The South African Antique Dealers' Association (SAADA) held its 46th Annual Antique Dealers Fair at the Wanderers Club. The event was attended by several hundred people. The Johannesburg Fair is the most respected of its kind in the country. Oasys Innovations supplied shell scheme and electrical infrastructure for the event.
Says Carl Woodland, chief operating officer for Oasys Exhibitions, “We supplied all the electrical infrastructure for the fair and built shell scheme for the infrastructure. We also supplied selected furniture as our inventory does not accommodate the antique character of the show.”
Marylou Bawden, SAADA coordinator for the fair, says that this show is very popular with antiquarians. “Every year our Fair attracts some of the country's finest and most experienced antique dealers. All exhibitors are SAADA members, who have to have been dealers for more than three years and must abide to strict vetting rules in order to exhibit. Every antique piece for sale at the fair is fully vetted by an appointed vetting committee for authenticity and correct datelines.”
An ‘antique' is defined as something that is more than 100 years old, but SAADA applies different datelines to different items. For example, 20th century design is currently a particularly popular area of collecting, with a dateline of 1945. Items falling outside this dateline may also be exhibited at the fair, if the vetting committee is of the opinion that the item in question is of exceptional quality and merit. Not all pieces exhibited at the SAADA Fair are big ticket items, leaving opportunity for those collectors just starting out to also make purchases.
SAADA was formed in 1963 with the aim of furthering the interests of antique dealers and collectors. The association is affiliated through the International Confederation of Dealers in Works of Art (CINOA) and all SAADA members have a credible reputation for being honest antique dealers. All purchases at the fair are assured by a written guarantee that can be supplied on request.
20 members countrywide made good use of the opportunity to exhibit this year, showcasing a wide selection of rare and unique collectables while also learning from other antique dealers. Continues Marylou, “Dealers can spend months sourcing special pieces locally and abroad. The chance to exhibit and sell these items at the fair is a highlight for most of them.” The fair further provides opportunity for dealers to talk to visitors and determine the latest antique items that are in demand.
Most pieces exhibited at this fair are big ticket items that have Rand values of several hundreds of thousands. Rarities on display this year included Tiffany Lily lamps, Chinese tool tiles and a Tazza dish dating back to King George the sixth, with a crest that is traceable back to the Royal Infantry.
Concludes Woodland, “Because of the high value of the antiques exhibited, special care was taken to make sure that the shelving installed would be able to accommodate the weight and dimensions of the items. We also supplied lockable cabinets for security purposes. Due to the unique character of this particular show, keen interest was exercised to ensure the professional delivery of total infrastructure to a target audience of note.”