One of my favourite Japanese words is ‘Shibui’. Shared with me by a scholar of design history, it is similar to ‘patina’, a more widely used reference for the softening to the surface of an object over time and natural age. ‘Shibui’ describes the ‘life’ behind the quality of any experience, a sense of evolving character or perfection. In the context of furniture and lighting, it is the wear and tear, and the folds and the forms, that only add to the character of timeless design.
Before buying something new, online or off the showroom floor, think about investing in pre-owned furniture, an original. This not only helps the environment, but more importantly it celebrates and pays homage to the designers, and designs that have sometimes taken decades to perfect. These pieces have been constructed with skill and imagination and with enduring materials. They reflect the relationship between the designer, and often embody the fashion and history of an era – a timeless work of art.
I am passionate about original pieces and always keen to educate buyers on the benefits of buying real vs replica. Real products are manufactured using innovative techniques and quality materials. Even today, licensed manufactures of design classics follow very specific guidelines stipulated by the original design. This is in stark contrast to replica furniture, often produced in overseas factories, using sub-standard materials and manufacturing methods.
They are mere imitations, with little meaning or reference to the original concept, which were built to last. A designer chair, however old, is not just a chair, it has beauty and relevance, and a connection to the time and place it was created.
If you want to own a design classic that will stand the test of time, do your research and purchase an original. Find the magic in the real! And importantly, help the environment along the way.
Please read below the inspired vision and collaborative nature behind these two collections:
A shared love, or obsession, for collecting has led Yuge and I down divergent paths. We share a passion that has seen us on countless journeys near, far and wide. We have gathered mementos and pieces that hold special stories for us, each reflecting our travels to different places.
I remember the first time I bought a piece of furniture with a story behind it. It was a wedding cake carrier purchased from a bakery that resembled a large metronome. It seemed like a piece that was not merely utilitarian, and the story behind it sent me on a continued journey.
Yuge, since early childhood, has also carried the obsession for collecting. Be it in her multitudes of old stamps, or reams of fabric in countless textures, colours and weaves. Much like me, she has adored and carried these collections for many years in different spaces.
We have learned through our habit of collecting that each piece goes through its own lifespan. Certain pieces stay with us for a short time, others for many years, and the few key pieces that we could never part with. We have at times tried to curb our collecting habit but we no longer want to as we get too much enjoyment out of the “hunt”.
These two collections, in Daylesford and Prahran, carry personal significance and form a shared journey for us both. Together we will continue to collaborate and decide on purchases with a combined influence, while remaining to reflect our disparate tastes.
When placed together our collections form a major part in the architecture of our lives: the way we live, make art, create and find treasures for other people’s journeys. We rarely see things as “antique”, “mid-century” or “vintage”, but choose things because they resonate with us on a personalised aesthetic level.
Our intention is to bring magic into the everyday. What rules our world is our mutual obsession for collecting, decorating and injecting engaging narratives into a spatial context. We invite you to enjoy the collections and experience this world of ours.
The Interior Worlds of Yuge & David Bromley | Collection II Auction date and time | 12:00 AEST, Sunday 31 Jul 2016 Auction location | 39 East Street, Daylesford VIC Auction & Viewing on site in Daylesford
Viewing Friday 29 July 10am-5pm Saturday 30 July 10am-5pm
Other highlights include a rare collection of chairs by the American-born architect, Walter Burley Griffin. The collection consists of six dining chairs and two armchairs designed in 1917 for Newman College, University of Melbourne, Parkville. The chairs have been fully restored and come with significant provenance. No doubt, their results will be somewhat interesting due to the fact that Walter Burley Griffin furniture in Australia is becoming more and more difficult to find.
Overall, the April Modern Design offering showcases an exciting array of different eras crossing over one another: we juxtapose the austerity of early Arts & Crafts and Modernist pieces with the striking shapes and forms of the 1970s and 80s. And of course, it would not be a Leonard Joel Modern Design auction without paying homage to our on-going love affair with Australian mid-century design, including some wonderful examples of Australian lighting from the 1950s and 60s and pieces by the ever popular Grant Featherston, we welcome you to enjoy the diversity of our latest collection.
Auction | Thursday 14 April at 6.30pm Viewing | 9-10 April 10am-4pm | 13 April 9am-8pm Anna Grassham | 03 8825 5637 | email Catalogue online soon
Leonard Joel’s Modern Design Specialist, Anna Grassham, will be offering complimentary market appraisals for the April 2016 Modern Design auction. Feel free to bring in photographs of items you are wishing to have valued on Wednesday 9 November 12-8pm.
If you have any questions, please contact Anna Grassham.
This was his way of celebrating the ocean, the landscape and space. The chaise lounge, lot 197, at Leonard Joel’s Modern Design auction on Thursday evening, one of only three ever produced, was a rare Niemeyer design that we had the privilege of exhibiting and selling at auction. Manufactured by Tendo Braziliera in the 1970s the chair sold for $10,980 and set an Australian record for the designer at auction. Anna Grassham for Modern Design commented “it’s elegant black finish, it’s curvaceous look, yet eminently functional design, placed it as one of my favourites of the auction and I’m just so thrilled that new collectors can enjoy and acquire design and, really, history of this calibre”.
If you have designer furniture, no matter how new or old, that you wish to sell contact Anna Grassham for a complimentary discussion and appraisal.