The remarkable aspect of the antique business is that there’s always something new and unheard of, taking you on a captivating journey through history. We derive immense joy and pleasure from purchasing and researching items, and continue to be amazed by the craftsmanship and artistry that went into creating these beautiful objects.
Each year, we travel overseas to antique fairs and markets, offering a vast selection of diverse objects from various eras, ranging from the bizarre to the epitome of beauty. The treasure hunt begins as we scour fairs and markets, bargaining for the best prices – it truly is great fun.
Our overseas trip was constant, beginning in England and ending in Rome, with stops in Brussels, Paris, and Florence. Despite the whirlwind nature of the trip, we found items from the quirky to the exquisite and everything in between. Whenever we travel overseas for a buying trip, we start with set ideas of what we will look for, but inevitably, these ideas change as we stumble upon something entirely different, leading us down a path of discovery. This trip, it was curiosities, such as a French leather-bound doctor’s travel surgical kit dating from 1820-1850. The kit contains 21 surgical instruments, with 9 of them featuring tortoiseshell handles, all made by Joseph-Frédéric-Benoît Charrière (1803-1876).
Joseph Charrière was a world-renowned French surgical instrument maker and an inventor of new surgical instruments. Born in Switzerland, he moved to Paris at the age of 13 and apprenticed with a knife and tool manufacturer (naturalised French citizen in 1843). In 1820, he took over the workshop and established a company manufacturing surgical instruments. Charrière’s eminence soon rose, and he became the personal supplier to Guillaume Dupuytren (1777-1839), chief surgeon and department head of the Hotel-Dieu Hospital (founded by Saint Landry in 651 AD and considered the first hospital in the city and the oldest worldwide still operating). Charrière never missed an opportunity, and through his connections with Dupuytren, he was able to participate in daily hospital rounds and even observe operations and postmortems, with an eye towards developing or improving instruments.
The world of art and antiques is no different from any other business, as it is governed by the balance of supply and demand. When an object becomes fashionable and desirable, buyers will pay a price for it. As demand exceeds supply, prices rise. Conversely, when something is out of fashion, supply exceeds demand, causing its value to decrease and often remain unsold. Some buyers hope their objects will eventually come back into fashion, but the waiting game can take time.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank Dygiphy (Wade Ashley) for all the time and support he devoted to setting up our website. His knowledge and expertise were boundless, making the entire experience enjoyable and even convincing us to be photographed for the site.
It’s time to sign out now with a reminder about the Melbourne Fair. Opening night is Thursday, 8th August, and the fair runs until Sunday, 11th August at Caulfield Racecourse. If you are interested in opening night tickets or tickets for other days, please contact us through the website www.chineurantiques.com.au, and we will organise tickets for you. We hope to see you there.