Sydney based antiques and art dealer Martyn Cook has an innate sense of style, an understanding and recognition of good qualities in design and art, which has been refined during a lifetime of learning and working in the field.
He is well known among his peers all around the world for his encyclopaedic knowledge. Over the years he has lectured extensively for institutions, private and public museums and collections, and his long-established clients all value and admire his advice.
Earlier this year Adelaide based art and antiques collector, great dog lover and breeder David J.K. Roche AM (1930 – 2013) passed and left his amazing antiques and art collection as a legacy in trust for the Australian people.
The consultant Roche supported, trusted and acknowledged as his dear friend for the majority of his years of collecting, was Martyn Cook.
The David Roche Foundation Board of Trustees recently appointed Martyn Cook inaugural curator for the collection, which is very fine.
Establishing his own business in 1982, Martyn spent decades working with Mr Roche to first assemble and then upgrade his collection as more desirable select pieces became available.
Martyn Cook has found some simply amazing treasures for others over the years and his clients certainly value his discerning eye and ready willingness to share his knowledge.
After being in business for more than three decades he is entering the realm of being a ‘father of antiques’, which for many makes him all the more appealing, although he may not necessarily think so.
This Friday he closes at Redfern and is moving to a new location at Rushcutters Bay where the showroom will open for business on Wednesday October 2 at 9 am. It is sited in the heart of the area in Sydney that sports many design and fabric houses.
Martyn Cook Antiques will be sharing the showroom with Lew Wallack, a renowned American interior designer, who offers an exclusive range of imported fabrics, wall coverings, lighting and carpets through his company Studio LW.
They both admire quality materials and fine craftsmanship and their ranges complement each other ensuring that for many design and style setters, it will become a ‘one stop shop’.
In such a good location Martyn Cook and Lew Wallack, together with Jeremy Bowker and Rebecca Graham and other staff members, will continue to offer a unique service to clients both old and new.
Past exhibitions at Martyn Cook Antiques have included Mallett Antiques London, Garrard & Asprey London, Marks Antiques London, Simon Dickinson London, Sladmore Galleries London, Spink London, James Steinmeyer New York, Jeremy Boot wildlife artist Australia and Paul Bruce Shellman, Sydney
More recently, works by Australian painter Evelyna Helmer, have been on exhibition to raise funds for the NSW Biathlon Team towards the 2014 Olympic Winter Games.
These works will be transferred to the new showroom for that contribution to continue as long as possible.
Martyn Cook has travelled abroad annually for many years, foraging for quality works of furniture, ceramics, glass, metalwork, clocks and paintings, especially those made by well-known leading cabinetmakers and ébénistes.
His many trips overseas over the decades helped Martyn to hone his eye so he is able to recognise all the qualities required in a quality period piece of antique furniture, including the genuine patina of age rather than something purporting to be so.
He has always spent the majority of his spare time working hard to expand his own knowledge and still does so, realising that learning is a lifelong process.
An appreciation, the sensitive recognition of good qualities in design and art is only gained through learning the theory and then practicing, which dealers find so often challenges all accepted theories.
Martyn Cook and I first met when he was a young man working at Paul Kenny’s antiques emporium in Paddington.
By 1982 he had established his own business and over the years advised on my antiques purchases, which proved to be a sound investment.
What impressed me at the time was how across his subject he was and, at such a youthful age.
His passion for his subject and gathering knowledge about art and antiques has never known any boundaries, and his many wonderful anecdotes and stories captivate everyone.
Like all mature dealers in antiques today in Australia, he has learned the value of patience and how to be careful in sorting through the many items at auction houses, locally and internationally, to ensure they are genuine.
In terms of sustainability purchasing antiques today makes good common sense.
So if you are looking for a place to make a start, wish to expand your collection or to go on an adventure in style be sure to visit Martyn Cook Antiques in the Rushcutters Bay showroom soon.
Carolyn McDowall, The Culture Concept Circle, 2013
Martyn Cook Antiques
98 Barcom Avenue
Rushcutters Bay 2011
Ph: + 61 2 9328 1801
Fax: + 61 2 9328 1045
Open for Business Wednesday October 2, 2013
On street parking available
Bill’s original Cafe is nearby if you want to make a day of it.