A tonic that’s sure to boost SA’s auction and design worlds


A tonic that’s sure to boost SA’s auction and design worlds

The Aspire x Tonic Fine Design Auction heralds a new era in SA for designers and collectors

Julia Freemantle

Collaboration has become such a buzzword in design, and its power to generate newness and invigorate industries has even filtered into the often-rarefied world of fine art. Aspire Art Auctions recently enlisted interiors experts Tonic Design to work with it on a new platform for international and local design, one that’s set to inject renewed life into the auction world in SA and provide a dedicated channel for the sale of decorative and product design.

As bona fide experts in sourcing pieces on auction for projects, no one knows better than Greg Gamble and Philippe van der Merwe how challenging it is to find special collectable furniture and design in this country. “Over the last 20 years we’ve scoured auctions for interesting pieces. While in Europe there is always an auction or flea markets on your doorstep, here the options are limited to the occasional household or fine-art sale. Design auctions don’t exist here in the same way as they do internationally,” says Gamble.

The Aspire X Tonic Fine Design Auction aims to start to change that. A collection of just less than 140 lots, ranging from mid-century Danish design and iconic Kartell, Vitra, Ligne Rose, Tom Dixon and Cassina pieces to contemporary South African collectables (Anatomy Design, Lemon, Dokter and Misses), Lalique and Murano glassware, it’s a wide-ranging and impressive selection of highly desirable pieces...

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