About Cinda Hunter
I have a long history of collecting objects with soul: things I find beautiful and desirable, with a patina of love and use, or extraordinary form or craftsmanship.
This has taken me travelling all over the world, often to the same places again and again as they have offered up glorious finds and rich relationships. In 2005, I turned this passion into a business and opened my showroom on a large, private property in Carlswald, Midrand. Here, I sell things that I buy on my travels in India, the Far-East and Africa. I buy things I would like to own myself (and often have a great deal of difficulty in parting with) and mainly sells to like-minded customers: furniture and artefacts, textiles and home furnishings, clothing and accessories, and unique pieces of jewellery which I design and make myself.
I was born in Zimbabwe and moved to the Natal Midlands in South Africa when I was ten. I went to school and university in Johannesburg where I have lived happily ever since. My collecting started as a teenager with beads and has progressed ever since across a broad spectrum to include anything that I love.
I have been in the business of collecting African art, artefacts tribal jewellery and beads for about thirty years. I have worked and travelled with several renowned experts, dealers and collectors from whom I absorbed the skills, knowledge and ability to discern and recognise fine art and artefacts.
In 2005 I decided that it was time to start working for myself and opened my shop Beloved Things. Even though my focus to this point had been on African art, I had done many trips to India sourcing jewellery, furniture and artefacts. This influenced my decision to expand my collecting to other parts of the world and gave me an excuse to travel (my other passion) to interesting places where I believed I would find beautiful, inspiring and beloved things.
My treasures encompass a huge range – including furniture and artefacts, textiles and home furnishings, clothing and accessories, jewellery and also findings for making one’s own jewellery.
Over the years I have built up relationships with traders and dealers in India, The Far-East and Africa from whom I am able to source a wide selection of items from remote places where it is not always possible for me to venture!
Some of my most favourite places are Rajasthan (India), the Himalayas - especially Ladakh and Nepal, Ethiopia, Cambodia and Laos and by contrast the hectic bustle of Bangkok! In all of these places I find the warmth of the people spills over into everything around them. All have been the source of inspiration and my love affair with texture, colour and form.
The African objects have been collected over long years of travelling and buying in Africa and include original artefacts and functional objects such as stools, bowls and containers, day-beds/coffee tables, currency objects made of iron and copper, shields, spears, arrows and knives, hand-woven textiles, baskets as well as contemporary Nguni skin floor coverings and some contemporary African crafts.
Antique furniture and doors from Rajasthan in India are great favourites, as are dhurrie carpets and lambswool, Jamawar bed covers, throws and shawls. I also find beautiful artefacts such as carved wooden bowls, brass tiffin boxes, exquisite, jewel-like lacquer boxes and wonderful antique tribal jewellery. I have sought out the finest sensual textures – pure cashmere, wool and silk. I have designed clothing, accessories (bags, shoes and belts) and cushions, finely woven and textured or embellished with beads and hand embroidery. I have a limited collection of pure cashmere shawls.
I have collected antique tribal jewellery as well as silver, trade beads and gemstones and combined them in necklaces, bracelets and earrings. Much of our jewellery consists of one-off pieces which we create ourselves. I keep a large range of necklaces, earrings, rings and bracelets in silver and semi-precious stones...
I select what I would most like to own and often have a great deal of difficulty in parting with a lot of what I buy!