Collecting religious iconography

    Collecting religious iconography

    With several important religious holidays scheduled for April, including Easter for Christians, Pesach for the Jewish faith, Ram Navami and Hanuman Jayanti for the Hindi faith and Lailat Al’Miraj and Lailat Al’Bara’a for the Muslim faith, the Antique Fair at Nelson Mandela Square on Sunday focuses on the collecting of religious antiques and iconography.

    Whether a person collects to show devotion to a faith or simply because of the value and beauty of the pieces, this collecting discipline can be very rewarding.

    Antique collecting per se can be traced back to the preservation of valued religious objects in antiquity and this line of collecting continues to this day. With so much history and spiritualism attached to religious icons, the value of an item transcends the fiscal worth and aesthetic appeal and takes on a deeper, more spiritual meaning.

    Collectors should look for quality pieces that reflect their uniqueness and that show distinct inspiration in design. Usually the more elaborate and rare the piece, the more valuable it will be.

    According to Jeremy Astfalck, silver expert from The Old Corkscrew in Franschhoek who comes up to do the NMS Antique Fair, silver made for religious purposes has always been popular, particularly the field of Judaica.

    “Many of these items are one-off commissions and reflect the style of the day while the basic form has remained unchanged since first conceptualised.”

    The market for religious iconography is currently strong with quality pieces showing an increase in prices worldwide.

    A note of caution, however, is that this is an area that has a lot of fakes and forgeries so we advise you only buy from an accredited dealer that belongs to an antique dealers’ representative organization like the Naada Association.

    The Antique Fair at Nelson Mandela Square boasts over forty dealers from all over the country.

    For more information contact Clyde Terry on 082 883 4933 or Giuli Osso (Media Liaison) on 083 377 6721 or e-mail

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