Tucked away off the beaten track on Arthur’s Point Rd, the den is home to a collection of antique furniture, 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 the den’s 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,” says Fraser.
Situated in the old cattle drome premises, the adjoining building to The Hangar, a coworking office space, Fraser saw the den as the perfect space to house and increase his collection of authentic and original pieces.
“Everything in our den is original and unique, so you won’t find any replicas or reproductions,” points out Fraser.
So much so that Fraser travels to Europe once or twice a year to attend antique fairs in France and England to bid for one-off 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 Fraser and Colledge put down to the niche gap they are “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 US 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, Fraser and Colledge moved back to NZ 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 to establish Den of Antiquity.
Although just outside Queenstown in Arthur’s Point, the den is well-situated off the main road between Queenstown and Arrowtown, close to Coronet Peak ski area and a growing residential community. It has plenty of parking space and sensational views of the Shotover River and gorge.
“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 60-year-old ship’s lighting and restored horse gigs are some of the things on offer to suit all types of homes or accommodation,” says Fraser.
“If that isn’t enough to take you on an historical journey back through time, there’s a full size aeroplane from the 1960s on display, which just adds to the eclectic mix contained inside.”
A personal favourite of Fraser is an old search light from around the 1950/60s that was rescued from one of the ships which worked on the Suez Canal. “Bought by a customer living at Bobs Cove, the light was used to light up the cliff behind their home,” explains Fraser.
“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.
“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.”