Later this month, the annual Winter Art & Antiques Fair is set to return to London Olympia for its 27th edition, bringing together over 30,000 pieces of art, antiques, furnishings and items of jewelry by more than 100 of the UK’s top antique dealers. As this major showcase approaches, we speak to some of the exhibitors about the increasing desire for antique jewelry.
The owner of participating jeweler Grasilver, Jacquie Gray, believes people are now more interested in buying iconic one-off items rather than a piece that’s mass produced, while also buying these items to be worn alongside modern designs. Lynn Lindsay of Wimpole Antiques goes on to explain: “Antique jewelry is very versatile and plays to the individual taste. We see clients who purchase an antique choker to wear with a modern chain, or an antique ring to wear next to a modern ring, with matching colors and stones.”
When you’re on the hunt for antique jewelry, the greatest challenge can be in finding the right antiques dealer. Anthea Gesua, the founder of Anthea A G Antiques, advises going to antique fairs. “It’s perfect if you are looking for antique jewelry as the goods are vetted”, she explains, “When there is no independent vetting, be aware of older reproduction jewelry, and make a beeline for those dealers who are members of trade associations LAPADA and BADA.”
Anshul Rakyan, proprietor of A Rakyan Collection, continues: “Not all antique pieces are as valuable as others, so always look out for good craftsmanship. Only buy if you know you will wear the piece, and if you love it, do make the purchase. With these one-off products, once they are gone they are gone.”
While some items are considered timeless, others fall back in-line with particular trends. “Bracelets are popular now,” Lindsay of Wimpole Antiques reveals, “especially wide cuff bracelets from the 1940s and 1970s.” She goes on to explain that Vivianna Torun Bulow-Hube original pieces are especially sought after right now, owing to the brand’s 50-year anniversary with Georg Jensen.
Rakyan, however, believes that everyone should own one or more piece from the Art Nouveau and Art Deco period, explaining that jewels from 1900 to the 1930s were created at the height of jewelry-making, not only standing out for the way they were made, but also for their designs. “These eras of Art Nouveau and Art Deco are very special”, he enthuses. “Generally, we like antique pieces that contain nice gemstones, such as Kashmir sapphires, Burmese rubies or old-cut diamonds, because these stones are rare with the quality you get in older pieces. A combination of nice gemstones combined with the intricate design and craftsmanship of the past make these the best pieces to look out for.”
Anthea A G Antiques, A Rakyan Collection Ltd, Grasilver and Wimpole Antiques will all be exhibiting at the Winter Art & Antiques Fair Olympia, which is taking place from October 31st to November 5th, 2017.