Art brings hope to South Africa in troubled times

The art market is a beacon of hope in these troubled times for South Africa, but those who want to be part of the success story need to prepare now by Ivan Macquisten One moment, it was very much a man’s world, the next it is women coming to the fore in the South African art market. This is the result of the death on Christmas Day of Stephan Welz, the colossus of the country’s […]

Corkscrew collections – by Jeremy Astfalck

Collectibles By Lisa Witepski Dictionary.com describes collections as “a group of objects or works to be seen, studied or kept together.” That rather sterile definition gives no hint at the passion collectors feel for their prized goodies, or the unadulterated joy when they find a potential newcomer for the group. Take Graham Webster, general manager of Pearl Valley, for example. Most people have one or two corkscrews lying around the house; Webster has more than […]

Article from the Collectables column of Business Day on the 10th May 2005 – by Jeremy Astfalck

THE sale of a collection of corkscrews at a Stephan Welz auction in Johannesburg again highlighted collector interest in these items, which offer a wide variety in size, shape and design. Jeremy Astfalck of The Old Corkscrew in Franschhoek says interest in corkscrews has taken off in the past few years and a band of about 300 serious collectors worldwide has grown to between 3000 and 5000. An indication of the demand for corkscrews is […]

Antique silver – by Jeremy Astfalck

Most countries at some time or another have had silverware produced within their borders, either for religious purposes or for domestic use.  Silver along with gold has always been at the base of most economic systems since earliest times, due to their nobility, rarity and ability to be shaped into items of beauty.  It is not surprising therefore that these metals have been sought after since time immemorial as yardsticks of wealth by both the […]

How to Value Silver – by Jeremy Astfalck

When confronted with any piece of silver there are various factors that contribute to its value.   The first and most obvious factor is the age.  Generally speaking, the older the piece, the more valuable it will be, as it has survived periods of war (where it could have been melted for currency), changes in fashion (where many pieces were altered, such as the addition of chasing and fussy decoration to suit the Victorian taste), and damage (where pieces […]

Silver collecting – the art of acquisition by Jeremy Astfalck

From early times the wealthy upper classes used silver at home to display their wealth, since along with gold it was seen as the ultimate store of value. Silver was the preferred metal for the manufacture of utilitarian items as it was lighter than gold and easily worked due to its malleability. In times of financial need or war you converted the silver into coinage. When fashions changed you simply melted the family silver and […]