From historical possessions of freedom fighters to military relics, Mithila Mehta tells you what's trending in the homes of the rich
While most of us are busy buying the latest on offer from malls and department stores, many collectors prefer to pick up objects of beauty with heritage and history. “Off-the-shelf, factory-made items are just too ordinary when you can truly afford collectibles that tell a compelling story of grandeur and antiquity tinged with timelessness. Imagine owning a little piece of the world’s history! It doesn’t hurt that collectibles make for a great investment as well," says antiques dealer Jamal Tambwala of Tambalawala & Sons.
Agrees Dilshad J Patel, an avid collector, whose beautiful family home in Mumbai resembles a cross between a museum and an antique store. “Each and every object in my home has been carefully collected over the years from various antique shops, auctions, specialist dealers and my overseas travels. It gives me great pride and satisfaction to know that every piece is special and extraordinary in its own way. When guests visit, my collection of antiques becomes the talking point of the evening”.
Trending yet Timeless
The trending collectibles today are fairly multifarious in nature. Lists out Dimple Nahar of 2DIVINE, “Collectors are buying items such as guitars owned by some of the greatest guitarists, vintage from auctions that bear the authentic seal like items used by erstwhile kings and sports items like cricket bats. Exceptional art from renowned artists, galleries and new talents is gaining prominence. Other myriad vintage collectibles include letters, historical possessions of freedom fighters or reminders of war zones. Gramophones,phonographs and cylinders are considered as a treasure on one’s chest of drawers. Antique furniture items such as vintage mirrors are also trending”.
While the world of antiques could be rather confusing for the uninitiated buyer, it is a treasure house of opportunities for a lover of collectibles. Recently, a one-of-its-kind porcelain vase from the 14th century Yuan Dynasty went under the hammer, selling for US$1.2 million. This set the stage for dainty, white and blue decorated porcelain vases to erupt as a must-own collectible.
Pre-20th century wooden furniture is en vogue, with a focus on classic dressing tables, vintage mirrors and magnificent chandeliers. Clocks remain an evergreen favourite of collectors especially antique grandfather clocks (glorious floor standing clocks with swinging pendulums).
Kitsch and pop collectibles with a vintage touch are quite the rage. Delightful little typewriters, authentic Singer sewing machines and tables, metal boards with hand-painted advertisements (Coca Cola being the most common), vintage rotary dial telephone instruments—are some of the most sought after collectibles. Other treasured bits of popular culture such as LP records of famous bands and original Hollywood posters too adorn the beautiful homes. Hand-painted Bollywood movie posters is another must-have (more so since MF Hussain started his career by painting movie posters).
Military relics and war-related memorabilia is being snapped up by collectors all over the world, including antique hunting gear. Antique guns, such as the 19th century Remington, framed military medals, propaganda posters from the times of war are all en vogue, especially for wars with global impact such as the World Wars.
Art continues to find favour among collectors. In an interesting trend, international collectors are gradually opening up to newer forms of art, such as installation and digital. Explains Ina Arora, Managing Director of D'décor, “With the world going global and easily accessible, we are frequently exposed to art from all around the world. Connoisseurs are sourcing stunning pieces of art. The media could be oil on canvas, water colours, charcoal work or sculptures in wood, stone or steel. Video art is a very unique and novel form of art again available in India and abroad”.