Martin Augsten is best known as a dealer of German ceramics through his tiny Toronto shop, The Rogue Gallery (733 Queen Street East). The spatial constraints of Martin’s particular hole-in-the-wall prohibit him from dealing in larger furnishings—or so I thought. But then a stylist friend of mine mentioned that he’d been to Martin’s storage locker, which he swore was like “King Tut’s tomb or Aladdin’s cave; it’s just jammed with fantastic stuff.”
Jammed is right. Just look at the photo above! It may be time for an intervention. But lurking amidst the jumble of mid-century furnishings is a 1950s Lucien Ercolani loveseat ($450) with matching armchair ($250), below left, and a three-piece Jensen’s Guild House sofa set (couch $600, chairs $275 available separately), among other treasures.
When I phoned Martin to request a peek at his crypt, he was reluctant: “Honestly, it’s a mess,” he said, “I’m really embarrassed by the state of it.”
After seeing the 300 square foot space I can confirm the dealer’s appraisal. He rolled back the door and then spent 10 or 15 minutes clearing a path that let us in 10 feet, or so. The furnishings are piled wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling. It’s not pretty.
But Augsten’s got a reasonably good grasp of what’s under lock and key. There’s tables and chairs of myriad descriptions, lots of teak, some groovy plastic chairs and dressers, and the handsome, vaguely Art Nouveau oak mirror ($145), below.
It’s not the best way to run a business, Martin concedes. His goal is to clear out a big chunk of the backlog, hence his agreement to let me post about it here on styleNorth. If there’s something in particular you’ve been hunting for just ask Martin (416.462.1800)–he may have exactly what you’re after. Just pray it’s not at the back of the locker.