The annual National Antiques and Decorative Arts Faire (NAADA) has become something of an institution since its advent in 2000. In keeping with its reputation, this year’s faire once again showcased the very best that the antiques industry has to offer, and brought the past to life in style, at the Sandton Convention Centre from the 24th to the 26th of July.
On entering the faire, visitors were greeted by a decidedly modern décor display created by Stephen Falcke. Known as the ‘decorator to the stars and to royalty’ Falcke has earned a reputation for successfully mixing classic styles with contemporary pieces.
Further along into the exhibition hall, American ceramics dealer Ed Pascoe of Pascoe Ceramics displayed a beautiful array of rare and valuable pieces in celebration of Royal Doulton’s 200th anniversary. Louise Irvine, a world-renowned expert on all things Royal Doulton was on hand to share her vast and fascinating knowledge on the subject.
Stand out pieces at Ed Pascoe’s stand included a magnificent and unusual oriental type vase designed by Charles Noke, one of Royal Doulton’s most prominent artists. In addition to this piece, Pascoe displayed a number of beautiful Royal Doulton figurines (which are enjoying a resurgence in the wake of various significant royal events) as well as a real showstopper in the form of a Corolian Ware exhibition vase dating from 1893. Pascoe also displayed a number of other attractive pieces from prestigious ceramic houses including Moorcroft.
‘Antiques, Arts and Memorobilias’ exhibited an eclectic collection of items ranging from intricately carved 18th century chairs from Germany (R120 000 for the pair), a yellowwood table (R35 000) a 1750’s Batavian Kist (R75 000), paintings, ceramics and old cigarette and garage signs which wouldn’t be out of place in an episode of American Pickers.
In a somewhat bizarre turn of events, I also came across a large, early 20th century brass milk urn that my family used to own and which my brother and I used to play hide and seek in at the Antiques, Arts and Memorobilias stand. My family auctioned it some time ago so it was amazing to see it come full circle and placed on sale again at such a prestigious event.
Owner Kobus van der Merwe explained that the items he sells come from around the world and that his buyers range from investors and people looking for gifts to interior designers and first time collectors looking for a unique piece to kick-start their collections.
Mark Inman, owner of the Old Limpopo Curiosity Shop in Parkview which deals in rare books and documents and provides regular talks was also at the faire. Inman was more than happy to present some of his more unusual pieces including a beautifully preserved indenture document and a logbook which once belonged to Phillip Hesselson, a lawyer who undertook a daring flight from Johannesburg to London in a two-seater, open cockpit, single engine Junkers Junior aeroplane in 1937. The logbook was priced at R7000.
A number of pictures by well-known artists also had a showing at the faire. For example, at Henry Taylor’s stand a piece created by J.H Pierneef was on sale for R600 000 alongside a striking Adrian Boshoff piece valued at between R800 000 and R950 000. Other notable artists included Irma Stern, Robert Hodgins, Gregoire Boonzaier and Cecil Skotnes. The Charles Greig Gallery also showcased a number of bold, colourful Ardmore ceramics.
Taylor remarked that people are investing more and more in art because it is seen as an effective ‘hedge’ against currency fluctuations and unstable markets. He added that although demand for certain pieces is cyclical, good pieces can appreciate by as much as 40% within five years.
Valuable coins, war medals and other related items enjoyed a presence at the faire. Glenn Schoeman, CEO of the Gold Reef City Mint explained the fascinating history behind the rare and expensive ‘Veld Pond’ (these coins were minted in the veld near Pilgrim’s Rest during the Anglo-Boer war, hence their name) and Michael Kaplan of Alec Kaplan & Son proudly displayed a Burger’s Staatsponde which was on sale for R400 000.
This year, UK based ‘Books Illustrated’ also presented a number of exquisite, limited edition books and prints. Books Illustrated also used the faire as a launch platform for their special edition of the Jungle Book in celebration of the 150th anniversary of Rudyard Kipling. This book was on sale for £425 and featured illustrations by South African artist Lute Vink.
Of course there were myriad other items ranging from French linen and Lalique, to exquisite antique English, German and Dutch silver pieces, Bohemian crystal chandeliers, jewellery and vintage cars. Dutch dealer Ricus Dullaert displayed magnificent European and Chinese antiques including an extremely rare (and expensive) 18th century longcase clock, and ‘Billy Moon’ displayed a wonderful collection of vintage jewellery and collectables.
Commenting on the faire, faire organiser and antiques industry doyenne Clyde Terry said:
“Every year we strive to present a large variety of antiques which will appeal to a broad spectrum of buyers. Judging by the people who have attended this year, we have achieved this. Overall it’s safe to say that interest in antiques is growing which can be attributed to the fact that people are looking for alternative investments and items which will simply add a touch of beauty to their homes.”