The wonderful thing about the antique business is there is always something you have never seen or heard of that takes you on a wonderful journey through history. We get eminence joy and pleasure from buying and researching the items and are still always amazed by the craftsmanship and artistry that went into producing the beautiful objects.
Each year we travel overseas to the antique fairs and markets where there is a vast choice of diverse objects from different eras ranging from the bazaar to the pinnacle of beauty. Then the treasure hunt begins, scouring fairs and markets, haggling over the best price it really is great fun
The overseas trip was constant. We started in England and ended in Rome with touch downs in Brussels, Paris and Florence. Although it was a bit of a world wind trip we were able to find items from the quirky to the exquisite and somewhere in between.
Whenever we travel overseas on a buying trip we have set ideas as what we will look for but invariably these ideas go out the window as we stumble on something totally different and that sets us on a path of discovery. This trip it was curiosities, for example a French leather bound doctor’s travel surgical kit dating from 1820-1850. The kit contains 21 surgical instruments and as you can see 9 of the instruments have tortoiseshell handles and all the instruments were made by Joseph-Frédéric-Benoît Charrière (1803 –1876).
Joseph Charrière was a world renowned French surgical instrument maker as well as an inventor of new surgical instruments. He was born in Switzerland and at the age of 13 moved to Paris where he did an apprenticeship with a manufacturer of knives and tools. (Naturalized French citizen 1843).
In 1820 he took over the workshop and founded a company manufacturing surgical instruments. Charrière eminence soon rose and he became the personal supplier to Guillaume Dupuytren (1777-1839). Dupuytren was the chief surgeon and department head of the Hotel-Dieu Hospital. (The Hôtel-Dieu was founded by Saint Landry in 651 AD, and is considered to be the first hospital in the city and the oldest worldwide still operating.)
Charrière never missed and opportunity and through his connections with Dupuytren he was able to participate in daily hospital rounds and even observing operations and postmortems with an eye on developing or improving the instruments.
The world of art or antiques is no different from any other business, it is governed by the balance of supply and demand. If something becomes fashionable and desirable, buyers will pay a price for the object. As demand exceeds supply, prices rise. If something is out of fashion, supply exceeds demand so it will fall in value and often remain unsold. Some buyers hope that their object in time will come back into fashion. But the waiting game can take time.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank Digiphy (Wade Ashley) for all the time and support he has devoted to setting up our website. His knowledge and expertise was endless and made the whole experience enjoyable and even conned us into being photographed for the website.
It is time to sign out now with a reminder about the Melbourne Fair. Opening night is Thursday 8th August and closes Sunday 11th August at Caulfield Racecourse. If you are interested in opening night tickets or tickets for the other days, please contact us through the website www.chineurantiques.com.au and we will organise tickets for you. Hoping to see you there.