Sydney Antiques Fair 2013 – Trending Masterpieces of Style

La Borde, Regency period 1813 - Hand coloured engraving courtesy Allpress Antiques

The Sydney Antique Fair 2013 presented by the Australian Antique & Art Dealers Association will take place from 21 – 25th August 2 in the all new exhibition facilities recently completed at Royal Randwick Racecourse. The home of champions for the Sport of Kings has become a Sydney showcase for displaying significant trending masterpieces of style.

The show will be held in the new flexible hi-tech exhibition space, The Kensington Room, which is an all new well-appointed venue with WiFi connectivity allowing for a greater ease of displaying a diverse range of wonderful paintings, sculpture, furniture, jewellery, textiles and objet d’art.

Dealers will be offering the very best of their wares, many of them shipping in some very special and select pieces.

Jamie Allpress of Allpress Antiques in Melbourne told me recently, that he has put together his finest collection of period walnut in over 25 years to offer to Sydney buyers and International visitors.

An exquisite early 18th Century English figured walnut chest on stand courtesy Allpress Antiques

He just happened to be in England at the right time and place recently to secure a truly amazing variety of walnut goods, as well as a superb grouping of Regency period hand coloured engravings and superb watercolours of birds, which were originally mounted in 1828.

The collection includes a late 17th Century William & Mary Walnut chest on stand, a Beech and Oak small straight lined chest, a few exceptional 18th – 19th Century French fruitwood farmhouse tables, an 18th Century English oak eight day longcase clock, as well as a cute Staffordshire cow creamer.

Collecting antiques and art is a pleasure indulged in by a vast number of people. It’s a pastime that can become a richly rewarding part of your life and one that certainly adds a great deal of beauty to it.

The pleasing proportion and harmony of ‘Georgian style’ furniture always keeps people coming back for more.

A 19th Century English oak 8 Day Longcase Clock courtesy Allpress Antiques

They follow established principles of design such as balance, rhythm, harmony, proportion and scale.

English ‘Georgian’ era design and style traditions (1714 – 1830), is when furniture making was by hand and all about renowned excellence in execution using fine quality materials and traditional techniques for fine detailing, honed over a long period of time.

In England, during its evolution, furniture was often linked to the royal houses or their monarchs in an attempt to coincide with a particular movement in decorative style. This however did not always coincide with stylistic change.

Styles persisted for much longer periods, particularly outside of London in rural areas where the design or decoration of furniture did not necessarily relate to the continually changing fortunes of Kings or Queens.

Before the nineteenth century artistic innovation in England developed through either a feudal or monarchical aristocratic elite.

The traditional assurance of inherited continuity gave the aristocracy a sense of stability as well as self-confidence that enabled them, over a great period of time to accept gradual change, progress or innovation, while actively promoting a contemporary developing culture, especially in England’s colonies abroad.

In considering excellence in craftsmanship in England around the end of the seventeenth and early years of the eighteenth centuries, the finest quality workmanship abounded. In furniture making the best and most costly pieces often made from walnut, which mainly came into England from France.

The unique conditions that reigned during the reign of four of the ‘Georgian’ kings, George I, II, III and IV, ensured artistic freedom and with it the ability of the artist or craftsman to attain the highest level of achievement in all the arts.

Distinguishing period antique furniture from copies is made very difficult because there was also a longstanding tradition of storing timber for years. In country locations favourite styles of furniture were made long after they were out of fashion in the city.

So today consulting someone with a great deal of expertise in the trade is a wise thing to do.

A fine example of a 19th Century English Staffordshire cow creamer, eminently collectable, courtesy Allpress Antiques

Collecting antiques is often misrepresented as being the hobby of only a select few.  However from my own experience working in the trade, perusing galleries, working at and attending fairs and auctions over a long period of time (some 30 years) it is exactly the opposite

People from very different backgrounds and all walks of life aspire to own antiques for all sorts of reasons.

If you wish to purchase antiques or art it is good to establish a relationship with a dealer who has gained a professional reputation.

Antique and art dealers belonging to a major organization such as the Australian Antiques & Art Dealers Association offer some protection for the consumer as it has an established “ Code of Practice” and every dealer has a copy available for public scrutiny. Members are listed in a national booklet, which includes a list of Approved Services, of value to you in the care and maintenance of your purchases.

Carolyn McDowall, The Culture Concept Circle, 2013

List of Exhibitors

The Sydney Antiques Fair 2013

Gala Preview
21 August – 6 pm – 9 pm

22 August – 24 August – 11 am to 7 pm

25 August – 11 am to 5 pm

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