New Shipment Just Arrived From Europe
Our Process

How does it work?

  • + 1 Hand-Picked From Around the Globe
    We hand-source and import only genuine antiques from all over the world.
  • + 2 Import & custom restore
    Import into Australia & custom restore pieces to specific client requirements & to an exceptional standard which includes - colour - finish - fabric
  • + 3 Personally pack & deliver
    We personally pack and deliver for a safe delivery Australia wide.
Buying Antiques

What Every Beginner Needs to Know

Nothing says elegance more effectively than a house or apartment with fine quality, well-selected antique pieces.

Modern design and contemporary interior decoration is a fantastic backdrop for a home, but some original and authentic antique furniture adds richness, depth and character to your home. Antiques also have a hand-wrought quality and sense of history that is missing from today’s mass produced items, and they’re able to reveal something about your personal tastes and your interests.

For those new to antiques, there is much to consider so we’ve developed a help guide to make things a little easier.

  • What is classified as an antique?

    An item is officially ‘antique’ if it is 100, or more, years old. Vintage pieces and textiles are also popular these days. These are often 20 or 30 years old but they are not, however, classified as antiques. It is important to remember that antique spans all manner of styles and periods, including Art Deco. Equally it covers an array of qualities so do not assume that because something is an antique, it is automatically fine quality.

  • Where can you buy antiques?

    ‘Antiques’ can be purchased anywhere – The traditional places to buy antiques are through antique shops or centres, or at a collectors’ fair or auction. While you can pick up some great things at auction, it’s essential that if you are unfamiliar in dealing with antiques, do not bid on high value items. Auction houses too can make mistakes in their descriptions and you have no recourse – as the saying goes ‘buyer beware’.

    In all cases, you should investigate the place you plan to make your purchases and establish that it is a reputable source. Some fairs and auction houses vet dealers’ stock in advance to ensure they are authentic and accurate. You can also look online for reviews, or use specialist internet forums to seek recommendations. It’s also worth checking which professional bodies the dealer or shop owner is a member of. This might include the Australian Antique and Art Dealers Association and CINOA. The most important rule of thumb however, is to get a Certificate of Authenticity. If the seller will not supply one, do not buy the piece as you have no recourse in the event you find out it is a fake.

    Shopping online for antiques has become increasingly popular. Online gives you access to a far greater array of antiques but is also the forum in which most caution should be exercised and unless you’re paying nothing for a piece, it’s essential to follow these tips:

    What to ask…

    • Always ask for a Certificate of Authenticity, and if they won’t provide one, do not buy. The certificate must have a full description of the item, the dealer contact details and address, the age of the piece and ideally, a photo;
    • Ask the supplier what makes the piece antique – how do they know. Don’t be embarrassed – ask them to explain it as it shows that you are a smart buyer and you’re less likely to be taken advantage of;
    • Ask them about their experience and how they came to be a dealer and for how long;
    • Ask them what shipping guarantees they will provide, for example, if a piece breaks in transit what are your options?;
    • Ask them what their policy is if it arrives at your door and it’s not what was represented on the website or you do not like it when you see it. Any dealer ‘worth their salt’ should give a full refund.
    • Ask for detailed photos i.e. the back of the piece, underneath the piece, closeups of inlay, under the marble etc etc.
    • Ask for a written condition report – again this provides you with recourse.
  • What to look out for

    If you buy from a well respected dealer, you do not have to be quite as rigorous with the items below, as your dealer should have already made these assessments first. Experienced dealers have years of knowledge and skill and know when a piece is not right. A good dealer will not only save you from making these mistakes yourself and potentially losing a lot of money, but they will educate you over time as well. When buying you should…

    • Take a very close look at a piece. Unless a piece is restored, an antique is likely to have some honourable scars. So, it is then a question of what is honourable and what is not. For example, is the piece all original or has it been ‘made up’? Is the carcass timber moving and causing the inlays to move (unacceptable), or is the glue just loose under the inlays which is an easy fix. Is the glass in the mirror frame original, is the back of the mirror original? Is it gilt or gold paint – ask the dealer how they know that it’s gilt as there are telltale signs. Are there witness marks that something has happened over time. Is the marble original, and if not, do not pay the price you would for an original marble.
    • Find out if the price includes restoration.
    • Ask, ask, ask. There is no such thing as too many questions – if you don’t ask, you won’t learn.
  • What to ask
    • Enquire about damage and any restoration that has been undertaken.
    • Always secure a receipt, even if you pay in cash, and ask the dealer to list all the salient details about the item – age, material, damage, restoration, etc. If a dealer won’t give a receipt, it suggests he or she is not reputable and it’s probably best to walk away, however much you want the item.
    • Ask for a ‘Certificate of Authenticity’.
    • If you’re buying an expensive piece – or one that is linked to a particularly historical event – ask if it has provenance. Often this will be lost, however if provenance has not been lost it’s a wonderful thing to take along with the piece. This is proof of its origins and history. It could come in the form of purchase receipts, evidence and/or appraisals from auction houses, photographs and/or historic records, signatures or stamps. Remember though – contrary to popular belief, most antiques were not signed, even many of the very best ones. In fact, if a piece was commissioned for a particular wealthy home, it was even less likely to be signed or stamped and provenance on most items has been lost over time.
    • Check authentication marks. These are almost always present in china, pottery and silverware.
    • Fakes abound so be careful. Again you’re less likely to run into this issue buying from a reputable dealer. If you know nothing about antiques and want to buy them, seek information from those that know.
  • Want to learn more?

    If you find you have a growing interest in antiques, you might want to buy or borrow a good book on the period or types of items that particularly interest you. We at Wallrocks are great enthusiasts about our stock and will be more than happy to share our knowledge and experience on the furniture, the era and what you need to know and be aware of.

    Investing a bit of time and energy in finding some quirky and original pieces for your home is not only a great way to create a stunning living environment, it can also be a fun way to learn about life in days gone by.

Case Study

Past To Present

A Pair of 19th Century French Louis XVI armchairs

Narissa Perks - Director NT Corporate, Perth WA

"Hi Jessica I have been meaning to drop you an email to thank both yourself and Nick for all your help with the bed and bedside tables. It has been a pleasure dealing with you both and I am just so thrilled with the bed and the tables. They both complement each other so well, I couldn't be more pleased. The restoration of all the items looks amazing and Nick's instructions for assembly were very helpful. It now feels like we are staying in a luxury hotel every night! I would have no hesitation in purchasing items through you again or in recommending you to friends. I am just so pleased with the purchase. I admit that I was somewhat apprehensive making such a large purchase on an item I had only seen on your website and I hoped it looked every bit as good in real life (it did!), especially given I hadn't told my husband about it! Thankfully he loved it when I did the big reveal. The photos were fantastic and your professionalism set me at ease. "

Elizabeth Foster, Gold Coast, Qld

""Hello Jessica I just wanted to thank you ……I love the bed! It has surpassed all expectations. I am amazed at how beautiful it is. Please pass on this note to any who are considering buying an antique through “Wallrocks” It is encouraging to find people that can combine passion with their work and this was evident from the first time I stepped through the door at Wallrocks. Nick Wallrock’s qualifications and experience in sourcing antiques is demonstrated in the simple act of displaying the antiques in their natural un-restored state. Most insightful, as it allowed me to see the piece I intended to buy for what it truly is. Seeing restoration take place on site further bolstered my approval that the piece I bought would be given the respect it deserved. Lynden and Peter are truly gifted restorers as evident in the finished piece. I enjoyed talking with them and seeing their restoration work in progress. Visualising the finished piece in my home was an easy step to take with the assistance of Jessica Wallrock (Nick’s daughter). Jessica’s has a natural ability with style and taste. Jessica imparted to me that antiques are not only beautiful but also useful and easily incorporated into the modern home. I hope that your experience with “Wallrocks” is as rewarding as mine. To Jessica, Nick and everyone at Wallrocks…..Thank You. I look forward to dealing with you in the future.""

Nerolie Withnall, BA LLB Company Director & Former Lawyer, Brisbane Australia

""I have been buying fine French and English antique furniture from Wallrocks Antiques for 20 years and I continue to do so. The antiques Nick brings from his many sources in the UK and France are always beautiful; where necessary restoration is carried out onsite with sensitivity and craftsmanship; all items are properly and honestly provenanced, and Nick is generous in sharing with his clients his deep knowledge and understanding of antiques and antique markets. I have been very happy with all of my dealings with Wallrock Antiques. My home, and my life have been enriched by their lovely furniture.""

Joan Greenwood, Warrick

""Every item has arrived in excellent condition and beautifully restored. Thank you both for the pleasure you and your antiques have brought and continue to delight me and my family. It is a pleasure to do business with Wallrocks.""

Jannene Madden, Melbourne, Victoria

""Recently I went online searching for a particular piece of furniture and found an interesting piece at Wallrocks in Brisbane. It so happened I had planned a trip to Brisbane and upon entering the store, was very impressed with the quality of their pieces. Nick kindly offered to include my chosen piece in his next delivery to Melbourne, whereby I could place the piece insitu to ensure I was totally happy with the size and appearance. He was also happy to take the furniture back to Brisbane if it did not suit my space. Of course the piece was absolutely perfect and is a much treasured piece adorning my home.""

Paul Stack, Taree, NSW

""We have thoroughly enjoyed working with Jessica and Nick during our recent house renovations. The quality and knowledge of their furniture is fabulous and the restoration work (when needed) enhanced the look and feel of every item. Our chairs are beautiful and the new upholstery magnificent. The whole interior design process was handled by Jessica professionally and for a great price. Being located outside of Queensland was not an issue with all items personally delivered, quickly and safely, by Nick. Thanks to the team at Wallrocks our home is now more beautiful than ever!""

Doug Patrick, Melbourne, Victoria

""My wife and I met Jess and Nick at an antique exhibition in Melbourne in mid-2014. We had long been looking for a special piece of furniture for one of the rooms in our Victorian-era home, and we were delighted to find exactly what we wanted at the Wallrocks stand. Jess and Nick could not have been more informative and encouraging, and our precious item was duly delivered to us with great care and efficiency. In addition, and thanks to their extensive range of stock, Jess and Nick were able to source and deliver two further items which complemented our original purchase. Together, the three items have made a dramatic difference to our home. My experience with the Wallrock family has been very satisfying, and the efforts which they have made to establish an outstanding website will ensure that I am able to find more irresistible items in the future.""

Recent Posts

Inspiration and Advice

New Shipment of Antiques – Wallrocks Staff Top Picks

17 October 2017
Inspiration and Advice

Luxury Collectibles – AFR Looks at Hottest Collectibles

20 September 2017
Inspiration and Advice

Antiques as an Investment

06 September 2017