Thursday, May 2, 2013

Our New Blog

After months of hard work Wallrocks is proud to finally announce the launch of our beautiful new website which is designed to make viewing antiques a more intimate and pleasurable experience. With this re-launch goes our brand new blog, where we'll be continuing our regular updates on all things antique to follow on from Little Fish are Sweet.

To follow our blog, simply click here for antique blog!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Thursday, March 1, 2012

New Shipment Arrived

Our new shipment of antiques is just in and I've just managed to climb over the piles and made it to my desk after a week of not being able to get in. It is always lovely having everything in and of course I'm already studying the bits that I love to work out if they'll fit in my new home - there's actually quite a mix in this time and I'd say something for all tastes.

Four favourites this week...

On another note, now that I have managed to make it back to me desk I've discovered these beautiful little baby roses that I was given the other week. They're beautiful with different colours of pink and yellow and the little red flowers, speckled beautifully with little hints of yellow as if someone has dabbed them softly with a paintbrush. They've dried now which is how I actually prefer roses, and they've retained their gorgeous colour which has just deepened with age. So, I'm going to whip them home for some home made potpourri for my drawers. 

Monday, February 20, 2012

Marie Antoinette

On a recent trip to Paris, we visited Versailles for the 3rd time, but it had been many years since I had seen it and through vastly different eyes. The last time was as an eighteen year old recovering from the night before's rather horrendous hangover and some of the finer details did not perhaps make the impression they should have. 
The stand outs though, were without a doubt this beautiful window handle in the 'Hall of Mirrors', (which I had to try very hard not to remove) and Marie Antoinette's stunning bedroom. It's hard to believe standing in that room, that there came a day when that enormous power and wealth was rendered insignificant.
Photos for the few who have not seen it...

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Amongst the Trees & Flowers

It's always so lovely to see my pieces 'in-situ', like this beautiful 19th century bronze fountain that has found beautiful home amongst the trees and flowers.

And...I've been looking for a pair of 19th century French beds forever. Look what I just found!!

Monday, January 23, 2012

My Antique Buying Adventure

Happy new year! A very belated one...

I must apologise once again for the lack of entry of late, however I've been scouting Europe to find goodies to bring home, and if I'm honest, I've been distracted by the rows of pain au chocolat.

I saw and bought so many beautiful things it really is difficult to do justice to it in a few words, so I've taken a few photos to give you a little snapshot of the trip.
I especially loved these two pieces. One for its beauty and name, the other for its subject. The above is described as a very fine quality late 19th century french Louis XV bombe commode with the most exquisitely detailed ormolu (gilded bronze) mounts and radiating sunburst veneers. And...if you look closely, you can see these radiating out from the centre of the commode like the rays of a sun. 

I need hardly explain why I feel in love with this little pair of French Art Deco ormolu girls, off to bed...

Following is just a number rooms that I fell in love with in various places that I went, all of which has incorporated some form of antique, whether it be furniture, textile or art.
 Well maybe not this one but it was cute.

 We ended our adventure in Paris, and unwittingly stumbled into an antique exhibition running at the Louvre. It was quite simply breathtaking. One of the vendors had on display the piano below. I'm ashamed to say that the only French I can speak is 'C'est Combien' so unfortunately my vocabulary did not extend so far as to be able to read the description. But a piece like this can't really be described anyway, so what better way to capture it than a few photos. Enjoy!

The ladies that offered to jump into my suitcase before the plane took off, you can at the very least rest easy knowing that while the antiques and rooms were beautiful, the weather was grey and wet...just for a change.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Beautiful Rooms

While leafing through two of my favourite books, 'French Style at Home' by Sebastien Siraudeau and 'Elements of Style' by Michael S. Smith I came upon these four beautiful rooms, which I think have incorporated antique pieces in a most interesting and beautiful way. I particularly love the way a sophisticated French Louis XVI sofa has been teamed with a really contemporary fluorescent yellow cut velvet contrasting a very old and worn bench seat.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Don't Believe The Hype - High Quality Antiques Are Not a Dime a Dozen

In the event of severe chest pain, do you self diagnose the problem, or seek advice from a specialist?

There’s a lot of hype around the place suggesting that quality antiques are a dime a dozen. Much as we love the program, unless you know otherwise, the Antiques Roadshow of the world would have you believe there's a goldmine waiting around every antique corner. 

In reality, the opposite is the case. The world is full of mediocrity, and with every passing year, because of the limited supply, good quality antiques become scarcer, and this trend is likely to intensify as the world becomes wealthier.

Chinese buyers are now very much in evidence in Europe, buying back their own Asian antiques, however they also appear to be developing a taste for high quality European items as well. Which brings us to an interesting question.

In the event of having a serious legal problem, do you represent yourself in court? Do you manufacture your own air-conditioning system and do you service your own motorcar?
If the answer to these questions in general, is no, then we would ask, why is it that so many individuals take it upon themselves to decide that a piece of antique furniture is either one, authentic and two, of good quality or not. Having done so, why is it they then proceed to hand over large sums of money to purchase from little known websites and auction sources, which provide no written authentication or proof of expertise?

As dealers in antiques over four decades, we at Wallrocks find it is distressing to observe the problems that are foisted on an unsuspecting public. It’s now a regular weekly question from internet bargain 'experts', ‘How come your Louis XV chair is $3000 when we saw one on ebay for $700?
The answer to this question, quite simply is of course, that the chair for $700 is not the same as the chair for $3000. And… in the unlikely event that it is then buy it. The point being, unless you're trained in the area, how do you know? It takes some expertise and experience to tell the difference.

Wallrocks have been at considerable pains and expense on our website to provide a magnifying or zoom facility so that people really can look at detail. DETAIL IS EVERYTHING. Well-executed, beautiful detail is very expensive to produce and is rarely if ever seen in replica reproduction or fake furniture.

We hear every day that in this changing world of online buying, that the retailer is no longer necessary. The implication being that the Internet somehow makes everyone an expert in every field, and the need for qualified expert intermediaries is therefore no longer necessary.
One might only imagine what might happen if members of the public were to opt to start performing open heart surgery on themselves after reading a step by step guide online. The result is the same with self-diagnosis of antiques.

If anything, the advent of the Internet and Internet buying makes experienced and trustworthy individuals and businesses more important than ever. This applies across all specialties and is particularly relevant where significant sums of money change hands.
The Internet is convenient, quick and everyone’s doing it. So what do you do? We believe it can still be done, but there are a few rules of thumb you might want to take into consideration prior to purchase online, in auction rooms or in-store.

Read on for our safeguards to help when buying antiques.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

What is Luxury...Really?

One of my favourite monthly reads is 'The World of Interiors' mag. The latest September edition had an article on various interior and design books, one of them called Paris: Life & Luxury in the 18th Century.

I'm going out to buy it today. There was a wonderful line that resonated with me and really made me think, in the 21st century, where everything is about immediacy, speed and instant gratification, do we really even know what the word luxury means? 

Both the book and article go on to say, that 'for today's consumer, 'luxury' is a marketing tag applied to loo roll and icecream than ormolu and silk moire. It demands nothing of us bar the willingness to pay more, and few of us pause to marvel at the dexterity of the loo-paper-maker.'

Never a truer word said in my opinion, and the article then laments, 'how different things were 300 years ago, then the central goal of cultivated sociability was to be aesthetically and socially gratifying to others.' And, never was there a more poignant demonstration of this that during the reign of Louis XV. 

So, I thought what better way to exemplify this than show a few photos of some of the more exceptional pieces that we have, antiques with a quality that simply does not come along every day. And if you don't buy the book, at the very least read the article. Simply wonderful!