For over two decades at Martyn Cook Antiques on Queen Street Woollahra at Sydney there has always been a great choice of art works to choose from, as well as an opportunity for clients to develop their connoisseurship. That is to say a combination of sensibility and knowledge, the latter of which Martyn imparts freely to all his clients.
Martyn Cook Antiques is a family business offering personalised service. During the last decade, until his retirement Uncle Bob was the Manager while Uncle Peter lent a hand where needed. Martyn’s nephews Lucas and James Campbell arrived bringing their own considerable talents to bear to support Martyn, be mentored by him, and to help grow the business.
Growth is all about change, which is inevitable, especially in a progressive country like Australia where change, as well as being constant is also about being socially progressive. Late in September, Martyn Cook Antiques will move to new premises to a cater for an ever burgeoning number of clients who are traditional, modern, old or new.
Historicism is a mark of a productive culture and integral to the philosophy of Martyn Cook Antiques has been conservation of our heritage. Its principals are breathing new life into a landmark building, the classically inspired former Redfern Municipal Electric Light Station.
Today it is surrounded by buildings in a diverse mix of architectural styles from many different eras. They add character and colour to one of Sydney’s oldest suburbs Redfern, which is itself undergoing significant urban renewal, close as it is to the centre of the city.
Sydney’s visionary forebears built it solid and the stone facade features elements from Greek and Roman antiquity, de rigeur at the time of its construction. Over the century its interior has been adjusted to suit other purposes. Presently Martyn Cook and acclaimed designer Thomas Hamel are busy transforming it. After it is rejuvenated clients will sure to be charged with excitement at the result.
The selection of stock will continue to celebrate the longevity and ongoing appreciating value of wonderful things. It will also place fine and decorative art alongside premium collectables in a display that may offer an experience similar to German writer and polymath Johann Wolfgang Goethe (1749 – 1832). He said he knew instantly if he was in the presence of great work of art because it had ‘the sense at once of the past and the present’.
Martyn Cook Antiques has always made available for clients, through special events and exhibitions, special items of international significance. While their new venture will revere the past it will be about breaking new ground, about making new discoveries and, it will continue to lead style at Sydney.
It is about men moving forward into the new, and very exciting golden age, one that according to that great sage Will Shakespeare, lies ahead of us, not behind us.
Martyn Cook Antiques,
78 Renwick Street,
Redfern, Sydney, NSW
For more information
P: +61 2 9699 3499
F:+61 2 9699 3411
Carolyn McDowall, August, November 2010.