The diary: what’s on this October

Usher in autumn with seasonal antiques, exquisite art, historic metals and the magic of Harry Potter...

Half of a silver platter with the head of Hercules on it

Explore Dalí and Duchamp

At a glance, the works of Salvador Dalí and Marcel Duchamp couldn’t be more different: however, throughout their careers, the two of them forged a life-long friendship. Here, explore some of their most accomplished pieces, alongside rarely seen correspondences and collaborations.

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* 7th Oct 2017–3rd Jan 2018. Weston Galleries, Burlington House, Piccadilly, Mayfair, London, W1J 0BD. 020 7300 8000; royalacademy.org.uk

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Power and Beauty: The Art of Sir Oswald Birley

Commissioned to paint portraits by the Royal Family, aristocracy, politicians, scientists, artists and celebrities alike, Sir Oswald Birley (1880–1952) was one of the most prolific portraitists of his era, and painted celebrated figures from King George V and Queen Mary, to Mahatma Gandhi and Sir Winston Churchill. This autumn, Philip Mould & Company, a leading British art dealership founded by BBC Antiques Roadshow expert Philip Mould, is bringing together some of Birley’s most iconic works for the first time since Birley’s death in 1952. Curated by art historian Dr Jonathan Black and Josephine Fitzalan Howard, this is a particularly significant exhibition, as most of Birley’s portraits rarely leave the palaces and private stately homes in which they permanently reside.

* 26th September–10th October. Philip Mould & Company, 18–19 Pall Mall, London, SW1Y 5LU. 020 7499 6818; philipmould.com

A piece of art by Sir Oswald Birley

Bruton Decorative Antiques Fair

Home to a world-class art gallery and an array of stylish shops and restaurants, Bruton is swiftly becoming one of Somerset’s most glamorous towns. Taking place between 13th–15th October, Bruton Decorative Antiques Fair is a hotspot for trendsetting art and antiques hunters, and takes place across two large halls surrounded by antique and vintage cars.

* Opening times vary. £5 (present this page to get two tickets for the price of one). 01278 784912; brutondecorativeantiquesfair.co.uk

An antique armchair

Harry Potter: A History of Magic

To celebrate the 20th anniversary of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, the British Library has delved into its collection of ancient books, manuscripts and magical objects. This 13th-century bestiary (left) pictures a majestic phoenix rising from the ashes, and wouldn’t look out of place in Dumbledore’s office.

* 20th Oct 2017–28th Feb 2018. PACCAR Gallery, The British Library, 96 Euston Road, London, NW1 2DB. 01937 546546; bl.uk

A 13th century bestiary showing a Phoenix rising from the ashes

Scotland’s Early Silver

This stunning collection of ancient jewellery, coins and objects explores the impact of silver on Scotland, from the Romans to the Vikings. Free entry.

* 13th Oct 2017–25th Feb 2018. National Museum of Scotland, Chambers Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1JF. 0300 123 6789; nms.ac.uk

Half of a silver platter with the head of Hercules on it

AND DON’T MISS…

The Decorative Antiques and Textiles Fair

160 exhibitors storm Battersea Park for this swish shopping event.

3rd-8th October. £10 entry. 020 7616 9327; decorativefair.com

The Esher Hall Antiques and Fine Art Fair

With prices ranging from the modest to six figures, this fair features 25 specialist exhibitors.

6th-8th October. £5 entry. esherhallfair.com

The Northern Antiques Fair

Taking place in Harrogate Convention Centre, discover 40 specialist exhibitors selling everything from maps to decorative sculptures.

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19th-22nd October. £7.50 entry. 01797 252030; harrogateantiquefair.com