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Fancy furnishing with antiques?

Why not buy antique pieces to complement your contemporary furniture?

Get in on Johannesburg’s best-kept secret. Westgate Walding Auctioneers, in Waverley, Johannesburg, offers first-time buyers great deals on quality furniture and empty nesters a place to offload unwanted furniture and white goods.

Brothers Brett and Christopher Martin run the family-owned business, which dates back to 1976.

Trust is an important part of the business, explains Brett, saying that apart from empty nesters, motivating reasons for household clearances are the three Ds: death, debt and divorce. “It’s important that our customers open up to us so they are not taken advantage of,” says Brett, noting that for sellers, Westgate takes a 15% fee on general furniture sales and 10% on antiques and fine art.

Demand for antiques has declined in recent times, according to Brett, who says Davenports are not as popular as they once were because of the advent of laptops. Linen presses, once used to house TVs, have also fallen out of favour because of flat-screen TVs; while sideboards are less in demand because many people are simply living in smaller homes. There is also the current taste for “light and airy” furniture as opposed to the dark rosewood and mahogany of antiques. But on a comparative cost basis, antiques offer good investment value and are generally better built than today’s furniture.

A new addition to Westgate Walding is a shop for antique Indian furnishings called Monsoon Trading, which Brett initiated last year and says is going “fantastically well”.

* For more details on previewing days and times, as well as auction schedules, visit www.westauc.co.za

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alison-ht@pixelbaste.com

Alison Goldberg is the former property editor of Business Day (1985) and the Financial Mail (1991-99). In 1995 she won the Sanlam Financial Journalist of the Year Award. She has edited such titles as National Constructor and The Miner in Australia and has freelanced for The Star, The South African Jewish Report and The Jerusalem Post.

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