Collecting in Melbourne; The Future

April 8, 2010

Changes in the collecting landscape of Melbourne, Australia owe a lot to the new generation of collectors and the shifting focus from Antique Centres as museums, to multi-faceted warehouses containing junk/vintage/retro objects (who would have known that He-Man figure or M&M dispenser would be worth money?) to the antique.

On a recent trip to the Mornington Peninsula, I was delighted to find the Mornington Antique Centre (used to be a go-cart and video-game centre, ah… the memories). This centre has one of the most eclectic mixes of antiques and collectables on the Mornington Peninsula (beyond even Tyabb) and I highly recommend it. Where else can a lad buy a walking stick and old Nintendo games whilst rifling around in buckets of old garbage? Good finds abound!

The Mill Markets. Originally based in Geelong (now on the outskirts of Geelong on the way to Queenscliff) and in Daylesford (I thought there was one in Warrnambool as well), these are the way of the future. The low-overheads of the warehouses outside of the main areas and their ability to turn over dealers and stock at a rapid pace make the Mill Markets exceptional. I’ve been to both on several occasions and there is always a new dealer appearing. Unfortunately, there isn’t a high reliance on old jewellery or a dedicated ‘antiques’ seller, mostly it’s collectables, but you’ll find something in the mix. Be it an old dentist’s chair to a 1970’s jacket, you’ve got all you need.

Tyabb Packing House is my weapon of choice, I’ve been going there for longer than I can remember and always (apart from one person…) been greeted by a cheerful face. There was an antique centre next door to this (owned by the same people who had the The Bottom Drawer in Moorooduc), but since has been changed into some sort of twee tea house, which was a shame, because that had been there since before I was a lad and I often enjoyed visiting. Now, it’s the Packing House and it’s the granddaddy of antique centres in Victoria. They semi-frequently change, their stock is of a high quality, though sometimes expensive, especially if you’re after an old book or jewel. The nosh is rather good, so book a day and go down there for lunch and a browse.

Heidelberg Road Antiques and Collectables Centre. Originally, this sprang from the side of the Packing House and was ‘antique’ in flavour, now it’s more ‘vintage’ to go with the very popular ‘retro-vintage’ movement that the kids of today seem to love. It’s been a real pleasure to watch this centre develop and over the past year or so, they’ve really come into their own!

Camberwell Antique Centre, how I enjoy thee. There’s so much here, so many lovely things and it’s only been since the demise of Park Lane that it’s really taken flight. I can find anything here from 16th century jewellery to Victorian medical eyes to Woman’s Day magazines. Though this place has been here for some time, I get a thrill every time I walk in.

I haven’t even begun on the outer regions of Victoria, much like the brilliant centre at Lancefield or Chiltern or Rutherglen. I’ll save that for another day when you’ve got more time and more patience.

Thanks for reading this passionate outburst of love for the wonderful sights of Victoria; please note that it is magnificent.

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