SA's Only Antiques, Collectables And Decorative Arts Magazine
Collectors Love Ice Cream Memorabilia

icecreammakerSummer is around the corner!!! Collectors love ice cream-related memorabilia. Ice cream dippers, scoops, molds, serving dishes, and soda fountain and ice cream advertising items are all cool collectibles.

But here’s the scoop on cones. The ice cream cone was invented in 1896 by Italo Marchiony, an ice cream pushcart vendor in New York City. He wanted to stop customers from stealing his serving dishes. In 1903, he patented a special mold for waffle cups with sloping sides.


marieIt was the biggest scandal at the court of Louis XVI in the late summer of 1785 that discredited the French monarchy on the eve of the French Revolution.

The diamond necklace at the centre of this affair was made by Parisian jewellers Boehmer and Bassenge and contained 647 flawless diamonds, some of several carats each – totaling 2 800 carats in weight!

It was originally commissioned by Louis XV for his mistress, Madame du Barry – however the king died a year later, long before the necklace was completed. The jewellers hoped that the new king, Louis XVI, might agree to buy the necklace for Marie Antoinette. Such was the size of the necklace that gathering the diamonds to assemble it almost bankrupted its creators.

The legacy of Irma Stern

irmaThe Irma Stern Museum

The Museum, established in 1971, is governed by the University of Cape Town and the Irma Stern Trust. It aims to promote an understanding and appreciation of the life, work and travels of Irma Stern, a major South African artist, by displaying a collection of her art and artifacts in the domestic setting of her home. The collection shows Irma Stern’s development as an artist, who worked as a painter, sculptor and ceramist. Her life-long interest in depicting people is evident in the predominance of portraits and exotic figures interspersed with lush landscapes and vibrant still life’s.

Her two illustrated journals published of travels undertaken in Zanzibar and the Congo vividly convey her experiences, while the private writings in German kept during the period (1917- 1933) were translated into English and published posthumously; provide another insight into her personality.

Automobilia Mascots


Some people go to car events and take lots of pictures of the cars on display; others seem less interested in the actual cars but contort themselves up and down, or side to side, in order to take a picture of a car mascot. But back in the 1920s and ‘30s, it was not the famous badges of these revered cars which the powerful and rich of France wanted to display, it was the actual cars themselves!

According to the author of A History of Cars written for youth, the first “hood ornament” was a sun-crested falcon (to bring good luck) mounted on Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamun’s chariot.


collectingtrends1The more things change, the more they stay the same. Applicable to so much in life and trends, this saying also applies to the world of antiques and collectibles. Whilst what is collected changes, the art and passion of collecting remains a basic human trait. What our grandparents collected might not appeal to young collectors who are looking at more ‘modern’ collectables but underlying this transition in collecting lies the most important thing about antiques – their ‘value’.

This goes beyond the monetary value of a piece to its intrinsic value as a living piece of history and its role in preserving our collective culture. More and more of the younger generation, conscious of global warming and rampant consumerism, are starting to surround themselves with things that have a ‘green’ footprint and have meaning and a story to tell. A Victorian mahogany chest of drawers that has survived more than a century of use and will easily survive for another century, has a carbon footprint 16 times smaller than that of one made today.

Romancing the stone

romancing"Discovering Jewellery is like stepping into a fantasy world filled with thought provoking themes. In Ancient times, wise astrologers observed a connection between astronomy and earthly gemstones, and as a result they assigned these colourful and seemingly magical stones to the heavenly constellations. It is believed wearing a precious stone associated with the specific month you are born in, could enhance your fate or spiritual being. Today, birthstones remain tangible talismans that we all seek out as protectors, healers, karma and to just add some sparkle in our very ordinary lives."

Tilt-top tables

tableTilt top tables have a top which is hinged to a central pedestal in such a way that it can be turned from a horizontal to a vertical position and, thereby, when not in use, take up less space. Originally the idea was applied mainly to occasional (e.g., light, movable) tables of the kind used for tea and similar occasions.

By the 19th century, elaborate tilting devices were used so that quite large, circular dining tables could be made to tilt and, when not in use, could be placed against the wall.

These style of tables were fashionable in England shortly after the Revolutionary War and soon were viewed as the ideal table in America as well. Tables from this period are rare and now found mostly in museums or in private hands.


polar2The principals of Phat, Wessels and de Bod, take their business very personally. It is a direct extension of who they are as individuals. They say that if you do something you love you will never work a day in your life. The two principals come across as two of the busiest people you could hope to meet but they create a unique alchemy that makes work feel like fun. As individuals they couldn’t be more different. Like all great teams they both have singular skills and passions that they bring to their business. Passion is an overworked word but you can feel it when it’s there. It can’t be feigned. It’s like the electricity and tension you can feel in the air before a Highveld thunderstorm. You’ll feel it the moment you step through the front doors of Phat.

Successful business people find ways to channel the passions and interests of their personal lives into their business.

NAADA 2017

naadaGetting bitten by the Collecting bug

“Collecting art and antiques means you can fill your life with huge joy and every day you can admire your collection. Not only that but collecting can offer you great financial returns and the tangible enjoyment of admiring your collection.”

Antique dealer Clyde Terry, owner of Clyde on 4th Antiques in Melville and the owner of all the Gauteng antique fairs shares his insights of the trade after a life-time as a dealer in South Africa.

“It is always a special feeling when I walk into a house full of art and antiques; I am always awestruck by something in the collection. It is at this moment that I remind myself why I love what I do and why I love to inspire people to collect. Over the years I have changed so much as an antiques dealer and I have learnt to appreciate the beauty in every collection I have been involved in.

Rare Nutmeg Graters

gratersOne only needs to delve briefly into the history of Nutmeg to appreciate why this spice was held in such high regard that it deserved containers of silver and sometimes even gold. The Dutch, whose economic and commercial empire was growing continuously, had no qualms about seizing the nutmeg monopoly by pushing back Portuguese domination in 1605. To hold on to this monopoly the Dutch focused their cultivation on the two little islands of Ternate and Tidore, near the largest Maluku island. Trees were uprooted, growth pulled out and every other plant from the archipelago cleared, leaving only an easily defended surface area to be controlled. When Napoleon occupied Holland and her colonies, England occupied the East Indian Islands and nutmegs were sent to British colonies of Ceylon and Malacca, other East Indian islands and then to the Caribbean. Nonetheless, the Dutch would hold onto their monopoly until the Second World War despite efforts of the English and French.

The Magic of Music Box Collecting

musicbox“If music is the food of love... play on”, Shakespeare, Twelfth Night.

Music is as fundamental to man as breathing and finding out ways to capture those musical notes for posterity has been one of man’s most intense quests. Whilst instruments have been around for centuries, recording them was the challenge and the music box was the first step in discovering how to capture music to give lasting pleasure.

Who would have thought that it was the habit of carrying snuff around that would be the catalyst for the invention of the music box? With the popularity of sniffing snuff came a wide variety of snuff boxes – first simply boxed, then more elaborately decorated ones to eventually one invented in the 18th Century and called ‘carillons musique’. Based on the simple placement of pins in a pattern that produced various musical notes, the musical box soon became the rage with interchangeable cyclinders that produced a variety of tunes. Soon everyone wanted to have music emanating from a variety of boxes and so musical boxes became the accessory de rigueur.

Collecting Clarice Cliff

clariceIts all in a name. Bright coloured pottery, typical of the 1930’s Art Deco period is synonymous with Clarice Cliff. Is it a co-incidence she was born 20th January 1899 in Tunstall, Staffordshire, the most northerly of the six pottery towns in the Midlands of England? Clarice was the daughter of Ann and Harry Cliff and had two brothers and five sisters.

Having left school at the age of thirteen, she started an apprenticeship with local potters learning her trade. At the age of sixteen she began working for the A.J. Wilkinson Company in Burslem. The Managing Director of the Company, Colley Shorter was informed of her talent by her decorating manager Jack Walker, and soon sent her to the, Royal School of Art in London to further develop her skills.

Joan Rivers

joan1Rivers was known around the world for her tart tongue, but there was one place she did not allow funny business: her condo board at 1 East 62nd Street in New York.

Brooklyn born, Joan Rivers loved her gilded apartment—she described the decor as Louis XIV meets Fred and Ginger. She bought the property, originally built in 1903, in 1988 and carried out an exhaustive renovation, determined to ensure many of its original period details were retained. Joan Rivers’ apartment is without a doubt the hottest celebrity real estate in New York.

The 5 100sq triplex penthouse is held up by pillars, floor to ceiling windows and is dripping with chandeliers, marble statues , fresh cut flowers and antiques. It features four bedrooms, five fireplaces, and opulent things like gilded antique boisserie paneling and columns. She spent her days surrounded by floor to ceiling windows and gold plated walls. Yes you read that right - gold walls. The limestone mansion was built in 1910 for society figure John R Drexel and his socialite wife.

Master Crafted Coins



Cartier1In 1847, Louis-François Cartier (1819-1904), took over a jewelry workshop at 29, rue Montorgueil in Paris from Adolphe Picard, the man who had taught him his trade.

Louis Cartier owned exceptional 18th-century pieces, like Georges Jacob furniture and chairs from Louis XVI’s game room in Saint- Cloud. In 1853, Cartier moved to 5, rue Neuve des Petits-Champs, and started undertaking work for private clients. The first American client was welcomed as early as 1854.

After a period of unrest, Paris became a lively city once more and there was a constant succession of celebrations and balls. The splendors of the Second Empire encouraged the expansion of the business. Cartier prospered, thanks to the patronage of Princess Mathilde, the Emperor’s first cousin and niece of Napoleon I.

Check Mate



Few board games can claim the same breadth of history as chess, which spans the globe, transcending borders and languages. It is taught to elementary school students, many of whom simply enjoy the shapes of the pieces, and also played by serious grandmasters, a title some say was first bestowed by Czar Nicholas II of Russia in 1914.


Certainly the history and provenance of the set and history (in its empirical sense) as it relates to the set and its life but the history of chess itself has little place to the collector.

A set to touch, admire and perhaps even play with comes first and then the set’s history and who might have carved it, owned it or played with it. That is a true collector’s joy.


artDelaireWelcome to Delaire Graff Estate – where you can experience the ultimate in luxury, combined with our own unique blend of South African hospitality. Nestled between majestic mountains and overlooking the vineyards of Stellenbosch, I visited the Estate for the first time back in 2003 and felt a strong connection in an instant – it was love at first sight.

The incredible views provide the perfect backdrop to our outstanding restaurants, state-of-theart winery, exclusive Lodges, exuberant landscaping, destination Spa and luxury boutiques. Our talented team harness a united vision and passion, and their continuing dedication brings the true beauty of this piece of paradise to our guests each and every day.

Garden Antiques

garden1After spending years finishing the interior of their homes, collectors turn the focus to their gardens.

Leisure time was on the rise by the late nineteenth century, resulting in an increased interest in gardening, conservation, and spending time out-of-doors. The economic gains that made this possible were fueled by the industrial revolution, which saw eager manufacturers responding to expanding markets that included garden amenities such as the Birdbaths, Garden Furniture, Birds-houses, Wellheads & Vitnage Garden Equipment that are now desirable antiques that adorn many a garden.

Gardens with their peaceful distractions bring back harmony and serenity to our lives. The interest in horticulture today mirrors the 19th century fascination for plants and nature. We go on a search to educate our readers that everything you love about antiques and all things gardenrelated: the rare, the heirloom, the historic, the handmade, the well-designed, the over-the-top, and the just plain cool – and how you can transform your ordinary garden to something extraordinary & gorgeous.


sophiaBorn in a charity ward for unwed mothers in Rome on September 20, 1934, Sofia Scicolone was taunted throughout her childhood for being illegitimate. Her father Riccardo was married to another woman and refused to marry her mother Romilda, despite the fact that she was the mother of his two children (Sophia and her younger sister Maria Scicolone). Her mother, Romilda Villani, was a proud beauty who returned to her family home in Pozzuoli to live down her shame; in Catholic Italy then, being an unwed mother was not just a scandal, but a sin.

Growing up in the slums of Pozzuoli during the second World War without any support from her father, she experienced much sadness in her childhood. Until she left Pozzuoli, Sophia never slept in a bed with fewer than three family members. The resulting famine was so great that Loren’s mother occasionally had to siphon off a cup of water from the car radiator to ration between her daughters by the spoonful. During one aerial bombardment, Loren was knocked to the ground and split open her chin, leaving a scar that has remained ever since.

Romilda looked so much like Greta Garbo that people stopped her on the street to ask for her autograph. When she won a Greta Garbo lookalike contest at the age of 17—the prize being a screen test at MGM in Culver City—her mother refused to let her go. She was convinced that Romilda would be killed in America, because she believed Rudolph Valentino had been murdered there by the Black Hand. So Romilda later put all her ambition into her elder child, a gawky, unattractive, sullen girl until the age of 14.

Collecting Maps

mapThe collecting of maps, prints and documents goes hand in hand with history and South Africa offers rich pickings in this area of collecting. Zulu war scenes and Anglo-Boer war battles in handcoloured prints are sought after not only locally but internationally as well and sell well. Maps are also a good investment and specialiast dealers in maps are usually experts in their field and offer a wealth of expertise for an aspiring collector.

A selection of rare maps will be on show and can be purchased at the National Antique Faire this year in the Book dealers section, some of which are over 300 years old and depict Southern Africa populated by the likes of Indian elephants, the Indian Rhinoceros and even tigers. You might pick up a John Speed map from 1625 that is profusely illustrated along the margins. These decorative maps are the most sought after, such as the Blaeu map on which a vignette depicts a man eating entrails. This will appeal to many collectors of maps who appreciate the narratives of how explorers saw South Africa all those centuries ago. But what is really extraordinary is how a piece of paper can last for centuries. This is, of course, because the map was originally from an atlas or travel book, and therefore found protection between its covers. No doubt, several generations of previous owners kept the atlas away from damp and ravenous insects.

From Russia With Love

The story of Fabergé is inextricably linked to the lives, loves and tragedy of the last Romanov Tsar Nicholas II and his Empress Alexandra, and to the Russian Revolution that changed the course of world history.

Peter Carl Fabergé, legendary artist-jeweller, goldsmith to the Russian Imperial Court, was the creative and entrepreneurial genius behind the world-renowned company. Born in 1846, and apprenticed as a boy to his goldsmith father, Gustav Fabergé, a modest jeweller of French Huguenot ancestry, Fabergé joined his father’s business around 1860. By the time he was 24, he had taken over control of all aspects of his fa¬ther’s business. Like many of these firms, Fabergé sold items to the Imperial Court of Russia. How¬ever, the younger Fabergé soon set the family business apart. Gradually, Fabergé emerged as the most fashionable jeweller in Russia, thanks to a fateful commission in 1885.

South Africa's Heritage Gems

gemsOnce upon a time, stately homes & buildings were the exclusive privilege of royalty and landed gentry. Today some are used by corporates, rented out for commercial use and some are still lived in by the original owners – each with a unique mix of history, architecture and modern-day glamour. Heritage properties represent a masterpiece of human creative genius. Focusing on Cape Town, Durban & Gauteng you’re spoilt for choice to visit these landmarks, study the architecture or simply to admire their grandeur.

CAPE TOWN: As the oldest city in South Africa, Cape Town boasts a number of important historical buildings, many of which are still in use today and open to visitors. The city’s architecture is a testament to the many and varied influences on South Africa’s unique history and a dream for any architecture enthusiasts! Here is our list of favourites – enjoy!


marilynSome like it Marilyn

Long after her death, the legacy of Marilyn Monroe is stronger than ever. I am left wondering what she would think of the record prices her memorabilia has been getting especially when one considers she passed away with less than $2000 to her name. The fascination for all that is Marilyn has never waned and indeed with the latest movie “My week with Marilyn” creating a huge hype around her once again, one is left wondering what other stories are still out there begging to be told. 

Marilyn Monroe’s iconic white “Seven Year Itch “ dress sold for more than $5.6 million and another $2.7 million for three other Monroe movie outfits. Some of her dresses were from the collection of 79 year old entertainer Debbie Reynolds, who was going to open a museum with her collection of roughly 3500 costumes from different movies that the movie studios at the time were throwing out. Due to maintenance costs she decided to sell the collection off. After 20 minutes of bidding on the ‘subway’ dress Debbie Reynolds was in tears when the gavel hit the podium ending the auction - this after an expected price of $2 Million. The redsequined showgirl gown and a feathered hat Monroe wore in “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” sold for $1.47 million. The expected price was $300,000. Monroe’s costumes from “There’s No Business Like Show Business” and “River of No Return” brought another $1.2 million.

Collecting Antique Tools

toolsA Beginner’s Guide to Collecting Antique Tools

Tools are the father of all other antiques. Master paintings, the great statues, the finest pottery, the most decorative furniture, the most colorful tapestries -- all of these would have been nothing more than someone’s momentary idea without the tools needed to create them. Every manmade object depends on the use of tools for its existence, and mankind’s greatest creativity and intelligence is reserved for the creation of newer and better mousetraps to solve the production problems of the day. Tools were the first expression of human cognition.

Collecting antique tools is a little like learning chess -- at first it is a bit confusing as the wide assortment of tools presents itself, then with a small amount of experience you gain confidence in your ability to make the right moves and collect interesting pieces, and as you become more and more the “experienced collector” you begin to realize that there is an ever richer and increasingly interesting realm of knowledge and speciality waiting to be discovered.


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