With London’s power players back from their summer breaks, tanned and well rested, Mayfair in September always has an air of buzzy anticipation. Basking in this glow is the annual Lapada Art & Antiques Fair, which takes over Berkeley Square on Monday September 12 for a week, and kicks off the capital’s art season that culminates with Frieze and Pad in October. This year it has a noteworthy fundraising gala on September 14 in aid of Action for Rehabilitation from Neurological Injury (ARNI), a charity that supports stroke survivors. (Gala tickets are £75 per person for the party reception, £400 per person for dinner including reception. Online bidding – open to all – begins this week.)
There are more than 32 lots, echoing the rich pickings at the fair itself, which will see more than 100 dealers from six countries offering works that date from antiquity to today. Bidders will find super-luxe travel experiences, whether it’s being flown by private jet to Portugal’s Vale do Lobo for a week of golf for six (bids from £4,000, second picture) or a week’s stay in the seven-bedroom Villa Frangipani in Mustique (bids from £10,000, first picture) – ocean views from an 18m drawing room, an 18m infinity pool and a seven-strong staff and butler are just a few of the perks.
Sport aficionados will likewise see their pulses racing, thanks to a private box at Old Trafford, where eight fans can watch Chelsea play Manchester United. A complimentary bar and three-course à la carte meal are included, topped off with a visit from a Manchester United player (bids from £3,000). Prefer rugby? Four tickets to a Saracens home game (bids from £100, third picture) is also followed with a chance to meet the team.
It’s no surprise that art and antique lots feature prominently – and the evening’s star lot is a century-old stamped silver ingot (£16,500) recovered from the ocean floor, which once belonged to the 125m SS Gairsoppa that was torpedoed in 1941 by a German submarine. The winning bidder will also have the chance to lunch at the House of Lords – hosted by Lord Lingfield, chairman of the Lapada charity party, together with Andrew Craig, a director of marine operations, and archaeologist Dr Sean Kingsley – to learn more about this fine collectable and its historic recovery from a vessel that sunk deeper than the Titanic.
Wonderful pieces at more modest starting bids include a lithographic print of Annie Lennox taken by singer-songwriter Bryan Adams (£60), an 18ct gold floral-themed Swirly Diamond pendant (£1,500) by young jewellery brand NOA Fine Jewellery and a champagne afternoon tea for two at the Ivy Chelsea Garden (£30).