At the age of 23, I purchased a new home. I had no furniture, so I went out shopping, but traditional furniture did not appeal to me. It was only by chance that I walked past an antique store in Sassafras where, in the front display window, there was a beautiful velvet chaise lounge on sale for $1200.00. At first glance I knew I just had to have that lounge, as - strangely enough - I felt as though I had a personal connection with it. I could imagine myself just lying back, and loving that chaise lounge! I did purchase it and now, twenty years later, I still love the lounge; whether relaxing in it while reading a book, having a cup of tea, or - in these modern times – having fun at my play station, it remains the best seat in the house.
So, that is where my antique journey started; where, instead of furnishing my home with traditional furniture, I decided to invest in antiques. When comparing antiques to traditional furniture, my view is that antiques have survived the test of time; while being admired, cherished, and cared for like pieces of valuable art, they certainly aren’t going out of fashion, and are also a great investment. Over time, antique furniture will increase in value, whereas traditional furniture will, sometime within ten years, either fall apart due to poor workmanship, go out of fashion, and/or end up at the rubbish tip.
Over the years, I have been drawn to heavily carved pieces. Why? Well, simply because I admire the craftsmanship, the amazing detail, and the captivating mystery and history behind the carving. Unfortunately, these heavily carved pieces are very hard to come by in Australia and, if you are after a specific item, you may be searching for years - as I found out, when looking for a four- poster bed. I had looked everywhere and even had dealers look overseas for me. But, all those dealers came back empty-handed. Later, it was just by chase I came across a beautiful French four-poster bed in the former Acorn Antiques Shop on High Street in Melbourne. The bed - as you will see below -has an exquisite carving of Arch Angels and - my utmost favourite - the fleur-de-lis. I was lucky enough to buy the bed for only $8,900.00, which I thought was a pretty good buy…even though it did not come with any drapes. At the time, I was working as a young police officer, my friends thought I was mad, but, I knew that over time that bed would prove to be a smart personal investment. Today, it’s now fully lined with beautiful crushed red velvet, and I have refused many offers to sell, even though - as we all do – I’ve gotten myself into tight financial situations.
Over the years, nothing much has changed since I purchased my four-poster bed; Australia still lacks heavily carved pieces of furniture, so I started my mission to bring a few more of these items for my home. What initially started as a bit of a hobby, turned into an enticing adventure, when my fiancée, Judy Cheung, who is also a web marketing expert, talked me into turning my hobby, into Invest Antiques, so I could better share my passion with others.
Judy is the motivation behind Invest Antiques. She is a refreshingly innovative business entrepreneur, co-founder - and now owner and director - of the SkinB5 acne and clear skin treatment, JC Planning, and the rising web marketing company, MyWebsiteNow. Judy fell in love with the storytelling behind highly decorative antiques. She is no stranger to the world of art, for she grew up watching her grandfather, Mr. YU, bring Chinese water colour paintings to life, and came to appreciate the fact that detail is everything to the Chinese artist. Judy not only brings that eye for detail to Invest Antiques, but selects those antiques which appeal to both genders.
Judy Cheung also discovered firsthand the frustration of not been able to find high quality decoratively carved dining chairs for which High Street Armadale prices weren’t being asked. She highlighted the fact that, if we were having so much difficulty finding quality carved antique pieces, or, as she likes to say, “amazing pieces of antique art”, then other Australians must surely be in that very same position.
The concept of searching internationally for beautifully carved antiques commenced with the focus on finding highly carved pieces that Chinese craftsman would be proud of, and then providing excellent customer service, matched with honour and integrity.
Judy speaks fluent Mandarin and Cantonese and assists Invest Antiques with the growing Chinese market, which craves Western culture.