I just couldn’t resist capturing our gorgeous girls Portia and Gypsy in their favourite greeting spot, so if antiques aren’t your thing, just come in for a pat!
Our last two shipments have arrived back to back, and with lots of goodies coming in, our front showroom has really been spruced up. There is a great array of modern 1970s and 80s furniture, lighting and decorative accessories.
Pictured above are a set of four convex mirrors that are mounted in giltwood frames. Hung together like this they are just so effective.
In the above shot here, you can catch a glimpse of a 1970s parquetry top dining table in Palmwood, an absolute masterpiece, which sits perfectly with the set of six chrome dining chairs we’ve also just had in.
The psychedelic painted timber screen is one of two that are instore now. They were both designed by the famed French interior decorator Jacques Garcia for the interior of the Royal Monceaux hotel on Avenue Hoche in Paris during the 1980s. Later around 2008 the interior of the hotel was pulled down and the contents auctioned. The most recent interior was designed by Phillipe Starck. I think these screens are a real steal at $4,600 each, coming with such a provenance, what a lovely piece of French design history.
We’ve really found the beauty of this modern stock, is that is sits so well in todays apartments and loft living yet is just as suited to the more modern homes that being built in our suburbs. Make sure you pop in soon and catch our wonderful display and maybe take a part home with you!
Last night was the opening night of our Melbourne antique fair for the Australian Antique and Art Dealers Association. Put together by the association, the fair is a wonderful showcase of Australia’s best antique and art dealers. We had a great crowd last night, enjoying a drink and a conversation. Our display as Harlequin Antiques was well received, in particular our Antique French Music Box with exquisite Swiss movement was an absulute drawcard.
The fair is being held at the Royal Exhibition Building on Nicholson Street in Carlton from 11 until 7 tomorrow and from 11 until 5pm on Sunday evening. It’s well worth a visit to anyone seriously interested in collectables and antiques.
We have been busy little beavers, creating a new window display for you all. The result; a very earthy, naturally very French feel, with a combination of smart lighting, unique mirrors, and furniture of architectural proportions. Once again we have revealed how using antiques in an interior doesn’t have to translate into a fussy or pretentious room. This is understated style all over and it’s our pleasure!
Don’t forget our shipment arriving at the end of the month. This huge array of goodies will be just what we all need for Christmas!
It is 37 years this week, since Liz and Phil Capocchi opened their store Second Life Décor on Main Road in Eltham. Naturally much has changed since then, and here Liz reveals a little of the evolution of the business..
What inspired you and Phil to get into the antiques trade?
We were holidaying in the Barossa Valley one Christmas many years ago, and we went to a place called the Ravens Parlour; a large barn of a place, filled to the rafters with all sorts of things antique and vintage. That evening at dinner, we were once again discussing our ideas for future directions, and starting some sort of business for ourselves, when Phillip said “..why don’t we open one of those “junk” shops like the ravens parlour”..the rest is history.
Did you ever think your business would grow this large?
We were always hopeful of climbing to the top of the tree in the antiques industry, but never really dreamt of what was possible. I think the secret to reaching the pinnacle was a slow and steady growth through the years, by nature we are not risk takers and on that foundation we have built a strong business that is ready to pass onto the next generation.
What individual talents do you and Phil bring into the business?
We are very lucky in that our talents are largely complimentary. Phillip is fabulous at sourcing stock, organising the restoration and getting the product to our showroom ready for sale. And with my logical thinking, I look after the admin, staff, and displays in the shop. The displays in store reflect my natural inclination toward interior design.
How has your business changed in the last 37 years?
When we first started we essentially sold Australiana, brass beds, stoneware, a little jewellery, silverware and the odd American clock. Essentially it was an economic way for people to furnish as these items were very inexpensive. A few years after we opened our first store, this stock was becoming more difficult to find because Australia is such a young country and had only a small population in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Consequently the goods we were selling were never manufactured in great quantities. This paved the way for our first trip to the UK and we became importers of regular containers from England. Some 25 years ago our European backgrounds led us to France and beyond and the love affair with all things Continental started. During the first two decades we concentrated largely on beautiful quality objects and furniture from the 19th century, which has now broadened into still mainly European items from the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. We particularly appreciate some of the more modern design that came out of the 50s and 60s. With such a broad spectrum to our stock our buying trips are more enjoyable as we can purchase any thing we like regardless of age.
Whats popular in the store at the moment?
Anything that is useful and functional in our modern lives and items that have been given a new identity. A great example is our European leather upholstered gym mats which people now use as coffee tables in their family living rooms.
Where do you see antiques going in the future?
Tastes appear to becoming more eclectic with individual pieces being very desirable; the combination of the old and the new will be an ongoing phenomenon, such as we have just witnessed with our Bromley collaboration. I believe that our clients are looking for comfort and versatility rather than the stiff formal interiors of the last century.
Any tips for those wanting to start buying antiques?
Speak to people that you trust and are comfortable with, buy with your heart and not with your head. Create a relationship with a dealer who understands what you are trying to achieve. Come and see us at Capocchi!
Steve and Phil are now back from their buying trip; here are a few shots of some truly weird and wonderful things they saw along their way. Their travels took them all over France, top to bottom, and up into Belgium. We viewed the final shots of the container today, and it is a really exciting collection of pieces. Hopefully we should begin to see things arriving mid November.
The boys were excited to see this monument to the Celtic leader Ambiorix, in the town centre of Tongeren in Belgium, as we have recently acquired a bronze figure of the same famed rebel leader. We’ve heard Ambiorix may have inspired the Asterix comic book series. Our piece is also a 19th century bronze by Edouard Drout (1859-1945).
I’m sure a visit to an antique store is not top of the list for many youngsters of favourite things to do. Yet our vintage French childrens merry go round has delighted many visiting littlies, in fact, some of them beg to stay and “never want to leave”!!.
Over the years we have worked with numerous production companies and set designers for film and television. Our stock has starred in some big movies, including Baz Luhrmann’s Moulin Rouge and Charlottes Web.
Today, another film opens at the cinemas called Dont Be Afraid of the Dark, directed by Troy Nixey and starring Katie Holmes and Guy Pearce. Filmed in Melbourne, many of our pieces can be spotted, particularly scenes shot in the Library.
The link below shows our chandelier in the dining room..http://www.imdb.com/media/rm2002238976/tt1270761 although since sold, we do have others still like it.
It was time for a revamp of our front shop space, so last week was spent taking the shop apart and putting it back together!
Putting a space together takes a lot of planning and our new staff member Deborah started us off with a floor plan based on Liz’s brief of moving our twentieth century pieces down into the front shop. Sounds easy, but once you do start moving things around, you realise that some pieces just aren’t working as planned. The day goes on and you think your running out of time and all of a sudden it fits and everything falls together perfectly…So Thursday and Friday were busy, busy but the result is fantastic. Our front space is now full of Art Deco furniture, fabulous twentieth century lighting, and comforotable leather seating..
Episode 7 of Channel 9′s ‘The Block’ aired on Tuesday 28th June. Challenge master Shelley Craft put the couples through another challenge that had them driving all over Melbourne searching for much-needed cash and a very big twist. Part of the episode was shot inside our store where contestants hunted for red houses that equalled to $5,000 spending money. I think some of them were a little nervous opening and closing $26,000 bookcases but the hunt proved successful and the contestants were pleased! As were we that nothing was damaged….
Go to the website to view Episode 7 http://homes.ninemsn.com.au/theblock/theblock2011/