It has been fascinating to follow the marketing campaigns of major auction houses like Sotheby’s and Christies. They are appealing to the 1% collector, working with fashion editors, jewellery design firms, and influencers, selling the rarest and most exotic of unique antiques.
They turn their auctions into events, not just to buy but to savour the taste and connoisseurship of the collector and their collection of unique antiques. They have partnered with ateliers to create iconic works of art to be sold exclusively in their connoisseurs’ auctions. And of course, these unique antiques are bringing in hundreds of thousands of Euros and possibly millions.
That’s great. For some of us, it is fascinating to watch from afar. For many, it is just too remote. Too expensive.
But the truth is you can purchase at auction unique antiques that are truly beautiful, great intrinsically but also very affordable. Unfortunately, the simple truth is that these great items are ignored or overlooked simply because the buying public may not see the utility in the piece and how it can work in their home. They don’t reimagine the unique antiques in a new role.
Let’s give but one simple example of how to change all that and add a “UNIQTEEK” to your home.
Here is a two-part scenario. We have in an upcoming auction an excellent mantle for sale. For the COLLECTOR in our auction, we would describe it as a refined federal country formal pine mantle in original dry surface, c1830, possibly York County. And it would appeal to a handful of advanced collectors; few if any would have the space to put it in their early homes already brimming with Canadiana.
But the story does not stop there nor should it. Here is part two of this scenario. For the PERSON OR FAMILY looking to decorate and add warmth to their home, we have for sale the perfect wall decoration for your century home or your modern downtown Toronto or Hamilton condo. Here is the chance to purchase a unique antique that will enhance your home’s interior aesthetic, and make your friends ask where they can get one too.
It is no longer merely an antique mantle but now a unique antique wall decoration that is a statement piece. The textures, the surface, the design, and form make it a piece of art in its own right.
But the non-antiquers would ask why would they want it? Or how can they use it to decorate their home. They would argue that they can’t put in a fireplace and the fire marshall or condo board wouldn’t allow it anyway. Stretch your imagination. Think creatively. Be bold. Purchase the mantle then place it strategically in the living room on a main wall. Hang a painting above it, or if you are very creative design a trompe l’oeil painting of a log fire for the cavity. The fire marshall will love that. And so will your insurance agent.
Or dress it up with modern pottery or tribal art. Decorate it with pumpkins or gourds in the fall, garlands and stockings at Christmas. The design elements and combinations are endless. A classic mantle will enhance the interior of any modern home as easily as a century one.
The Versatility of Unique Antiques
When you look at the surface area it covers there’s almost nothing you can buy that provides that much coverage for that price per square foot. A uniqteek is affordable, shows you have imagination and taste and yet you are practical.
Where else could you use an antique mantle? You could use it, if space allows, in a foyer framing a small bench or chair, using the shelf as a repository for keys, gloves, and wallets. Maintain the individuality of the unique antique, don’t repaint it or refinish it. Your friends will see the uniqueness of the unique antiques and be impressed with your style and taste.
You don’t have to be a knowledgeable antique collector to add a uniqteek to your home. You too can be like the 1% collector but with a much more manageable budget.
The examples of uniqteeks are endless. We have in our upcoming auction an excellent wool winder. Yet few need an antique wool winder. Well, it makes a small sculpture that could serve as a unique antique hat rack for all those baseball caps that get thrown into the closet.
Another example is a harness maker’s bench. Not many folks with apartments or condos need to repair their horse’s tack. But maybe you have plants and the bench’s seat makes a perfect plant holder and again acts as a unique antique in its own right.
Use your imagination. Look through the auctions for those uniqteeks that are not only beautiful but without altering can be transformed to serve other functions. Add warmth, beauty, and utility. It requires a little boldness and a little imagination.
You too can have as much fun as those 1% collectors with your carefully selected unique antiques.