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Scheduled to run for more than a week, instead it closed after just two days on March 19.

Around a quarter of the dealers who had booked stands chose not to attend - some of them getting as far as unpacking at Duke of York Square before choosing to heed the latest government advice on public gatherings and social distancing.

Among those withdrawing was silver specialist Michael Baggott, a newcomer to the event. “It was a great shame but, watching as the dire warnings were being issued from Downing Street on Monday, I just felt the place to be was with family at home,” he told ATG.

A majority of exhibitors, anxious to at least try to trade after committing so much money to stand fees, chose to stay. However, with empty aisles and empty booths, most (but not all) were relieved when the decision was taken to close on the second day.

Few dealers came close to covering their costs but, perhaps against all the odds, there were small pockets of business to be done with passionate collectors and decorators. Attendance on the first day was around 700.

Organiser Thomas Woodham-Smith said: “We do not wish to varnish the truth but a significant number of dealers traded and to new clients. Even if most have not been able to cover the costs of their stands.”

BADA is keen to offer its support and will upload images of some of the fine objects at the fair to its website.