Join Melissa’s daughter, Isabella for an online auction of one-of-a-kind antiques, vintage and artisanal pieces sourced from the Haute Savoie. Isabella has been called ‘a rising star in interior design’ by The Australian, working with big-name brands, (Wedgwood to Waterford, Royal Copenhagen, Jo Malone London, Belle, House & Garden, Paris Maison Objet).
As millennials have become one of the biggest global markets in antiques she is delighted to introduce her first online edit for Australia’s biggest and oldest auctioneer, Lawsons.
The 260+ collection reflects Isabella’s instinctive flair for finding unusual and beautiful pieces while also fulfilling the need to travel and of buying something from a far-off land. Read more, ‘How Shipping Delays Turned Used Furniture Into a Hot Commodity.’
Especially the French alps, which are back in fashion.
And is a great chance to begin – or add to – a collection of personality pieces with heart and soul, that remind you of a time in your life.
Many are investment pieces and not just decorative items.
The sale has furniture, ornaments, and statement pieces – from mirrors to chandeliers, chairs and commodes, armoires, farmhouse tables, vintage alpine seats, desks, pots, stools, art, and copperware, and much more.
Highlights include a remarkable French vitrine that Ralph Lauren wanted for a flagship store – but dipped out on, due to shipping delays. You might be luckier.
It fulfills that wanderlust.
Discover, never-before-seen handmade plates and modernist vintage-inspired glassware.
And it’s not often Lawsons gets its hands on Lucy Montgomery custom, artisanal hand-crafted items, including her iconic plaster mirrors that grace the Cartier Maison in Madison Avenue, New York. Get the look with a similar mirror (Lot 19).
“The Lucy Montgomery Collection has reached cult status,” says Isabella, “with its signature striped cushions in Belgian linens and plaster lamps loved by the style set, plus iconic plaster mirrors that grace the Cartier Maison in Madison Avenue, New York”.
“Because of the pandemic, people are treating their homes more like fashion and they want to be more unique, so they are more attracted to vintage and older pieces that can’t be purchased en masse,” says Isabella.
“Lucy’s eye is unrivaled and her pieces add an element of elegant unpredictability, sparking joy,” says Isabella.
Shoppers in their 20s and 30s are increasingly attracted to hard-to-find items and the beauty of antiques they may have only recently discovered. They are willing to spend the time hunting down items online.
“The idea is to think of the future of a piece, not just the present,” says Isabella.
It’s a more cyclical approach. A new (made in China) chest of drawers might last four years, while an antique commode or mirror can last hundreds of years and have multiple owners.” A new (made in China) chest of drawers has a carbon footprint 16 times higher than the antique, equivalent per year.
Antiques and vintage don’t depreciate like fast furniture. So when you no longer love an item you can sell it at the original price or at a profit, and it won’t end up as landfill.
“Shoppers now see their furniture as the next place to plant their money. They have realised that these are investment pieces and not just decorative items.
“Buying furniture is like buying a piece of art or real estate. And because we’re home, they have plenty of time to admire that 18th century table,” says Isabella.
There’s a growing hunger for antique, vintage, and artisanal furnishings that started about two years ago, but has accelerated during the pandemic.
People have become better educated about design, antiques, and the vast world of vintage shopping through social media.
There is simply more time to stumble through internet rabbit holes of leather, walnut and elm into a world of old commodes, coffee tables and antique desks.
Find impressive 19th century French farmhouse tables, hand forged Provencal wall sconces, and the most splendid, hardwearing artisanal timber chairs from the Alps.
There are Louis XIII armchairs, Henry II desks, Art Deco dining tables, authentic French bar carts, vintage champagne boxes, old timber pedestals, French landscapes and still lifes, old French copper cauldrons, jugs and pans, even old Provencal glassmaker bottles.
Millions of people have been home for a couple of years, spending their days scrolling through Instagram feeds that have recalibrated to this newly domestic era.
Influencer and celebrity posts of holidays and parties have been replaced with ones of a sequestered life.
Look at enough Instagram living rooms and it’s easy to get a lust for, say, a Louis XVI chair, or a farmhouse table or an Empire chandelier.
There’s also the Zoom room shame effect. We worry that our virtual co-workers are silently playing their own private game of Room Rater, judging our bookshelves, and lighting on a scale of one to 10.
Position an armoire with hand-carved detailing or French still life in the corner of the camera frame, and your otherwise unmemorable background is suddenly a 10.
In this era, the home office is the new work wardrobe.
Isabella’s keen eye for individuality and style will set you on the right interior path.
“Great design is about building a collection with the same eye – and in years to come you will look back and connect the dots when you look at your pieces. Your new interior staples online now. What will you choose?
Isabella Walker-Smith’s French Collection: Treasure Hunting in the Haute Savoire ENDS 7PM – MAY 4.