Antique collectors: The quant and the quiky

Antique Collectors Guide profile

It is an undisputed fact that we, as humans will forever be hunter/gatherers – in some form or another.  Not in the original sense of our evolution but in our everyday modern world.  Everybody collects something – whether it’s surrounding oneself with beautiful objects, collecting investment pieces for that rainy day or collecting with the purpose of building a legacy. They often say that what you collect is a reflection of who you are and shows what you stand for.

  • Collectors of rare manuscripts, stamps and maps show a keen interest in history and geography and appreciate the time and effort put into the art of cartography.
  • Rare book collectors might be at the cutting edge of on-line technology but appreciate the literary and tactile value of a beautifully bound first edition book that can take pride of place in a well-stocked library.
  • Often engineers and architects gravitate towards collecting without even realising it. They might have inherited a Stanley or Miller multi-plane in its original box or cherish a well-crafted woodworking tool or a brass gauge or scale.
  • Fashionistas don’t only follow current fashion – they are often crazy about vintage clothing like flapper dresses of the 1920’s or are drawn to the pop-art accessories of the sixties – the very basis for becoming a fashion, accessory & jeweller collector.
  • As a home-maker, most people surround themselves with beautiful things; as a collector you might have a penchant for a rare Royal Albert dinner service, elegant rare silver candlesticks or an Art Deco lampshade. Or you may favour collecting old storage tins, kitchenware or old appliances.

People often are collectors without realising it. Ask them if they are interested in antiques and collectables and they probably will say they don’t.  Yet, a look into the homes and interests of people and you will see a collecting trend emerging. Some of the more unique, odd and quirky things that people collect include:

  • Are you partial to the odd garden gnome or decorative bird-bath in your garden or favour those 50’s ducks on the wall? Well, those could be the start of a really interesting collection of ceramic animal figures or Victorian garden accessories.
  • Younger people are not immune to the collecting bug – with the revival of action figures – from Superman, Spiderman & Co to the Star Wars phenomenon, collecting early examples has become a fast growing trend.
  • The rock ‘n roll era of the 50’s through to the 70’s has sparked a new trend in collecting – whether it’s an early Coca Cola poster, an early petrol pump, a classic American pick-up van or Zippo flint lighters.
  • Follow actor Tom Hank’s example and start collecting old typewriters; old calculators and even the early cell phones are becoming tomorrow’s collectables.
  • With everyone able to take high-tec pictures on a cell phone and cameras soon to be extinct, collectors are seeing the value in collecting old cameras – both as an investment or simply to show their grandchildren.

If you see yourself in any of the above, then the Antiques Fair on the upper and lower levels of Nelson Mandela Square is the place to be on the first Sunday of every month from 9am to 4pm. As the biggest and longest running antique fair in South Africa with over 40 dealers coming from all over the country, this is collecting heaven and Joburg’s best kept secret for both local and international collectors and visitors.

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