Antiques - The Way to Go

Private Property South Africa

It’s no secret that we live in a throwaway society. This culture of wastefulness and obsession with the latest and greatest was brought home to me when I went into an Apple store to enquire about repairing an “old” (circa 2005) iPod of mine. The shop assistant was blown away by the fact that I owned such an “antiquated” piece of Apple technology. Indeed, so amazed was he that he called over his fellow staff members to gawk at it as if it was the missing link. Needless to say it couldn’t be repaired, I lost all the music linked to it and was summarily told I should buy the latest model.

I accept that fads come and go. I understand that last season’s perfectly wearable shoes or clothes are often tossed out by the fashion obsessed; that many homeowners choose to replace their solid, respectable pieces of furniture with flimsy, mass produced plastic imitations and that the demand for the latest car, gizmo, cell phone or computer game will continue unabated until (in all probability) the end of all things. That said, I can’t but help attaching value to what I buy and take pleasure in owning unique, well-made items which I try to look after, hence the prehistoric iPod.

It comes as no surprise then that I’ve always appreciated antiques. Happily, antiques are now very much in vogue. Of course antiques have always been popular in certain circles but increasingly, they are gaining a following amongst the younger set, those seeking to enhance their homes with more meaningful, unique pieces which can be passed down through the generations and investors seeking relatively safe investment vehicles amidst a sea of economic volatility. It is worth noting at this juncture that experts put the minimum appreciation price of good quality antiques at around 10% per year.

Clyde Terry, owner of renowned antiques and collectables store ‘Clyde on 4th’ in Melville and the man responsible for organising the Sandton Antiques Fair and the annual National Antiques and Decorative Arts Fair (NAADA) identified the renewed interest in antiques years ago. He maintains that whatever the economic state of affairs, good antiques always make for a profitable investment and that a person can never be too young to start collecting.

In light of these considerations, the upcoming NAADA fair which takes place from the 19th to the 21st of July at the Sandton Convention Centre will no doubt appeal greatly to both new and veteran antique collectors, investors and those seeking statement pieces to display around the house.

A wide variety of art, collectables, antiques and decorative arts stemming from some of the country’s top antique dealers will be displayed at the fair. The fair will also act as a platform for two trends taking the world by storm, specifically, ‘crossover collecting’ and the Roaring Twenties.

Crossover collecting came about when collectors started mixing and matching collecting genres. The result is an eclectic yet pleasing ensemble which can lend a home a truly unique look. Leading this field is renowned dealer Jeremy du Mughn of Jeremy Stephen Antiques fame. Both Du Mughn and interior designer Stephen Falcke who has specialised to a large extent in this genre will be at the fair.

In terms of the trend towards Roaring Twenties pieces, this genre is reportedly fast becoming main-stream as the 100th anniversary of this era approaches. The fair’s specialist dealers in Art Nouveau and Art Deco will cater to those seeking to tap into this trend.

If crossover collecting and the Roaring Twenties don’t appeal to you, the fair’s wide range of exquisite silver, glassware, dolls, copper pieces, rare books, maps, kitchenalia, costume jewellery, antique tools (a first for the fair), period lighting and special South African pieces should prove diverting.

And for those keen on ceramics, be sure to pay a visit to Ed Pascoe’s stand where over 3000 rare and retired Royal Doulton pieces will be displayed alongside Moorcroft collectables, Royal Crowne Derby and American Boehm.

A dedicated art pavilion will also be set up at the fair. Think Maggie Laubscher, George Pemba, Robert Hodgins, Norman Catherine and Lucas Sithole to name but a few. A variety of Mandela themed pieces will also be on sale.

Of course no antique fair would be complete without showcasing a number of notable and rare items. This year’s 18th century Amsterdam long case clock featuring a bird’s eye view of Cape Town and a folio of letters signed by Jan Smuts are set to be showstoppers.

Ever year the fair gains in popularity and this year’s show is shaping up to be another stellar event as more people appreciate the benefits, both personally and financially of becoming collectors. The fair will kick off with a glamorous opening night on Thursday the 18th of July, tickets for which are available at R230 each. During the course of the fair, talks will be given by some of South Africa’s top antiques experts. General admission tickets cost R80.

For further details, go to

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