Beauty, love, hope and compassion are all concepts reflected in a great painting, a piece of sculpture, a fine piece of furniture, a jewel or beautiful object, fashionable or otherwise.
Surrounding ourselves with items of aesthetic or natural beauty fulfills a deep emotional need within us all. We all need opportunities to pause in our daily lives to celebrate and embrace concepts of culture and the creative skills required for humans to produce wonderful works of art.
Australia is a country built on concepts of honour, bravery, service and self-sacrifice. An ultimate objective for all those who died to defend it, and those still fighting to preserve it today included ideas about always having hope, and the joy associated with love and beauty.
The ‘Butterfly’ is a powerful symbol of the eternity of life; associated with the soul its transformative power reflects resurrection. In some cultures it is a symbol of bliss and joy because they feed on flowers and help pollination.
They have become renowned for spreading beauty.
Collecting fine art and antiques is an important activity for many people from different backgrounds and all walks of life.
The faithful are sure to be out in force soon at the 2015 AA&ADA Melbourne Antiques Fair 7th to 10th May, 2015.
Held over the Mother’s Day weekend, the event provides a wonderful outing to take any woman who collects antiques, one who may give in to an impulse to start, or one who would just enjoy to indulge in a great gaze.
The range of stunning decorative arts, including jewellery, which when given in love reflects a multitude of personal messages and meanings whether worn to mark an occasion or to showcase style.
Specialist dealers will be sure to tempt those seeking to express their ‘identity individuality and creativity’, with a display that will melt even the most hardened heart.
The fair will be held inside the gloriously restored and painted UNESCO World Heritage Royal Exhibition Building, which was created in 1880 for the first of two international fairs in Melbourne.
Set in the stunning Carlton Gardens, the pavilion is a perfect setting for showcasing an enticing array of fine art and antiques for both locals and visitors alike.
Quality is what the Australian Antiques & Art Dealers Association (AA&ADA) Fair is all about.
Made from quality materials and finely and lovingly finished, if a painting or an antique object pleases the eye, engages the spirit, connects with the soul and challenges the mind, like a great work of sculptural art does for me, then surely it is the icing on the cake.
Member dealers, Australia’s foremost specialists for many different styles and periods, will help guide your eye and to expand your knowledge.
On display will be a splendid array of furniture made from every timber on earth that we admire, accompanied by a superb range of ceramics, glass, clocks, mirrors, sculpture, textiles and much more.
An extraordinary success story, Warwick Oakman is a third generation dealer who offers a fascinating array. A visit to his delightful premises at historic Battery Point at Hobart, Tasmania is always pure delight.
When I stopped at Warwick Oakman Antiques last year I didn’t want to leave. Everywhere I turned was a vista of loveliness, humour and quirkiness or yet another beautifully arranged prospect of something that was rare and sublime.
Oakman’s gallery is a haven, a special place to pause and reflect on the exquisite decoration painted on a French Empire Coffee Cup, the captivating qualities of an 18th century music stand or the shapeliness of a pair of Scottish Regency Chairs, as well as explore fascinating scenes painted on a pair of William IV Rosewood pole screens.
Today a renowned international specialist, John Hawkins generally offers a range of the finest English and Australian furniture and silver, as well as clocks, Australiana, Treen, glass, pottery, porcelain and other curiosities.
His stand will be sure to intrigue as he is renowned for displaying the rare and unusual.
This year he will offer an extremely fine and rare 18 carat gold demi parure or half of a matching set of jewellery (bracelet, earrings and brooch) made of Operculum Shells, which once belonged to a sea snail.
It was made by T.T. Jones of Sydney, a fact recorded on the bracelet’s clasp. Established in 1853 and operating until 1926, T.T. Jones was a renowned jewellery house in George Street Sydney, known throughout the colonies for its ‘… reputation for the highest class of workmanship and the most upright treatment of patrons’.*
Valentine’s Antique Gallery at Bendigo in Victoria is another rare event, one of Australian longest running antique businesses, established in 1947.
Each year Peter Valentine makes the journey to Melbourne to offer the firm’s ‘old fashioned customer service’, as did his father and grandfather before him.
He says the AAADA Melbourne Antiques Fair is a must, the place to find that ‘… statement piece that will be the talking point of your home…the perfect piece you just hadn’t thought of’ yet.
In Malvern, Victoria, Allpress Antiques offers French, English and Australian country pieces from the late 17th to the mid 20th century.
Jamie Allpress recently acquired a late 19th century French flame mahogany card table, which has become a ‘conversation piece’ and was indeed a family treasure.
We know this because it came with a special story attached, a photograph (reproduced by Russell Winnell Photography) which reveals the table was originally a prized possession, one that the French family who had owned it, gathered around to be recorded for posterity.
Who are they?
Where was the photo taken?
Perhaps you will be able to help Jamie Allpress unravel the mystery?
He also has among a range of wonderful French and English Country style items that required ‘domestic goddesses’ to care for them daily.
The 18th century in Provence, like the rest of Europe and Britain, were the glory years.
The land was rich, fertile and profitable, providing prosperity through active trade. More sophisticated pieces were influenced by Paris fashion with Provencal furniture makers responding well to the sinuous curves and lyrical elegance of city styles.
Toward the end of the 19th century, design became exaggerated and at this point it lost some of its elegance, harmony and balance and the turn of the 20th century century saw mass production of furniture in the north, marking the decline of regional styles, and the demise of French provincial design in general.
Today hand-crafted traditions are being re-established as many have begun to value the satisfaction of producing a piece of furniture meant to last, not only for the use of the immediate family, but also for generations to come.
A 19th century French fruitwood Panetiere or breadbox has unusual decorative brasswork and a central figure of a ‘Greek Goddess’. She is surmounted by an eagle watching over her and the object is very appealing.
The Panetiere was a breadbox usually hung out of the reach of vermin above a Petrin or dough bin, this one of French elm c1820 constructed with hand made nails.
Together with the Tamisadou, a 2-door cabinet created to refine and sift flour, this trio of objects were an integral part of any French country household for centuries, becoming family heirlooms.
French pine chesse boards from the first half of the 19th century reveal the ‘cross-grain’ shrinkage that only comes with age. Perfect today to use for serving bread and cheese, a staple of the European diet for centuries.
Alan Landis Antiques will be at Melbourne too providing an extraordinary array of ceramics; fine porcelain and pottery.
This includes a parrot modelled by Joachim Kändler (1706 – 1775) who was trained as a sculptor in Dresden and destined to become the greatest German porcelain modeller. Kändler was responsible for much of the success of the acclaimed Meissen porcelain factory during the 18th century
For nearly half a century many believed an antique had to be 100 years old to be valuable which came about because in the 1950’s the newly formed international Customs Co-operation Council at Brussels defined an antique as 100 years of age.
Gradually as it became standard practice to exempt from tax furniture and objects over 100 years old a perception emerged that for anything to be considered of merit or value it had to be 100 years of age.
However up until the beginning of last decade of the 20th century the term antique meant goods made prior to 1830 and English exhibitions and fairs upheld this date rigidly for over 100 years.
1830 was the date that producing wonderful works by hand was considered to have ended at London. Then the industrial age took over producing so much by machine so a greater number of people could enjoy the same design. These days the AA&ADA recognises quality objects from ‘all times and all cultures’.
The AA&ADA has a code of ethics for its members, an established standard for dealing and conduct they adhere to.
If you establish a good working relationship with a qualified antique dealer, who is a member of a professional association you will find they have a sound knowledge and understanding of each period in decorative arts histor
Good design in any period deserves attention. There is to my mind really only unwritten one golden rule when you collect antiques; that you passionately seek out pieces that appeal to you personally and are the best examples you can afford from the period of your choice. Then they will be an investment not only in your and your families personal well being, but also provide a monetary reward – although only if you sell it!
Collecting antiques and art from the past when we are striving to be a sustainable society makes good sense. It’s also not only about a case of either antiques or contemporary, but also a case of both and. Interiors whether they are for professional or personal purposes are made much more interesting by offering a perspective on our history through its aesthetic beauty.
A gold ‘archaeological style’ bangle, signed John Brogden offered by Anne Schofield Antiques bears the Latin message Vita Culcis, which reflects a sweet, pleasant and agreeable way of life something that we are all striving to enjoy.
Treat your Mum to high tea under the dome surrounded by the beautiful antiques and art available at the Australian Antiques & Art Dealers Association (AA&ADA) Fair on Mother’s Day, 2015.
Carolyn McDowall, The Culture Concept Circle, 2015
Be tempted by
The Royal Exhibition Building
Carlton Gardens, Carlton, Melbourne
7th – 11th May 2015
Thursday 7th May (Gala Preview)
6pm – 9pm
Friday 8th May
11am – 7pm
Saturday 9th May
11am – 6pm
Sunday 10th May (Mother’s Day)
11am – 5pm
New South Wales
Alan Landis Antiques
Anne Schofield Antiques
Day Fine Art
Fellia Melas Gallery
Nomadic Rug Traders
Antique & Unique Jewels
Anton Venoir Interiors
Artedeco and OnlineAntiques
Etruria Antiques Gallery
Moorabool Antique Galleries
Snook and Company Antique Dealers
Valentine’s Antique Gallery