Antiques for Everyone Winter Fair at the NEC

From the Jurassic Period to Red Carpet premieres discover the dark, often mysterious and mesmerising

From the Jurassic Period to Red Carpet premieres discover the dark, often mysterious and mesmerising story of Whitby Jet - Credit: Archant

There will be some very unusual and interesting exhibits appearing at the Antiques for Everyone Winter Fair November 19-22 at the NEC

This dress designed by Scott Henshall, dubbed “King of the Red Carpet,’ was worn by actress and pres

This dress designed by Scott Henshall, dubbed “King of the Red Carpet,’ was worn by actress and presenter Donna Air at the London premiere of “The Amazing Spiderman’ - Credit: Archant

They say November is the month for spiders. You expect to see them on webs in bushes, clinging to fences, hanging from car mirrors, even in the bath... But you don’t expect to them at the Birmingham’s NEC.

The dress shown above is designed by Scott Henshall, dubbed “King of the Red Carpet,’ and was worn by actress and presenter Donna Air at the London premiere of “The Amazing Spiderman’- the fourth film in the Spiderman catalogue. The intricate spider and cobweb design features Whitby Jet and diamonds spun together around an expensive little black number. The outfit is coming to the NEC courtesy of W Hamond, the Original Whitby Jet shop, as part of the special exhibition at the Antiques for Everyone Winter Fair.

The largest single piece of Whitby Jet ever found at a staggering 6.5m/21 feet long

The largest single piece of Whitby Jet ever found at a staggering 6.5m/21 feet long - Credit: Archant

From the Stone Age through to modern times, the gleaming black-velvet gemstone has been used to make jewellery and has fascinated generations of collectors. This special exhibition, presented by W. Hamond, the original Whitby Jet Shop, features over 200 pieces from brooches to lockets and bracelets, and many are on display for the first time. It reached the height of fashion during Victorian times when the Queen wore it in mourning following the death of Prince Albert, and has enjoyed a resurgence recently adorning the Hollywood stars at the Spiderman film premiere.

A JET-FUELLED RECORD BREAKER

Not only is this the largest single piece of Whitby Jet ever found at a staggering 6.5m/21 feet long, but it’s also the oldest ever exhibit to be shown at Antiques for Everyone. It started life in the Jurassic Period over 180 millions years ago from what we know today as the Monkey Puzzle or Araucaria tree when the process of Jet formation began.

In terms of its quality, depth of colour and polish, this stunning exhibition not only displays wonderful examples of this beguiling black gemstone including many ostentacious designs from the Victorian era, but it also reveals Whitby Jet’s historical links to the world-famous Bram Stoker Dracula novel. So as well as spiders, there are vampires associated too at the fair too.

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Venue details and ticket information:

Halls 3a, National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham, UK, B40 1NT.

Admission: £15.00, including free car parking.

In Advance: £12.00 for Adults and Senior Citizens from the Box Office Tel: 0844 581 0827. Public Open Times: -Thurs - Sat 11am-6pm / Sun 11am-5pm