Home' Scoop Homes and Art : Insite 23 Summer 2009 Contents 184 INSITE SUMMER
Forget modernism; collectors
are clamouring once more for
glamorous, stylish quality pieces
of bygone eras, as Georgina
Amove away from minimalism
and a "marked flight to quality"
have characterised the antiques
industry over the last few months.
And surprisingly, the industry hasn't
experienced the same extent of doom and
gloom that has shrouded the rest of the
business world since the advent of the global
e word from local antiques specialists
is that business continues to be strong,
particularly at the high end of the market.
And in the case of long-established
Australian antique dealer Lauder and
Howard in Fremantle, business has never
"We're on track to have our best year
ever," says Les Lauder. "Already it's our
second-best year ever."
Les puts it down to a number of things.
"We've certainly had clients come in and say
'Oh, we're sick to death of getting our fingers
burnt by stocks and shares, we want to have
lovely things around us'. Other people say
they've worked hard all their lives and want
to have nice things. And a lot of people have
been building very big houses which are now
finished and they're furnishing them."
Mark Howard adds that minimalism,
as a fashionable statement, has done what
fashions always do -- it has disappeared.
"We've had people say: 'argh minimalism,
I made a mistake there -- I ended up with my
house looking like an operating theatre',"
continues Les. " ere's a demand for rich
objects, glamorous objects, great decorative
objects. We find it's much easier to sell a
$5000 vase than a $500 vase."
Mark calls it a "marked flight to quality".
As an example, he points to some Dutch
wedding portraits -- "golden age pieces from
the 17th and 18th Centuries" -- which earlier
this year in Amsterdam fetched three or four
times their estimate.
Mark and Les managed to get their hands
on a pair of such portraits and they turned
out to be amongst the most expensive things
they have ever sold.
"We bought a pair here in Australia and we
sold them for a six-figure sum," says Les. "We
put a high price on them and they sold before
the opening of the exhibition and we had
other people who wanted to buy them. is
amazed us because you expect very expensive
things to hang around for a while."
John Brans, of Brans Antiques and Art in
Mosman Park, also talks about this move
from minimalism/modernism and the desire
"People have definitely become more
focused on quality rather than quantity,"
says John. "We're finding that it's the really
high quality -- the best examples of things
-- that are being more sought after. And one
of the other trends for us is that we've been
Return to the Golden Age
RARE TREAT: A pair of Dutch marriage portraits painted in
1662 reached a record sale price for Lauder and Howard.
Links Archive Insite 24 Autumn 2010 Navigation Previous Page Next Page