The online antique selling portal 2Covet has appointed Sophie Wood as director of the Chelsea Antiques Fair, which it purchased the rights to earlier this year.
Sophie is a highly experienced antiques event director and will oversee the historic fair that will take place between September 20 and 26.
The venue will be Chelsea Old Town Hall, its traditional and iconic home.
Now in its 70th year, the fair is the longest continually-running event of its type in the country and attracts dealers and buyers from around the world.
Over the years some very well-known names have opened it, including Sir Cecil Beaton, Sir Alec Douglas Hume, Edward Fox, George Melley, Margaret Thatcher and Dame Diana Rigg.
Caroline Penman who ran 65 Chelsea fairs over 37 years before 2Covet took it over has stayed on as a patron.
Dealers Charles Wallrock from Lymington and Steve Sly from Bournemouth, and fellow 2Covet founder Zara Rowe appointed Sophie to relaunch the fair after the pandemic.
Sophie, who was born in Cambridge and raised in Reading, said: “Following Caroline means I have big shoes to fill, so it’s good news that she’s staying on as patron.
“The return of the fair is just what the industry needs; there is a huge demand after the lockdowns.
“Chelsea Old Town Hall is a beautiful venue and the dates mean the fair will be running alongside the Chelsea Flower Show.
“Only top-end dealers from different fields will be attending and with pent-up demand we are anticipating that a lot of business will be done.
“Although 2Covet is an online portal, which has shown its importance during the lockdowns, physical events will complement it.
“Dealers and their customers like to meet and there is a social side to these events. They also help build relationships that can fuel future online sales.
“It happens to be the fair’s 70th year so there is an extra reason for celebration.”
The first day of the fair will be for VIP guests followed by a 70th anniversary celebration, and for the next six days anyone can attend.
Britain has a 20 per cent share of the global art and antiques market worth more than £12bn. It is second only to the US.
Notes to editors:
2Covet is an online platform for people to ‘shop the exquisite’. Top dealers only are permitted to sell but all are permitted to buy.
Its three directors are dealers Charles Wallrock and Steve Sly and web expert Zara Rowe.
Launched in 2019, the platform experienced steady growth which then accelerated during the 2020 Covid lockdown.
2Covet now has dozens of dealers from the UK and abroad and is shaking up the antiques market.
For more information contact Ed Baker at Deep South Media on 07788392965 or at firstname.lastname@example.org