Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Discovering Art and Art History: Q Antiques & Design

photo courtesy of Q Antiques and Design, Chris Thompson Photography, 2011

As I mentioned two weeks ago here, dealers are an important part of the art world. They are the ones mostly responsible for the buying and selling of fine art and art objects. This week we will start with antiques, because who doesn't want something old and something new?

It can be difficult to find unique objects for the house or for gifts as your options are grab something at Crate & Barrel or sift through an overwhelming amount of crap at flea markets and random antique stores. Now I have nothing against Crate & Barrel, I go there often. However, if you are looking for a unique object to display or give, you likely won't find it there. I'm also one who likes to find treasures in unlikely places, but I generally don't have the time or the patience to dig.

This is where an antique dealer comes in handy. You have to be careful when choosing a dealer so often antique and antiquity dealers try to sell stolen items. Some also claim to be dealers with no credentials or background in the field. It's important to ask questions and get to know the dealer you are working with before purchasing items. Look for an 'about me' section of their website. Email or call the dealer to ask them about their education and experience. Ask which associations they belong to and ask where they source their goods. An honest dealer will be happy to engage with you and will get excited about having a relationship with their client.

One of my favorite dealers is Q Antiques & Design, owned and run by fabulous Kim Ahara. Full disclosure: Kim is one of my good friends. This is why I trust her work ethic and can attest to her enthusiasm and expertise.

What's nice about her shop is that a) it is easily accessible online even though she's up in Rhode Island and b) if there is something particular you are looking for, or a collection needing nurturing, she'll do the digging for you. You can trust that her objects are obtained in ethical ways and that she prices them fairly. She sums up her mission so much better than I ever could:


Because objects tell terrific stories that make us ALL smarter, more interesting and attractive.
Because people should be able to AFFORD museum-quality objects and we make this possible.
Because we believe in USING great objects in day-to-day life.

Because good design is tasteful AND timeless.
Because everything does not have to MATCH!

Because antiques are GREEN and good for the planet. Re-imagine, re-purpose, reinvent, reanimate!
Because COLOR is cool.

Because a fusion of antique + modern is CONTEMPORARY.
Because we are merely the custodians of historically significant, FABULOUS objects.

If you are looking for beautiful objects for your home, then I recommend heading her way. Here are some of my favorite goodies from her shop:

photo courtesy of Q Antiques and Design, Chris Thompson Photography, 2011

photo courtesy of Q Antiques and Design, Chris Thompson Photography, 2011

 photo courtesy of Q Antiques and Design

photo courtesy of Q Antiques and Design, Chris Thompson Photography, 2011

And when you do check out her shop, you must read about the Ancestors Gallery! It's hilarious...

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