For collectors au fait with buying art and antiques at the click of a mouse, it’s welcome news that The Association of Art & Antiques Dealers (Lapada) has recently ventured into the online sphere. The 42-year-old UK institution has created a single portal for its 550-dealer network, all of whom abide by a strict code of practice, from quality of stock to subject knowledge. This translates into a trusted website that promises accuracy and authenticity alongside rich historical information.
Lapada.org houses some 10,000 items (with new pieces added daily), and can be navigated by either category or dealer. Users can also home in on particular dealers by their specialities (fossils, say, or rugs) or location too – from the UK to the US to Japan.
Standout objets include a striking René Lalique art-deco Victoirecar mascot (£21,500, Hickmet Fine Arts, first picture), a Baccarat crystal and bronze liqueur cabinet (price on request, Adrian Alan) and an eye-catching 1790 harlequin tea caddy (£35,000, Hampton Antiques, second picture). There are paintings too – such as Louis de Grandmaison’s vivid Composition, 1960 (£4,500, The Gallery, third picture) – and jewellery. A suite of citrine and gold retro gems (necklace, brooch and bracelet) by Trabert & Hoeffer-Mauboussin (price on request, Hancocks) certainly manages to jump out from the screen, while London dealer Kleanthous also stocks a wonderful selection of vintage Rolex, Patek Philippe and Jaeger-LeCoultre watches (all price on request).
The site’s Collectables section turns up yet more delightful rarities and curiosities, from a trio of 1920s French dolls’ houses (from £390, Spencer Swaffer Antiques) to an exquisite c1911 mahogany Brazilian steam ferry model (£8,800, Anderson Wallrock Nautical Antiques, fourth picture).