Antiques Today – January 2011

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‘Tis the season of lengthy days and summer holidays, when we finally find ourselves with some leisurely time on our hands. Depending on where you are, it is a perfect opportunity to plan a day visiting one or two antique shops in your search for that elusive collectors’ item you haven’t yet found… or didn’t yet know you needed!

SAADA-Newsletter-jan2011-0Before settling down for a fabulous San Deck cocktail overlooking Sandton’s CBD at this newly opened hot-spot, why not check out the goodies on offer at Bancroft, a mere block away, and the area’s only vintage emporium? With such an exciting collection to explore, you’d be forgiven for “accidentally” missing that spicy mango daiquiri you were planning to enjoy later.

With more time available in Johannesburg – and taking advantage of the quieter roads, Clyde Terry of Clyde on 4th suggests visiting the shops in or near Parkhurst, before grabbing a bite to eat at Moemas, his favourite café, and then heading out to his shop in Melville. With such a splendid collection to view, you’ll need an hour or two for this alone.

When asked what made purchasing antiques from a SAADA dealer of particular importance, Clyde had the following to offer: “Buying from a SAADA member offers you a personalized purchase with a huge amount of attention being given to you and what you are about to acquire.” The security that you are buying an item in the knowledge that it is from a reputable SAADA dealer is a huge consolation these days.

“In many aspects of purchasing from a dealer you learn from their vast knowledge gained over all the years of their experience in the trade. This experience is what guarantees the item you are purchasing and will make it a sound investment and one that you will love for generations to come.

“Dealers pride themselves in presenting an item to you in the best possible condition and will make you aware of any flaws in the item. This in itself is a huge benefit for you the purchaser”.

Visit the SAADA website to get a list of shops to visit in Johannesburg. “Whether you centre your day around Rosebank and Parktown, or in Pretoria, it is always easy once you have found your first shop to ask the shop owner to direct you onwards to the next closest shop” Clyde explains. “Doing this collectors’ trail may also be a rewarding Christmas gift hunt if you’re still needing to find a unique gift for the one you love”.

If you are planning a road trip, why not take in Vryburg in the North-West, home of Villa Brocant Antiques? Not only is it worth a shop stop, but Villa Brocant is also in fact a charming guest house – one of the area’s best kept secrets – so you will be able to rest and enjoy the hospitality offered by Pieter and Elsa Jonker after making a good investment.SAADA-Newsletter-jan2011-4

Whether you’re an avid jewellery collector, or are on the look-out for some fine furniture, Durban hosts “Antiques & Bygones” who are in Windemere road, close to some of the city’s more picturesque neighbourhoods.

And if you happen to be in the Cape, many of our members are situated within easy reach of the city centre, and Church Street is a good place to start. But if your time allows, both Stellenbosch and Franschhoek are wonderful destinations for lunch on the numerous award winning wine farms. “This coupled with a visit to the recently renovated 1920’s brandy maturation cellar that houses Piér Rabe Antiques in Stellenbosch or The Old Corkscrew in Franschhoek makes summer in Africa worth celebrating” says Jeremy Astfalck. “If you don’t have easy access to the internet, all our members have up-to-date SAADA booklets in their shops, which will help guide you along” he suggests.

Staying in the Cape and looking into the new year, we are all very excited about the upcoming SAADA fair to be held at the idyllic Kirstenbosch Gardens on the 12th and 13th of February 2011. “The energy at this year’s Johannesburg fair in October was so fresh and fantastic to see” said Jeremy of Jeremy Stephen Antiques. “The opening night was the most enjoyable I’ve seen in years, and many of the best bits on offer were snapped up in minutes! I can’t wait to see what happens now in February”.

Indeed – quite apart from mixing with the real Who’s of the Who’s Who and catching up on the latest gossip – the lesson to be learnt is make sure you get there, even if you cannot make the opening evening. “Each dealer is currently collecting some exceptional items, many of which will first be available on display and for sale at this fair… Multiply this by the twenty or so dealers – all in one room at one time – and you have an event that cannot be missed”.

The fair in Johannesburg was certainly notable for the fresh aesthetic approach most dealers took in presenting their stands, highlighting the fact that, while antiques are old, they are certainly not dated. Jeremy’s stand is always a delight, and there will no doubt be a lot of interest in his next exhibition, but perhaps the most notable stand in Johannesburg was that of Deon Viljoen. Each piece was superbly displayed, wowing dealers and public alike, and completely dispelling the erroneous idea that antiques are yesterday’s news. Innovative and forward-thinking, it is with much anticipation that we look forward to seeing his and all the other dealers’ stands at Kirstenbosch in February.

You will also get to meet Chris Moller – a dealer in fine art – and Justin Kerrod, whose specialty is very cool Mid 20th Century Retro, with a particular emphasis on South African ceramics – indeed he wrote the book on it! These are two of SAADA’s newest and youngest members, both of whom have a very dynamic and hip approach to the art of collecting. They are both fascinating and engaging experts in their fields, and it would not be surprising to see a queue to meet each of them.

Without wanting to give too much away, I asked Jeremy Astfalck if he knew of any exciting pieces that would be on display at the up-coming fair: “The appearance of a major piece of Cape copper on the market such as the brandy still being shown by Randall Hare Antiques is always exciting.

SAADA-Newsletter-jan2011-3“To Cape collectors what makes this piece so special is its size, sheer quality and extreme rarity. It is only one of two known by Carl Koch and is stamped and dated 1887. Signed copper made in the Cape between 1750 and 1920 is always rare and the majority of these pieces are already in the major museum collections.

“This brandy still has to be seen to be really appreciated as no photos can do it justice. When one sees it you can only but imagine the wonderful brandy it produced at the turn of the last century”.Quite apart from it’s function, it’s fabulous sculptural quality would make it a visual asset in any space – residential or corporate – in which it is displayed.

Jeremy Astfalck of The Old Corkscrew in Franschhoek will also be featuring brandy and wine related antiques. The highlights include a magnificent collection of silver claret jugs. These were mainly English made and could have been either in glass with silver mounts or produced in solid silver. The “Cellini” pattern jug and the Irish “Armada” pattern jug are wonderful examples of the silversmith’s skill in producing an item that not only displays well but dispenses its contents in style.

Clearly Jeremy has brandy on his brain… But then who can blame him? It is indeed that time of year – and some year this one has been – when I believe we can all agree that a celebratory drink is just what the doctor ordered. Seasons greatings everyone!!!

Paul Mrkusic

Visit the SAADA website at for news and information on SAADA and its members.



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