Antiques Today – September 2014

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It’s not everyday that a 50-year-old association, which promotes the selling of 100-year-old antique, art and design pieces, tackles the 20 and 30 something consumer markets. But SAADA is doing exactly this by making the brave and necessary decision to relook our brand image and adapt to the times.

SAADA is starting the journey into the modern world of social media, urban slang and skinny jeans.


SAADA, (South African Antique Dealers Association) is starting the journey into the modern world of social media, urban slang and skinny jeans by keeping our initials but officially changing our name to the “South African Antique, Art and Design Association”.

This forward-thinking decision was made to better fit a younger market and to emphasise the relevance of antiques, art and design, as well as the interrelation of these three fields. Indeed, with many of our members today dealing specifically in 20th Century design, and others dealing only in contemporary South African art, alongside those trading in traditional fine antiques, it just seems to make sense and collectively better represents the business that our members are in.

SAADA was established in 1963 and provides authentication for antiques, while promoting ethical practices within the industry. This year the association enlisted the help of Dr Johan Bolt, South Africa’s top brand strategist, and Utopia, an up-and-coming creative innovation centre based in Cape Town. Working together, we have developed a flaming-hot game plan to overcome the challenges of remaining relevant in a fast-paced digital world.

We want to communicate to younger, urban markets that SAADA offers an exciting experience when it comes to purchasing antiques, art and design.

Many of the younger generation perceive antiques and art to be frumpy, old and dusty when in fact they can be fun and quirky pieces that together tell a story, reflecting one’s personality and interests… Whether it’s dangerously erotic antique Japanese Netsuke, 20th century South African artworks, or International Modernist design that takes your fancy, collecting becomes addictive. We want to communicate to younger, urban markets that SAADA offers an exciting experience when it comes to purchasing antiques, art and design. These pieces can be appreciated by any age and provide an interesting platform for self-expression.

While items that are valuable by virtue of their age, progressive design, or artistic merit – and usually it’s a combination of these and other additional factors – the enormous long-term financial investment opportunity that they offer is usually topped by the incredible passion that drives our members and those that buy from them. It is for this reason that clients cling to our dealers, forming loyal life-long relationships, desperate for that next “fix” that a satisfying purchase offers… And unlike stocks on the volatile market, you get to shut the door on the mad, anonymous outside world, sit back in your home – golden cognac in hand, fine hand-rolled Cuban smoking on the tray, the envy of your peers – and bask in the glow of your latest acquisition, engaging with it as it quietly yet confidently appreciates in value.

It’s like parking a Ferrari in your lounge and living in the bank vault of your own creation, that’s the potential offered by SAADA!

The new corporate timeline logo designed by Utopia, was officially adopted from the 1st of August 2014 and will be introduced through a sassy launch campaign. Part of this campaign consists of a series of deliberately radical posters contrasting contemporary colloquial slang with classic antique, art, and design pieces. The new corporate identity and launch campaign will serve as a run-up to SAADA’s annual fair, which will be held from Friday the 12th to Sunday the 14th of September at the Wanderer’s Club in Illovo Johannesburg, with the highly anticipated by-invitation-only Gala opening on Thursday the 11th. As always, the fair will be a fully vetted showcase of the best in South African antique, art and design, except this year, the event will be a little bigger, and a lot sexier.

I won’t let the whole cat out of the bag – a secret’s not a secret unless one keeps it a secret – but we have some exciting new exhibitors lined up, including Conde Nast’s House and Garden: without doubt South Africa’s premier interiors publication!

Sorry I told you, but I just could not keep that to myself any longer! Each month’s visit to the news agents is an anticipated treat for me as I race to discover the latest progressive trends and ideas – how to combine and reinvent antiques in contemporary settings – jumbling out of the just-released House and Garden issue, so I am delighted that they will be joining us at our fab event this year.
There will also be a Special Exhibit this year… I can’t tell you more than that!

I can’t tell you who it will be… But I can tell you about Artist Proof Studio! Established 23 years ago, the studio is an innovative and engaged community printmaking centre of excellence in Newtown Johannesburg that was set up to give struggling young South African artists a supportive and educational outlet where they can explore and cultivate their talents. The organisation focuses on all aspects of professional printmaking – creation, sales, training, and community engagement – and facilitates the transformation of passion into possibility, as well as the active commitment of talented individuals to shape a better future for themselves. Engaging in social upliftment and facilitating the production of tomorrow’s antiques, SAADA is proud to be associated with Artist Proof Studio.

We also have some exciting prizes to give away to select visitors at this year’s show.

Perhaps there will be a framed artwork courtesy of a certain Studio – my lips are sealed – but as devotees of the finer things in life, we understand that lifestyle experience is as important to you as simply ownership of fine objects.
That’s why we are thrilled to offer a two-night stay 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. The lodge’s very private individual suites – each decorated with traditional African artifacts and antiquities – are carefully placed within this landscape to allow guests to be utterly pampered without disturbing the surrounding landscape.

In addition to this we have a clock to give away: who understands the value of the passing of time better than an antique clock dealer? And you will find no better than Henry Franz, owner of Time-Out, Parkhurst’s latest addition to the suburb’s high street antique strip. Henry knows the importance of anticipation better than me, so all I can tell you is that it’s a clock. And it’s wonderful! And you want it!!
(Although you may be wise to pay his shop’s sun-dappled garden courtyard a visit: no one enjoys a chat more than Henry, and – as if under a hypnotist’s spell – discretion falls faster than the surrounding symphony of ticks and tocks)

That’s all I will tell you… For the rest, simply visit us at the show!

Friday 12 – Sunday 14 September at the Wanderer’s Club Illovo, Johannesburg.

Paul Mrkusic – CEO of SAADA”


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