Feast for the eye at antique fair

Sarda's Bee Lukey with Kevin Friedman, of Frankli Wild.

A 10th-century Dutch walnut double bed with tapestry inlay, a Coca-Cola fridge, a collection of porcelain figures, a set of crystal glasses and decanter, and a Swarovski crystal-and-pearl necklace are not things you’re likely to see at your local mall, but they were all there at last weekend’s National Cape Antique Fair.

Fifteen dealers exhibited antiques, art, collectables and decorative arts at the fair, held at the Great Cellar, Alphen Estate. The organisers, Clyde Terry and Giuli Osso, say they plan to make it an annual event.

Antiques fairs have become popular, thanks to television shows such as American Pickers and the BBC’s Antiques Roadshow, but they are nothing new for Constantia, which boasts the weekly Antiques and Collectibles Market and the annual South African Riding for the Disabled Association (SARDA) antiques market fund-raiser.

The association, which has battled to stay afloat after its Brommersvlei Road premises became the subject of a land claim, was the beneficiary of last weekend’s fair.

A popular drawcard to this event was Stephan Welz Auctioneers, which partnered with the fair organisers, and held daily appraisals without charging an evaluation fee, only asking for donations for Sarda.

The organisers also partnered with the Bulletin and held a competition, where readers were asked to send a picture and description of items they felt could be valuable.

Michel Sawczyn, of Hout Bay, took first place with a pair of art nouveau cranberry decanters. On opening night, he used his first prize of a night for two in a superior suite at the 5-star Alphen Hotel. He also won a R1 000 gift voucher and two tickets for the opening night of the fair.

With a clock tucked under his arm that he had brought to be valued, he met second- and third-prize winners in the competition and judge Clyde Terry.

Marked “Cape Government Railways”, the clock still works and belonged to Sawczyn’s grandfather.

Justin Strydom, of Muizenberg, took second place with a wooden writing desk inherited from his mom, Pippa Strydom.

Jenny Foxcroft, of Bellville, took third with a Dresden 1900s statuette of The Lavender Lady with her two children and baskets of lavender. This piece is a Yardley’s Old English Lavender Soap advertising figure group.

Mr Terry said none of the items were for sale and were not on show at the fair. The winners’ prizes included two free tickets to the fair and R500 and R250 gift vouchers to spend there.

He said they had received many emails for the competition.

An unusual statement piece on show was a previously unheard of portrait of Simon van der Stel, discovered in a dusty warehouse in Amsterdam in 2011 by the sharp eye of art-and-antique dealer Ricus Dullaert, who bought the painting and then set about investigating it.

Leading scientist in The Hague, Professor Rudi Ekkart, identified the painter as Pieter van Anraedt, a Baroque-era Dutch painter.

“In these volatile economic times, alternate investments are a must for a balanced portfolio and coins and bank-notes are not only sound investments, they are also exempt from capital gains tax,” said Ms Osso.