17 – 19 February 2017

at The Lookout,  V & A Waterfront, Granger Bay Blvd, Cape Town


Thursday, 16 February 2017


Friday, 17 February 2017 (10am till 8pm)

Saturday, 18 February 2017 (10am till 7pm)

Sunday, 19 February 2017 (10am till 5pm)

South Africa’s premier selection of accredited Antique, Art & Design dealers. Join us in our plutonium powered time machine and flit across the ages, along our Period Passageway.


SAADA: In with the old

Largely responsible for spearheading the facelift of the South African Antique, Art and Design Association (SAADA), Paul Mrkusic is an unlikely antiques boff. Young and dynamic, he dispels all the stereotypes of what an antique dealer should be – which is exactly why he’s so well suited to his role as CEO for the association, in that he opens it up to a new audience, breathing new life into an industry that often suffers from misconceptions.

Paul’s mission is to change people’s perceptions – and communicate the message that antiques are not merely amusing oddities, but rather useful elements of design that precisely inform the world in which we live today, as ours will inform tomorrow’s. And the yearly fairs that SAADA holds (the next is in Cape Town from 17 to 19 February) are an ideal opportunity to educate and inspire his new and growing audience.

As a young boy growing up in Johannesburg, Paul had a fascination for the stories things told – from the old houses he’d drive by as a passenger in the car with his family, to the artworks and antiques his parents had collected over the years. He’d pore over old maps and draw pictures of imagined houses, inside and out. After being told over and over that he should be an architect, Paul pursued studies in the field and qualified with a degree from the University of Cape Town, and a further degree from Wits University. But over time, realising he was more fascinated by the design of everyday things he used than the design of buildings themselves, he gravitated towards antiques after university.

Now an antique dealer in his own right, he runs Bancroft Antiques with his father. The Mrkusic family specialises in vintage quirky curiosities, which include antique English silver, some rare Georgian pieces, and an excellent range of antique silver Judaica, antique corkscrews, and original maps and prints from the 1600’s onwards. However, Bancroft’s primary focus of late is vintage jewellery, and their collection of antique rarities and vintage gems is unsurpassed in Johannesburg. Paul’s background as an architect too, gives him a well rounded visual education, and his understanding of form, design and composition make him uniquely qualified to understand all eras and aspects of the visual arts.

As SAADA’s CEO, Paul masterminds their strategy of accessibility and practicality by showing design lovers how to live easily and stylishly with antiques – rather than keeping them locked up to gather dust, he encourages using them, and combining them with pieces from different eras, and contemporary art to keep them fresh and relevant. And demonstrating that antiques, like current examples of design, are informed by the era in which they were created – a marriage of form and function that speaks to a moment in history – and are not something to be intimidated by.

Visit the SAADA website

Image: Luhanri Bekker, Francis (detail), Oil on board, 100cm x 120cm. Holden Manz Collection