Home' Scoop Homes and Art : Insite 25 Winter 2010 Contents 84 INSITE WINTER
around the corner on Railway Parade.
"By that stage, I was going to England and
buying containers. Furniture became my
great love -- Georgian furniture at first.
I studied it. I never went past a museum,
and I still don't..."
en Clive bought his own place in Glyde
Street, Mosman Park. It was with forward
thinking that he managed to get his hands
on the three shops that so many before him
had tried to buy. e property, which housed
a leg-waxing salon, a Vietnamese restaurant
and an art gallery, had never been on the
market but "every real estate agent in the
area had been chasing them for years".
So, instead of offering market value -- the
most recent sale in the street was $80,000 --
Clive worked out what the property would
be worth to him... long-term.
"I went to the old lady (who owned the
property) and I said: 'I'm going to give you
$350,000.' It was miles more than it was
worth," says Clive. e owner accepted his
offer. e next property in the street went
for $300,000. "We set the price," he says.
Clive's passion just kept growing. "I love
the whole cut and thrust of the business. I
love the hunt. It's the hunt that's the most
important thing -- hunting and finding
something, having more knowledge than
other people in the room. Knowledge is
power in our business. Serious power," says
Clive. "It's a constant learning curve. If you
stop learning, you won't progress. It's all
about finding something really good under
other people's noses.
"Because we live in a very small place, if I
go to someone's house privately and I think
something is worth $20,000, I'll offer them
two-thirds of it because if I don't make a
third I don't make a living. But if I find it in
an antiques dealer's shop or a secondhand
shop and it's got $5 on it, I'm not going to
tell them it's worth $20,000.
"Our great buys have been from dealers or
at auction," he says. "My greatest buy was from
another dealer for a painting for $200 and I
sold it for £42,000 (A$70,000). at, for us, is
why hunt and knowledge is everything." I
Brans Antiques & Art (08) 9384 7300. See p191
for details on the 35 years celebration exhibition.
UP CLOSE ANTIQUES DEALER
How do you navigate the antiques world?
Clive shares a little of his in-depth knowledge.
Clive says the definition of antique has changed over
the years. "When I first started within the industry,
an antique was classed as something 100 years old.
However, some of the auction rooms of that time
would only consider items pre-Victoria to be an
antique," he says. "Today is a different story. We see all
sorts of things and objects from all sorts of eras called
antiques. You ll find things from all eras, even
10 years old, within some of the best antiques shops.
"It takes a lifetime of knowledge to discern
whether things are genuine or not," says Clive. "As
prices increase or certain items become fashionable,
the faker moves into top gear."
His advice is to buy from credited dealers who
are usually backed by an association, such as the
Australian Antique and Art Dealers Association
(AAADA), which has a code of ethics and conduct
to give the buyer a certain amount of protection.
He also says it s a myth that antiques go up in value
all the time. "Some do and some do not, and some
stay steady for years. They should be bought to be
enjoyed. If they rise in value whilst you have owned
them, you have experienced both joy and profit."
RIGHT An 18th-century German bureau cabinet.
BELOW One of Clive s favourite pieces: a Portugese
Goanese figure of St Thomas from the 17th century
with its original base, which Clive found in Australia.
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