The internet is bringing younger buyers to auction. In an attempt to involve the discriminating younger collector the focus of the Irish Antique Dealers Fair in Dublin has shifted in latter years to include quality contemporary and antique furniture and collectibles. This years fair, which runs at the RDS from September 23-25, will feature the doyen of American designers Carleton Varney, president of the Dorothy Draper brand, the oldest established design firm in the US.
He is pro antique and pro brown furniture, believing that for lifestyle you must incorporate the past with the now and leave room for the future. Mr. Varney is associated with the restoration of top hotels around the world including Adare Manor, Dromoland and Ashford Castle in Ireland and the Waldorf Towers and the Plaza Hotel in New York. He designed for five US first ladies from Jackie Kennedy to Barbara Bush. In Dublin he will head a packed programme that these days manages to combine contemporary design with the best of Irish antiques.
“For the past 51 years, people have been attending the fair to discover something different, that magical piece that can make a home,” said George Stacpoole, chairman of the Irish Antique Dealers Association (IADA), who has been present at every event so far. “The fair is a fascinating insight into great craftsmanship throughout the ages, attracting collectors and connoisseurs of all tastes. We have a carefully selected blend of antique and contemporary exhibitors, allowing all ages to focus on the unique yet affordable design that appeals to them”. Over 15,000 people are expected to attend the fair. There is an invitation only preview on Thursday evening.