For too long, antiques from the western world have been almost untouchable in Asia. Buying online or when travelling abroad attracts risks and prohibitive “extra” expenses. There is an abundance of reproduced antiques in Asia but if you wish to invest in the originals that have adorned the upstairs parlours and the downstairs kitchens of chateaux and castles in centuries long gone, since 2013 Authentiques' has brought an ever-increasing range of furniture to Hong Kong.
Kate Davies placed her investment banking career in Hong Kong on ice to blend her passion for furniture, history, romance and travel with an eye for detail and a sense of occasion, bringing real antique furniture to Hong Kong. While some businesses mix antiques in to their ranges of newly made furniture, her new venture, Authentiques, is breaking new ground by focusing only on 18th and 19th century pieces. Kate goes to the source, travelling to Europe and UK with Hong Kong and Chinese customers in mind. Authentiques has partnered with reputable antique dealers who have handed down their passion for beautiful and superbly made furniture, crafted hundreds of years ago. Having viewed thousands upon thousands of antique pieces, a special range was selected for a five day “pop-up” store which was held in Hong Kong in April 2013. On the back of its success, the unique Hong Kong shop has been born.
Kate, an Australian, who has been in Hong Kong since 1997, grew up in Melbourne with antiques at arm’s length. “It dawned on me during our first buying trip why I was naturally drawn to antiques. Everywhere we went I heard myself saying ‘my parents have one of those’ or ‘my mum has something so similar’. My parents are keen decorators and they are very clever at mixing old with new. I am never happier than when I am in their spaces and I seek out similar ambiances wherever I go”. Kate started her career as a TV journalist in Australia and moved in to public relations in Hong Kong, then marketing and events within banking. A burning desire to bring family antiques in to her own Hong Kong apartment to add depth and character paved the way towards Authentiques. Now, Kate's young daughter eats her meals seated on a sturdy antique oak and rush-seated dining chair at a leather-topped partners' desk which is used as an eight-seater dining table.
Authentiques creates many memorable moments with antiques as interest grows in Asia.