About Appleyard Antiques

After finishing school in Sydney in the early 1980's, I left for University in Bathurst to do a B.A. in Journalism and picked up a part-time job in an antique shop. 
On foggy winter mornings, working in a freezing courtyard, my hands were numb with frost, cedar and methylated spirits. By lunchtime the sun would pierce the fog, the courtyard cobblestones would warm, and the pale sky widen into space. 

My first employer had a keen eye for quality. He was thorough and cluey, and gave me a grounding in all the basics which I took back to Sydney after completing my degree in 1986.

I set up shop in an old barn in Randwick: buying, selling and restoring for dealers and the locals. And I began to see that there were alternative modus operandi.

I learnt that once you cut through an original finish there was no way of getting it back, and that although I loved the sweet pungency of fresh cut Australian cedar, or the subtle flowery scent of Brazilian rosewood, they were best left undisturbed beneath a fine layer of lac casings.

In 1990 I went to live in Copenhagen and was introduced to a wider world of antique furniture and restoration methods. I worked on compact and elegant Danish birch commodes, solemn German elm secretaries, English mahogany and rosewood sofa tables, and continued studying the gentle art of sympathetic antique furniture repair and conservation.

I learnt to patch missing veneer using identical colour and grained replacements, to re-make drawers and doors with salvaged period timber carefully adapted, and to revive badly watermarked and blemished table tops without removing all the old polish. I continued my journey into the subtle and mesmerising arts for two long winters and began exporting containers of great Danish gear back to Australia.

In 1992 I opened Appleyard Antiques in Rozelle and moved to Balmain a few years later, selling Scandinavian town and country furniture, English based designs, Australian cedar and anything interesting or appealing I could find.

I have always made furniture and art, and began to concentrate on making bespoke pieces, particularly tables, out of reclaimed timber, using my skill with traditional finishings to enhance the old timber I used. This part of the business has really grown over the last decade particularly. Large industrial style bookcases and cabinets have also become popular as the more traditional style of smaller georgian and victorian cabinets have diminished. There are still a few diehards who I happily cater for, but generally the trend is for unique character driven pieces which have soul but not necessarily antiquity. 
If we do not adapt, we become irrelevant. Or cranky.
I hope you enjoy the site, and please don't think twice about enquiring about any stock you may want or need made.

Patrick Robinson

Contact Us


Shop Window Display: 394 Darling Street Balmain NSW Australia 2041

Workshop: 394 Little Arthur Street Balmain NSW Australia 2041 (behind the window display)


 Please phone or email us before you make a special trip.

View Balmain display store on Google Maps

Workshop: 394 Little Arthur Street, Balmain