, kilims and textiles for more than three decades; and the well-regarded French costume and textile specialist Serge Liagre, of Villa Rosemaine in Toulon.