A passion for art, a love of antiques and a remarkable instinct for living la dolce vita are the hallmarks of true Italian style. For over two thousand years, Italia has been a major resource for some of the most alluring antiques in the world. RubyLUX recently chatted with dealer Umberto Avico of Parino Mercato Antiquario in Vicoforte, Italy.
Parino Mercato Antiquario is one of country's biggest antique stores and is the ultimate destination for antique paintings, lacquered furniture and sumptuous Italian treasures.
LUXPOP!: We would love to know a little bit about you and Parino Mercato Antiquario.
Umberto Avico: We are located in Vicoforte in Piedmont in northwest Italy. We have been buying and selling antiques from all over the world since the nineteen-seventies. We specialize in antique paintings and lacquered furniture and offer a rich assortment of antique furniture, sculptures and collectibles.
LP! : The antiques business appears to be in your blood. Can you tell us how you got started?
UA: Our father started in the nineteen-seventies buying antique furniture in the Venetian area. He passed down to us the passion and we've continued to grow, including, a few years ago, to update our company with an online presence.
LP! : We love the beauty, heritage and fine lines of your lacquered pieces. What advice do you have for collectors?
UA: Lacquered furniture has always been more popular than classical furniture or inlaid furniture. This is because it is more rare and exclusive. Venetian lacquered furniture is the most popular and has the best quality; therefore, it is more expensive. We also find that lacquered furniture is the most requested, but interest and a demand in inlaid furniture is increasing.
LP! : You also have a unique collection of Italian portrait art. What advice can you offer to your collectors and interior designers?
UA: Antique portrait art is becoming popular again because it creates a great contrast between the new trends and the antique solemnity in today's new design projects. French and English portraits are always the most popular and, fortunately, they are also easier to find. Collectors don't have to care so much about the period (or age) of the portrait art, but for better results, they must look for quality because there are many interesting portraits from the nineteenth century that can be bought at a fair price.
Our family has been collecting antique paintings for decades. This is what we love. We don't subscribe to antique pieces being valuable just because of their age. Just because one item is an antique doesn't mean that it is necessarily high in value. We suggest to neophyte collectors of antiques—and to all the clients—to think about the quality and originality of the product, and not only to its age. Try to buy what you like!
LP! : And lastly, what distinguishes Parino Mercato Antiquario from your competitors?
UA: Our job is to find and present to our clients a high number of paintings, furniture and decoration. What we show on our website is what we think is the most interesting and what matches and complements the new interior design styles of today. Clients should check to buy from our website every day because of our daily new arrivals and because of the excellent service we offer. Each item is packed in a custom-made wooden box to protect it. The service is fast and free in Europe. Clients can call us by phone or email us—and we are always there to reply to them.