Actor, jeweler, textile designer, tea purveyor—Waris Ahluwalia is an aesthete of many talents. Now he’s adding curator to the list, lending his omnivorous eye to Sotheby’s and assembling a sale of diverse objects for the auction house’s Buy Now marketplace. From rare books to covetable sneakers, Ahluwalia’s edit of Sotheby’s inventory is a one-stop-shop for pieces that bring his worldly sense of style to everyday life.
India-born, Brooklyn-bred Ahluwalia approaches collecting with the same multi-disciplinary breadth that he brings to all his professional endeavors. The globe-trotting tastemaker seeks out idiosyncratic craftsmen wherever he goes and, more than any particular period or medium, he says he collects thoughtful design across the spectrum: “I’m drawn to stories, objects that have a patina to them, that have centuries of wear…Time shapes an object.”
For his curated sale, Ahluwalia homed in on pieces that can be enjoyed in the seemingly mundane moments of day-to-day life, rather than stowed away on a pedestal or in a vitrine. “For me, collecting is about things that bring joy,” he says, noting that several items in the sale, like an Art Deco tea set and an Hermès backgammon set “are about elevating the art of celebration.” Certainly, after the past year and change, bringing such civility to the ordinary hangout feels particularly relevant. Why not break out the silver for a regular Tuesday night dinner?
The entire range is available online starting August 18, and can be viewed in-person at The Emporium, Sotheby’s recently launched retail store at its New York headquarters. In an exclusive interview with Robb Report, Ahluwalia talks us through a few of his favorite finds.