If you’re new to purchasing antiques & art or if it’s been a while since you’ve dabbled in the area, getting reacquainted with the way the market works can be daunting.
In a post pandemic world we are comfortable with searching and buying online for everything we can think of but when it comes to Antiques it doesn’t quite work the same. Just like a piece can be rare and eccentric so can the way you buy it! So where do you start? Let’s look at an example of searching for a table. You’ve got a vague idea of what you want, perhaps rectangular, seating 6-8 and you’ve got a style in mind – country farmhouse. You could begin by searching on Google, you may see reproduction pieces, modern examples, perhaps an eBay Ad but it’s not quite what you’re looking for. What do you do next?
Antique dealers work in many ways, and this is where you need to put in a little extra effort to get the perfect piece. Members of the Australian Antique & Art Dealers Association can operate High St stores, online shops, show exclusively at fairs or sell on social media! So, finding the table will be as exciting a journey as it will be to finally sit at and enjoy. Now you know the different avenues that you’ll need to explore, what’s next? The AAADA website lists all the members of our Association, all of whom are backed by our Code of Practice (aaada.org.au/about/code-dealers). You can browse the listings and see if the dealers have an address near you, an Instagram account, a website or even just a phone number!
So now it’s time to get to work. Jump online, if that’s the way you operate, and have a look at their website or their social media accounts. Many of our dealers post items that have just arrived, and they can sell fast! Find the ones that sell what you’re looking for and keep your eye out for that table! If you don’t see what you’re after send them a message on Instagram, Messenger, text or email. Many dealers will have stock in storage and may just have the piece you’re after! Never be afraid to ask, you never know what you might find. If you like to browse in a store to feel and touch the items, then make a list of the dealers in your area and head over to check them out. Many have stores in the same street or area which is quite handy! Check their opening hours and call ahead if you want to be sure they’ll be there when you visit. The life of an antique dealer is not so 9-5 but rather when opportunity knocks.
When you’ve got time up your sleeve finding the perfect piece can be a wonderful experience. If that table we mentioned earlier has not materialised and you can wait till one of our Fairs are on this is a great opportunity to
see many dealers from all over Australia in one place. The AAADA hold them in Melbourne at the Malvern Town Hall in Winter and Sydney at The Great Hall – University of Sydney in Spring, where you you can browse a wide range of items, such as furniture, art, jewellery, ceramics and more. See the AAADA website for more details.
This is also an opportunity to talk to dealers and see if they can bring something to the fair that you’re after. So, if that table you’ve fallen for is in another state and you’d love to see it in person before purchasing it then you may be able to ask for it to be brought to the fair to make that final decision.
If Fairs aren’t your thing, then keep an eye out for dealers’ catalogues, sign up to their mailing lists and keep up to date with their new acquisitions. The AAADA also puts out regular catalogues with a variety of items for sale from our members. So join up to our mailing list if you’d like to check it out – it is easy to do on our website: aaada.org.au
Remember AAADA Antique & Art dealer members are helpful, knowledgeable & friendly, many going the extra mile to help a customer. So next time you’re looking for that perfect piece to furnish your home or add to your collection, step into their world and enjoy the ride.
Australian Antique & Art Dealers Association
Buy your tickets online for a chance to WIN $1,000 to spend at the AAADA Antiques & Art Fair Sydney and a AAADA representative will take you around the fair providing you with guidance as you browse. All admission tickets purchased to either fair online are automatically entered for their corresponding location. For eligibility check our T&Cs on our website. Entries for Sydney close 5pm on the 29th of August 2023 (AEST).
AAADA AUTUMN CATALOGUE OUT NOW