Melbourne Antiques Fair 2014 – Showcases International Style

A Rare Heriz Pure Silk Rug. Azarbaijan Region. North West Persia. 3rd Quarter. 19th Century. Length 164 cm - courtesy Behruz Studio

‘A home should represent who lives there’ said the late Melbourne interior décor specialist Stuart Rattle, which is also an important philosophy of his colleagues in the world of art and antiques in Australia who are members of the Australian Antiques & Art Dealers Association (AA&ADA),

The AA&ADA Melbourne Antiques Fair 2014 will be held in the stunning Royal Exhibition Building Carlton Gardens from the 8th – 11th May. In a wonderful gesture, the show will be dedicated to the memory of Stuart Rattle who died in shocking and tragic circumstances in December last year.

The creative community in Australia and his clients both sorely miss Stuart’s presence and instinctive style. He contributed to the fair last year with a special display and also worked with many AA&ADA members for years, providing the very best in antiques, art and décor services for their clients.

I am not here to impart my own style – my focus is always to ‘bring out’ my clients – to showcase their lifestyle”, said Stuart Rattle; his was a wonderful philosophy for any interior designer to embrace.

Minton (one of a pair) "Thorvaldsen Cache Pots", rare ermine mark circa 1865 Height 23cm - courtesy Alan Landis Antiques

On Mother’s Day, the very last day of the fair event, fundraising will be for the Wombat Hill Botanic Gardens, Daylesford, which Stuart was exceedingly passionate about.

There will also be a special floral tribute sponsored by Flowers Vasette of Carlton to be styled by owner John Graham, a well-known name within the world of flowers at Melbourne.

He will no doubt be inspired by many of the antiques on show, including the rare Minton Cache pot from Alan Landis Antiques in Sydney and the Heriz pure silk rug from Behruz Studio.

AA&ADA members will in this fair, as indeed they do all year round, offer a wonderful range of antiques and art from around the world that will work well in any interior, be it personal or professional, traditional or contemporary.

Purchasers can feel confidant they have been vetted for authenticity and are backed by the reputation of Australia’s finest antique and art dealers.

Jamie Allpress of Allpress Antiques, who is the Victorian representative and a Vice President of the Association said recently

This fair has the largest participating list of antique dealers we have ever gathered together. All with special pieces held aside for the opening night, Thursday 8th May” Jamie said.

French Art Deco ceramic lion on stand c1930 with the Beautiful Drawing of Virtu of it by Mali Moir, courtesy Artist and Allpress Antiques

The Opening Night GALA will specifically aid UNICEF, with funds raised going to assist their humanitarian work in Australia and around the world. Tickets for this event can be purchased online.

In his busy Malvern showroom at Allpress Antiques Jamie offers unique English and French town and country furniture from the 16th to 19th century. He also has a fine display of engravings, botanicals, watercolours, oils, drawings, silhouettes, maps, globes, photography, contemporary art, early cartoons and exceptional ceramics.

This year Jamie Allpress will also be offering an exciting new concept. Working with freelance botanical, scientific and natural history artist Mali Moir, they will present three beautiful drawings of ‘objects of Virtu’, which is all about enjoying a ‘love or taste for fine objects of art’.

These are inspired by the Allpress Antiques collection and include a rare French Art Deco green ceramic lion on stand c 1930.

A fine quality and completely original English Regency period music stand of neo classical form. The base made of painted cast iron with gilded penwork for stability. The whole adjustable with original mechanism courtesy Warwick Oakman Antiques

Warwick Oakman is coming from Tasmania where in the trendy part of town at Salamanca, he deals in fine quality 18th and 19th century English and Australian furniture and decorative arts.

Warwick has wonderful things and is a third generation dealer in antiques. He also advises the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery on Colonial Furniture and Art, the Allport Library and Museum of Fine Arts, as well as the Tasmanian National Trust.

Visiting him recently in his deliciously eclectic abode I was fascinated by the interesting array of items he had on display. From the delights of an original English Regency period music stand to an elegant refined Regency tea table and the rare and quirky Victorian paper mache Cow automata, whose head nodded and mouth ‘chewed’ its cud, they all had interesting stories to tell.

The cow also had a history attached to Hobart in that it been on display originally from the window of Bidencopes Department Store, Liverpool St Hobart. It had been found in the roof storage space c.1980 and only recently sold to Warwick by the last owner of the business

Australian gold brooch set with central gold bearing quartz within a framework of leaves and branches, circa 1860 courtesy Anne Schofield Antiques

Anne Schofield from Sydney will be offering among her superb quality selection of antique jewellery a most stunning gold ‘Australian Jewellery’ brooch. It is set with central gold bearing quartz within a framework of leaves and branches c1860.

A fine 19th century bronze Lion and Recumbent Putto figure group on a Verde Antico marble and gilt metal base , probably Italian, circa 1830 courtesy Abbott's Antiques

Lions seem to be the go this year with Abbott’s Antiques in Sydney offering a fine 19th century bronze lion with a recumbent putto (cupid) figure on its back. It’s standing on a Verde Antico (green) marble and gilt metal base c1830.

There is no doubt that ‘Just as a palate can be educated to appreciate fine wine so too can both the eye and the ear be educated to distinguish the rare from the ordinary, the exquisite from the mundane’*.

The ‘investigation of things’ was certainly of crucial importance in the days of Confucius (551-479 BC) the ruling elite becoming sophisticated connoisseurs, assembling important collections of paintings, calligraphy, jade and porcelain.

When China and the West began to trade the idea grew slowly in both cultures as the contact between the two over the centuries expanded.

The first question many people ask coming new to the world of art and antiques is What Is An Antique?

If you would like to become a collector, potential purchaser or, a dealer in antiques and art it is important to spend time gaining and expanding your knowledge. If you are new to this intriguing world we have prepared an Antiques an Introduction for you to download. It contains considerations it helps to know.

The fair is a great place to start your own ‘investigation of things’, because it will be filled with quality objects for you to study and learn about first hand.

You never know some may tempt you to start your collection on the spot!

And this is where the passion comes first; it’s always best to collect from the heart, provided your head comes into it as well as you work within your knowledge and monetary means.

Starting small and growing both your knowledge and your collection is always the best way to go…it can give you years of satisfaction. Trading up by selling and repurchasing is also on the cards.

Trusting the dealer you are working with is an important aspect of starting a collection of wonderful things, especially when safeguarding your investment for the future.

Dealers who are members of the AA&ADA are held up to a Code of Practice and all the goods in the fair vetted by their peers to ensure that quality and authenticity are paramount.

I will be sure to be there opening night on the search for more items with stories to tell that are defining.

Country table from Allpress Antiques, Malvern in Melbourne working well in a contemporary setting with stunning art by Jon Cattapan

There are those who believe that only by understanding and appreciating art in all its forms can we begin to add to, or value any arena of life and our journey through it.

It’s certainly been my experience.

Carolyn McDowall, The Culture Concept Circle, 2014

AAADA Melbourne Antiques Fair

9th – 11th May 2014
Royal Exhibition Building, Carlton Gardens, Melbourne
Thursday 8th May – Gala Charity Preview Opening
To aid UNICEF, 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm


*Quote – Associate Professor Pare Keiha, MSc, PhD, MBA, MComLaw, FRSA Pro Vice Chancellor for Commercialisation, the Pro Vice Chancellor for Maori Advancment and Tumuaki of Te Ara Poutama, the Dean of the Faculty of Maori Development, at the Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.