Antiques Today – September 2013

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It is fitting that in 2013, 50 years after SAADA was formed in 1963, a team of Harvard astronomers have published their findings in The Astrophysical Journal. What these findings point to, is that gold is most likely to be produced when two Neutron stars collide.

Elements such as carbon and iron are produced within stars, but the origins of heavier metals such as gold require more cataclysmic events. The observation of a short gamma-ray burst 3,9 million light-years from earth caused by such a collision has led to new theories in the origins of gold. Neutron stars which are the remains of imploded stars are very dense. Their weight is about 1,4 times that of the sun but are probably not more than 16 kilometers wide. When they collide, which in itself is incredibly rare, the net result is potentially the creation of amongst other heavy metals, gold.


It is no wonder we celebrate our 50th anniversaries as golden events and this year SAADA will proudly dazzle one and all at our annual antique fair held at the Wanderers Club from the 27th to 29th of September. Billed as a black tie event our opening night cocktail party on Thursday the 26th will see the display of some of the rarest and most desirable creations across all genres.

Today we offer unparalleled advice in what to look for when purchasing art and antiques. At present the new areas of 20th century design are a case in point and for our younger clients a designer piece of jewellery by Erich Frey or a simple coffee table by Alvar Aalto while fitting into the slick new decorative look will appreciate in value as well.


Vishvavajra, Gilt copper Tibetan Thunderbolt, Early 19th Century

How do you as a client know what will be Fool’s Gold or the real thing? Apart from the fact that you are buying from an acknowledged expert our system of vetting ensures this. SAADA’s vetting regulations along with the physical inspection of each item by our panel of expert’s checks for authenticity, date, condition and accurate descriptions. This ensures the high standards which have become our hallmark. In short at SAADA all that glitters is gold.

For many collectors of antiques the challenge is always going to be the ability to recognize what will ‘alchemise’ into the golden nest egg and our expertise and passion will guide you on your quest.

Georgian furniture that has been waxed and polished for more than two hundred years will have acquired a patina making each piece unique. It is this smooth and subtle golden glow, only acquired with the passing of time, which brings a feeling of tradition and quality to any home.


Traditionally gold had always been the ultimate store of wealth and first prize is normally a gold medal. This fair will highlight some of these rarities and none more so than the Warwick vase, the detail of which can be seen on our golden ticket. Alchemy in the ancient world strived to turn lead into gold and while they never succeeded they laid the groundwork for modern chemistry. Too heavy to be made in gold the silversmiths cast the vase in silver and then using the process of fire gilding, transformed it into a golden masterpiece. This and other metalworking techniques will be highlighted in a collection of gold artefacts brought together especially for this event.

For bibliophiles seeking fun between the covers, a first edition with original dust jacket of Ian Fleming’s “THE MAN with the GOLDEN GUN” will be on show. This year also marks the fiftieth anniversary of James Bond in film in the United States of America with Dr. No having been the first James Bond film shown in US theatres. With some of our clients having a ‘GoldenEye’ and with numerous jewellery dealers on our fair don’t be surprised to see a ‘Goldfinger’ or two.


A 9 carat gold “South Africa” mining brooch commemorating the discovery of gold in S.A. in 1886

Legend has it that cranberry glass with its subtle red colour was first discovered when a nobleman tossed a gold coin into a crucible of molten glass. Since the dawn of time glass blowers have experimented with colours and effects. The most famous glass designer and maker of the 20th century, Frenchman René Lalique excelled in this. His large range of opalescent glass, popular in its day, has become a gilt area of glass design in terms of desirability. The Murano glassmakers included gold foil in the walls of their vases throughout the 20th century and the golden era for Murano glass is the 50’s where art glass masters such as Venini and Seguso flourished.


The South African art market has soared in the last fifty years and our golden anniversary will have on show art with an established track record. South African old masters such as Cecil Skotnes will be on show as well as international ‘golden boys’ such as Jim Dine and David Hockney. Professional guidance in any art market is always advisable and our specialists are always willing to share their expertise. Many of them spend an entire year sourcing stock for this event and on the gala opening evening many of these golden nuggets are snapped up.

In 2012 SAADA adopted a ‘Green’ theme that we called “RECYCLE THE PAST, ENSURE OUR FUTURE”. With many of our natural resources under threat we want to highlight the benefits of renewable and sustainable production and the protection of our natural resources, especially the rhino which faces extinction within our lifetimes. As we celebrate our golden anniversary and look back over fifty years we see the effect of the developing modern world with its consumer based philosophy and a “throwaway mentality”. In the next fifty years we will continue to show clients the benefits in buying antiques as their carbon footprint has gone and Green will become the new Gold.

SAADA 2013

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