AS a regular exhibitor at that most traditional of fairs, the Chelsea Antiques Fair, and after enjoying a most successful debut at New York’s Winter Antiques Show earlier this year, there is no doubt that European folk art specialist Robert Young is very much an antique dealer.
But there is also no doubt that Mr Young’s stock has immense and increasing appeal for the interior decorator. So much so that Robert’s wife Josyane runs an interior design consultancy called Rivière, based on the distinctive Robert Young stock.
On the eve of the partnership’s third annual exhibition of Folk Art at their showrooms at 68 Battersea Bridge Road, London SW11, from May 17 to 25, Robert admitted: “I think the huge growth of interest in and appreciation of Folk Art is directly related to its compatibility with contemporary design.”
The exhibition features items as diverse as a tradesman’s handcart to a painted marriage chest, weathervanes, love tokens and an early gardener’s watering can.
Robert Young maintains these objects were not created as art, their worth is in their form, surface and their stories. They were once commonplace but now they are rare we appreciate more their graphic qualities and humour.
Josyane Young believes it is “the charisma and inherent individuality of these pieces that has attracted such a renaissance of interest.”
She adds that with today’s taste for uncluttered, loft-style living, clean lines and space, designers are selecting these unique pieces of folk art to lend a quirky twist and appealing eclectisism to a home.