Hunting Season

June 9, 2010

QuestionIt’s that time of the year in Melbourne, the days are getting a little shorter and a little darker, the temperature is cooler and the antique fairs are hitting thick and fast.

There aren’t as many as several years ago, but perhaps that’s a good thing. When you have several fairs on week after week for a short period of time, there is the danger of ‘antiques fatigue’, when your brain is addled from the long drives, muscling through people trying to look at a cabinet and the eventual decline in the size of your wallet. Sometimes a break is a good thing.

So how do you handle it? Do you go to every fair at any time of the year with nothing holding you back? Or are you a little more discerning and save yourself for what you consider the ‘good stuff’?

Post away in the comments if you can!

1912 Titanic Mourning BearThis may seem obscure to those here who like the mourning and sentimental jewels, but this is a site for all collectables and believe it or not mourning bears are not uncommon. Look to the left and you’ll see a wonderful ‘Mourning Bear’ for the Titanic c.1912! So, in the interest of all Melbournians, below are the details for the 27th Annual Malvern Doll Fair:

The Doll Association of Victoria Presents The Annual 27th MALVERN DOLL FAIR. Featuring Antique, vitange, modern, baby born and reporduction dolls, barbies ect. Teddy bears large and small, clothing, accessories, doll books and much much more. special stage display this year will be Mario Faria’s. Fabulous Circus World in Miniature, a great display for the whole family to see, this fully working display to look at and to buy. C.W.A Ladies are there to cater for you with their good food and drinks. Come to our wonderful fair you will not be disappointed. 10am – 4pm Sat 17th and 10am – 3.30pmSun 18th of April 2010. Admission is $8 for adults and $2 for children, and sunday special entry only $5.00. MALVERTION TOWN HALL, CNR GLENFERRIE RD & HIGH ST MALVERN. melways. map59. d7 . Stall bookings phone. Pat 0397182773. Maureen. 03 9436 7977

On the 6th, 7th and 8th of March of 2010 is the last big antique fair in Ballarat, Australia. No, it’s not the last one that will occur, but it is the largest one left.

Oh Melbourne, what happened? Park Lane Antique Centre used to hold one of the largest antique fairs at the Caulfield Racecourse and the turn-out was always large, the vendors were plentiful, friendly and came from all over Australia. Much of my money took flight at that fair.

There was the Camberwell Antique Fair, which is on again / off again and that was always when the year was winding down from fair season. Not the biggest or the best, but it was the nice refresher to a good season of antique hunting.

Multiple fairs dotted the state with lots of passion from everyone attending. But all of a sudden, it stopped.

Many of the big fairs have migrated north and still maintain a healthy flow of patronage, but here, the last few moved from the city to regional centres. After talking with many of the dealers, it seems that many are winding down and don’t want to participate like  they used to. Others say that Melbourne has a good many visitors who treat it like a museum. The common calls of ‘I used to own something like this’ or ‘they want $100 for a glass? I can get that at Ikea for $2’ do break the heart of the dealer and the serious collector, but I do miss the old days.

By 2000, Park Lane and other antique centres on High Street Malvern started to either cease or change their positioning from antique centres to homewares stores. Malvern Antique Centre, Camberwell Antique Market and the Tyabb are are still going strong, but the life of the big antique centre is swiftly becoming an antique itself. It’s not all doom and gloom though, as you’ll find in another post!

Everyone, go to Ballarat this weekend and have fun!

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