Queenstown’s best kept secret is ready to be shared.
The aptly-named Den of Antiquity is welcoming customers from far and wide to discover some of the most special antiques the town has ever seen.
Tucked away off the beaten track on Arthur’s Point Road, the Den of Antiquity is home to a collection of antique furniture and unique ‘objects d’art’ and homeware – an eclectic mix ranging from 17th century antiques to mid-20th century industrial and modernist Danish designer pieces.
Owners John Fraser and Dawn Colledge first opened their doors earlier this year with only word-of-mouth leading people to their treasure trove.
“While it is such a great passion of ours, no-one else in the area was collecting, buying and selling antiques in the way that we wanted to,” said John.
Situated in the old cattle drome premises, the adjoining building to The Hangar (a co-working office space), John saw the Den as the perfect space to house his collection of authentic and original pieces, and build on what he loves.
“Everything in our Den is original and unique, so you won’t find any replicas or reproductions,” said John.
So much so, John travels to Europe once or twice a year, attending bustling antique fairs in France and England to bid for one-off antique pieces to bring back to Queenstown. He also sources some items from within New Zealand.
The local community in Queenstown has already shown an avid interest in the Den, which John and Dawn put down to the niche gap in the market they’re filling with beautiful things.
“We’ve welcomed many locals into the Den who are either looking to buy that stand-out piece for their home, or are looking for something in particular which we can help source.
“It’s also great to see many visitors from Asia, the States and Australia stopping by and showing interest. They might just come in for a ‘look’ but many end up buying and we happily arrange to ship items internationally.”
Originally from Christchurch, John and Dawn moved back to New Zealand six years ago and spent five of those years living aboard their motor yacht based in the Marlborough Sounds before making the move to Queenstown. They saw an opening in the market to deliver unique and interesting one off pieces to the discerning customer base within the area.
Although just outside Queenstown in Arthur’s Point, the Den is handily situated – off the main road between Queenstown and Arrowtown, close to Coronet Peak ski area and a growing residential community. There’s plenty of space for parking and some sensational views of the Shotover River and gorge, if you have a little wander around the back of the building.
Inside, jaws have been known to drop, as it’s hard to imagine what’s inside until you see it for yourself. Compelling pieces of furniture – such as a stunning highly-polished office desk made out of an old aeroplane wing, a 300-year old wine cooler, a unique 60-year old ships’ lighting and restored horse gigs – there’s something to suit all types of homes or accommodation.
If that wasn’t enough to take you on an historical journey back through time, there’s a full size aeroplane from the 1960’s on display, which just adds to the eclectic mix contained inside.
A personal favourite of John’s is an old search light from around the 1950/60’s, rescued from one of the ships which worked on the Suez Canal. Bought by a customer living at Bobs Cove, the light is used to light up the cliff behind their home.
“What started off as a hobby has developed into a fully-fledged business which we’re delighted to share with the community and visitors in Queenstown,” said John.
“If you’re unable to find the piece you are after, we have an international network of suppliers from which to source that special item.”