The diary: what's on in January

A criminally good pop-up, fine antique silver and the first transatlantic cable offer cultural treats this month

Eastern spirit 

This could almost be a piece of studio art pottery from the 20th century, but in fact it’s a 16th-century Safavid dish from Persia. You can see it at Battersea’s Decorative Fair this month, where it will be complemented by the fair’s new partnership with the London Antique Rug and Textile Art fair (LARTA). A host of stunning antique Middle Eastern kilims and rugs will be on display.  

* 24th-29th Jan. Battersea Park, London, SW11 4NJ. 020 7616 9327;


Just in crime 

If hunkering down in front of the fire with a murder mystery to hand is your winter idyll, head first to the British Library’s pop-up. You’ll be invited to try your hand at the instore whodunnit, as well as find an array of forgotten crime novels from the British Library’s collection of reprints. 

* Until 24th December. The Entrance Hall, The British Library, 96 Euston Road, London, NW1 2DB. 020 7412 7812;


AFE London Art Antiques Interiors fair 

The organisers of Antiques for Everyone are heading south this month and hosting a new fair in the capital – the AFE London Art Antiques Interiors Fair, which runs from 13th–15th January. Around 150 dealers are expected to take stands at Excel in London’s Docklands, including regulars from the Birmingham event and those based in the south of England. The British Institute of Interior Design will be supporting the fair, and its president, Susie Rumbold, will be giving a talk on the Sunday. Antiques experts Judith Miller and Mark Hill will also be presenting talks over the three days.

* Excel, Royal Victoria Dock, 1 Western Gateway, London, E16 1XL. 11am-6pm (closes 5pm Sun). £15. 0844 854 1357; 


Raised in a barn 

After a two-year restoration, the Barn at Place Farm in Tisbury opened in autumn 2016 as a striking space for contemporary art. The first installation includes work by sculptors Brian Taylor, Laurence Edwards and Sean Henry.

* The Barn, Place Farm, Court St, Tisbury, Salisbury, Wiltshire, SP3 6LW. 01747 445042;


Silver lining 

The final show in the Holburne Museum’s centenary programme celebrates the wealth and beauty of British silver, from this 1660s cagework tankard to the earliest surviving English beaker.

* Until 22nd January. Great Pulteney Street, Bath, BA2 4DB. 01225 388569; 


For the record 

The Guinness Book of Records was launched in 1955, illustrated with a set of six lithographs by the likes of Edward Ardizzone and Barnett Freedman. For the first time the prints are appearing together – sportsmen and trivia fans take note. 

* Until 15th January. Pallant House Gallery, 9 North Pallant, Chichester, West Sussex, PO19 1TJ. 01243 774557;


Over the wires

For Victorians, the delivery of the first transatlantic cable was as momentous as the invention of the internet for us. To mark its 150th anniversary, Guildhall Art Gallery and the Courtauld are putting on an exhibition of the engineering that allowed it to happen and the art that resulted from it.

* Until 22nd Jan. Guildhall Art Gallery, London, EC2V 5AE.



Below stairs at Soane Museum

A seven-year restoration project at the Soane Museum in London has allowed never-before-seen rooms to be opened. To celebrate it, the museum has invited modern designers to display works. Until 28th Jan. 020 7405 2107;

Shaping ceramics

From Lucie Rie to Edmund de Waal, reams of our best-known potters or their ancestors have been Jewish émigrés. Visit London’s Jewish Museum until 26th February to see how their work has transformed British pottery. 020 7284 7384; 

The London Art Fair     

As well as being a hotspot for picking up brilliant works of British modern art, the London Art Fair will this year also show the Ingram Collection, which includes key works by Moore, Hepworth and Ravilious. 18th–22nd January. 020 7288 6736;


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