1 What is your area of expertise?
I cover a broad spectrum in my antique business in South Africa. Primarily I focus on vintage and couture clothing dating from the early 1900s to the 21st century, with a great love of Art Deco and Art Nouveau. I have a passion for silver jewellery by the famous South African silver and goldsmith Joe Calafato who designed a magnificent range of jewellery in the late 1940s called Candida. I have over 70 pieces which will be for sale at the Mayfair fair.
There are also incredible Contemporary artists that I feel need to be seen, and I offer a lot of decorative pieces with my antiques at fairs.
2 What is important to keep in mind about the antiques business?
We are only custodians of these beautiful pieces and it is very important to make sure that each is as original as possible. If there is a provenance, make sure it is written down and handed to the new owner. However, the most important criterion to me is that the object is sold to someone who is passionate about it. Even if that means that you have to sell it for slightly less, it’s worth doing!
3 What one thing do you think the trade needs?
That if our industry is to survive and we are to encourage the younger generation to consider buying antiques, then we need to make shopping at our fairs an ‘experience’. We also need to move with the times and incorporate decorative items with our antiques when doing fairs to put on a show. In so doing, I believe lots more people would visit our fairs and, once there, would be intrigued by the wonderful cross-section the trade has to offer.
4 What is exciting about the market this year?
Due to the chaos in the world and a struggling economy, clients are getting rid of far more. Prices have become more competitive and there is a wonderful assortment of items for sale. This is good news for people who are interested in antiques because there is no specific trend. You can be brave and buy what you like, and in a year or two when the market changes again you may just find you have bought a hidden treasure.
Secondly, antiques are ‘green’, and, with global warming, this makes our industry the best to buy in.
5 What is one thing you couldn’t do without?
My vintage scarf collection. They can make the simplest outfit look elegant!
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