Anthony Thorncroft gives the history and politics behind the fall of the Grosvenor House antiques fair in the Financial Times:
Although sudden, the decision was not entirely unexpected. For some years now the fair has been living on its reputation. It prospered greatly when wealthy Anglophile Americans paid an annual visit to London to refurnish their mansions with Georgian furniture and Old Master paintings. Now such enthusiasts are thin on the ground, and London has ceded its position as the undisputed centre of the art trade to New York. Many of the major dealers in brown furniture, such as Jeremy Hotspur and Norman Adams, who had been the bedrock of the fair, retired. Such leading Old Master dealers as Johnny van Haeften and Colnaghi decided that they could do better business by concentrating on gallery events in July, when their key clients were in London for the major picture auctions at Sotheby’s and Christie’s. Other dealers pulled out because the cost of taking part, which could approach £70,000 for a large stand, was proving too risky an investment.
The cramped space of the fair inhibited its renewal: there was no spare capacity to absorb leading overseas dealers or imaginative new dealers who might liven up what had become a predictable display. The fair did its best, throwing away date lines and welcoming in 20th-century art and, by the end, dealers in wine and photographs. But a fair that had started in 1934 to help the antiques trade survive one great recession fell victim to another global economic downturn.
Masterpieces Seek Good Home (Financial Times)