What’s hot and what’s not is the auction world is forever changing but one thing’s for certain as we surge towards 2019 – decorative arts objects are flying high, writes Charles Hanson.
Even better news, you probably have an item in your own home that’s sought after. Decorative arts is a term that leaves many people scratching their heads but, basically, it’s an object that’s beautiful, functional and ‘speaks of its period’.
It includes major art movements such as aesthetic and art nouveau, arts and crafts, art deco, modernism and contemporary art, spanning more than 15 decades of design from 1860 to the present day.
Celebrated designers of the late 19th and 20th centuries who shine in the decorative arts world include Rene Lalique, Daum and Gallé for art glass, silver and metalwork by Archibald Knox, Liberty & Co, and Georg Jensen, Moorcroft and Lenci pottery, bronze figures by Dimitri Chiparus, Ferdinand Preiss and Max Le Verrier, and furniture by Marcel Breuer and Charles Eames.
However, this genre is expanding, growing and changing as new generations come along with a fresh eye and eclectic tastes. It’s not just about a Lalique bowl or Clarice Cliff jug. That 1970s teak coffee table in your mum’s lounge may be bang on trend, or that colourful piece of German pottery sitting on the sideboard.
The fact is, decorative arts now encompasses a multitude of objects that you, your parents or grandparents may well have at home, possibly cast aside as being out of fashion.
We’re talking kitsch, retro, colourful studio pottery, furniture from the 1970s or 80s, as well as glass, jewellery and much more.
If you want to find out if your object could spark a bidding battle Andy Green, Hansons’ new decorative arts expert, is the man to ask.
From January, Andy will be at Hansons in Etwall once a month to value, advise and consign items to our Decorative Arts Auctions, the first sale being on February 22.
Andy, from Buxton, started collecting art deco sculpture and 20th century design more than 20 years ago when he bought his first piece of art deco – a wooden ski jumper – on a street market in Paris.
He tells me that piece is priceless – he would never part with it. It was the beginning of a love affair with antiques and collectables that has never waned.
In those early years Andy would head off to Paris every weekend in search of fashionable collectables which were snapped up by buyers in America and Australia.
Since then he has handled thousands of pieces, enabling him to build a reputation as one of Europe’s leading art dealers, selling to a client base across the world.
The collector’s market for decorative arts has increased scarcity and inflated prices in recent years, as people appreciate the bewildering designs, and remains one of the best performing investment sectors in the antiques art market.
Andy is an expert not only on design from 1860 to the present, but also on current market conditions. So, if you’ve always wondered if that fairly contemporary item languishing in a corner is worth something, go and see him. It just might be.
Andy Green will offer free valuations of 20th century items at Hansons on Thursday, January 3, 10am-4pm. Items are invited until February 1 for The 20th Century Design Auction, which will be held at Hansons, Heage Lane, Etwall, on February 22. Hansons reopens on Wednesday, January 2. If you have any sports memorabilia, football expert Alistair Lofley will offer free valuations on Saturday, January 5, 9am-noon.