Hot, hip and happening… Perky LBD’s, plus glammed and groomed hipsters aplenty, SAADA’s Joburg fair gala evening sparked and dazzled as the perfect manifestation of Utopia’s vision for the South African Antique, Art and Design Association.
So it came as no surprise that the evening was an affair to be quietly whispered (but loud enough to be overheard of course) by Joburg’s cool-cats in the know for weeks to follow. Yes, if you weren’t there you sure wished you were!
But forget for a moment the fabulous fashionistas, the electric violins, the clinking of crystal and the delectable delights whizzed through by the Wanderers staff: the real stars of the evening were the exhibits on display. Never before has SAADA presented such a varied array of superb goodies to tempt even the meanest of money bags.
Templars Interiors and Unicorn Antiques stunned with one of the finest selections of antiques the fair has seen in years, giving the event the distinguished polish it deserved. George Korten of the latter showed me the most curious item: a Chinese shaving bowl, several centuries old. The typically decorated circular shape has a “bite” taken out of it so that it fits the neck, and thin ropes are threaded through eyelets on the opposing side so that it may be hung around the neck, leaving the hands free to hold the blade. (image 1)
Contemporary art was well-represented by various galleries, including White House, Art on Paper, and Art Vault. Fresh off the press (literally), the work by the young artists of Artist Proof Studio was being snapped up by the smart set. I joined in and got myself an etched Hillbrow street scene by Mario Soares – a young black Mozambican who has already created a stir with his large-scale graffiti work throughout Jozi’s urban fabric – for a fraction of what it will be worth in time to come. Clever me!
Jeremy Stephen Antiques always manages to conjure up the most impressive selection of 20th Century design – the stand peppered with modular 1950’s Scandinavian lounge units – and I saw more than one visitor engage with the Barbaro glass figure frozen in a Munchian scream. (image 4)
Local design flair was also represented by the inclusion of furniture designed by Tonic in the cunning juxtapose of antique and modern, detailed and slick, curlied and clean, on House and Garden’s jewel of a stand curated by young talent Dean van Aswagen.
And when one had had one’s full of rare stamps from Doreen Royan Antiques, jewels from Paisley’s, (image 3) fine silver from The Old Corkscrew, Asian artifacts from Johan Joubert, Cape collectables from Riaan Bolt, political posters from Explorer Books, Oak oddities from Take It For Granted, Art Deco delights from Burr and Muir… (pause and breathe)… One could take time out at the cocktail bar and lounge, where emerging decorating wunderkind Warren Walkinshaw also showed the world – well a tiny privileged slice of it – how to mix old with new in a hip, fresh and feisty, and up-to-the-minute manner.
Did I say “time out”? Well since I did, let me tell you about the beautiful clock that Time-Out of Parkhurst very generously sponsored for our fair raffle and the other prizes that were also kindly donated. The grandfather clock was won by a delighted Charles Young, who said he had much enjoyed visiting Time-Out’s imposing stand at the fair, so the happy surprise at winning a treasure he already coveted was written across his face in an upward curve.
“Are you kidding? I’ve never won anything before!” exclaimed Christo du Toit. But it was his name we’d pulled, not his leg, when he was informed that he’d been selected as the recipient of a striking triptych by Artist Proof Studio’s Themba Khumalo. The set was handed over at Artist Proof Studio’s very excellent Open Day on Saturday 29 November before being shipped to Christo’s avant garde abode in Parktown North, so I know it is hanging happily in its new home.
The final prize that we gave away was a two-night stay for a couple at the uber-luxurious Madikwe Hills Private Game Lodge. Madikwe Hills Lodge are as committed to protecting our heritage for future generations as we are: once farm land, the Reserve in which it is situated has now been restored to its former natural environment thanks to years of careful dedication, and once again provides a natural home to an enormous range of mammals, birdlife and indigenous flora. Winner Allan Widlake says it will make the ideal venue to celebrate his 40 year wedding anniversary with his partner later this year.
All in all it was a marvelous boutique-style event, and the fresh energy and new direction evident in it is now being invested in the planning and creation of SAADA’s up-coming Cape Town Antiques, Art and Design Expo.
Even more so than in Johannesburg, you can expect something very different from what you have come to expect in the past: we’re taking many of the same ingredients, adding in a few more, and changing the recipe for our very cool confection!
First and foremost, our Expo is moving from Kirstenbosch to the V&A Waterfront. This coming Expo will be housed in The Lookout, a spacious and ideally situated venue within South Africa’s most visited precinct, with a full floor-to-ceiling glass front framing Granger Bay at its feet and the City’s famed mountains in the distance. Beyond compare, the location – on the corner of Granger Bay Boulevard and Granger Road (an extension of Dock Road, which winds around the marine basin, past the Aquarium, and through the development) – has parking in front and is also immediately adjacent to an entrance of the V&A’s Breakwater parking garage, so access is easy!
Who will be there? Well everyone fit and fab of course! But if you mean “Which exhibitors?”, then rest assured your firm favourites will be exhibiting alongside a host of new appearances, all there to tempt and delight. Plus this year our Antique, Art and Design Expo will also feature an in-house restaurant café with delish designer morsels: while the café takes advantage of the location’s postcard view, you can take advantage of the opportunity to briefly rest your legs, enjoy cake and cup, and contemplate where to place your just-purchased darlings.
I can’t divulge too much about what treasures these might be – the exhibitors are guarding their stock better than Fort Knox padlocks (although check out our sneak-peak page on www.saada.co.za if you like to be a step-ahead) – but I can let you know that Kunsthandel H.W.C. Dullaert has a fine selection of Flemish artworks – including an 18th Century portrait of Theodore Pieroot, a bona fide Bruges celeb in his time – and Bancroft Antiques will be bringing a magnificent museum-worthy silver-gilt and enameled Russian kovsh (image 2) by famed silversmith Feodor Ivanovich Rückert (good pals with Peter Carl Fabergé – yes, THE Fabergé!) for you to snap up. Come party like a rock Tzar, this is an event not to be missed!
Chief Executive Officer,
South African Antique Art & Design Association
We’re Making History