Friday 24 November 2017

Antique fair to lure diamond and furniture hunters

The €47,500 Asscher-cut diamond ring by Garrards jewellers of London
The €47,500 Asscher-cut diamond ring by Garrards jewellers of London
Samantha McCaughren

Samantha McCaughren

Over €70m worth of antiques will be up for sale at the 51st Antique Dealers Fair in the RDS next weekend, as the trade experiences renewed demand for antique furniture.

An improving property market has resulted in increased spending on individual pieces, according to antiques experts.

Niall Mullen, who runs a shop that specialises in Art Deco on Francis Street in Dubliin, said: "This year has seen a resurgence in the demand for quality furniture and the willingness of consumers to mix antique and contemporary pieces."

"There has been a noticeable upturn in younger people buying antiques," he said. "People now recognise there are great alternatives when furnishing one's home or workplace."

While furniture may attract homeowners, jewellery will also be a significant draw to the event.

Highlights will include a €47,500 Asscher-cut diamond ring by Garrards of London, the longest-serving jewellery house in the world. It will be brought to the fair by JW Weldon, who will also show a rare Limerick silver bowl, designed by silversmith Collins Brehon in 1750, which is valued at €22,500.

John Brereton Jewellers will also present an art deco bracelet valued at €22,500, which features seven carat diamonds and 17.22 carat brilliant blue sapphires.

US interior design legend Carleton Varney heads a programme of expert speakers, who will provide advice on everything from how to spot a forgery, to how to combine antiques with modern furniture at home.

One of the world's foremost experts on art theft, Julian Radcliffe of the Art Loss Register, will host a talk on protecting Irish heritage and recovering stolen art and antiques in Ireland.

More than 15,000 people are expected to attend the event, which runs from September 23 to 25.

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