Thursday, 22 October 2015
A recent invitation to the Mayfair antiques gallery Mallett was both refreshing and profound. One of England's oldest antique dealers, Mallett in 2007 sold their Bourdon House gallery to Alfred Dunhill and moved to Dover Street. Unlike so many other galleries and retailers where a price tag is never to be seen; the adage 'if you have to ask the price you can't afford it' being de rigueur and horribly bourgeois in this day and age; everything at Mallet has a description and a price tag. How refreshing!
Spotting an elongated fork, and believing it to be some kind of delightfully smart executive back scratcher, the accompanying tag informed me that the antique toasting fork was silver, and could be mine for £9,000. Fast forward to the pictured glass chaise; clearly more expensive than a luxury marshmallow holder; correct; approximately ten times more expensive at £90,000.
By the time I got to the pair of golden Ormolu Chenets [decorative book ends to you and me] I had, for only the second time in my life contemplated giving up design, exploration and acquisition all together. The thought of the Mallett collector casually picking up the two gilded ornaments for £315,000, no matter how decorative, made me realise just how much further I have to travel.
As I sat on Berkley Square, the sun beaming down on me, it dawned on me, that it is the pursuit that's half the fun. From toasting fork, to chaise, to book end; inevitably there will always be bigger and better and more spectacular, with ever dizzying price tags; and it's exactly why, to paraphrase Lexus, the pursuit of perfection... or in this case, acquisition, is truly relentless. Check out more photos from Mallett below.