Helen Pye and Bronwyn Stringer with Silk Art at the Antiques and Collectables Fair at the Grafton Showground Barn.
Helen Pye and Bronwyn Stringer with Silk Art at the Antiques and Collectables Fair at the Grafton Showground Barn. Caitlan Charles

Showground barn offers a glimpse into the past

ANTIQUE dealers from all over descended on Grafton at the weekend to show off their trade, collections and expertise.

Bronwyn Stinger is one half of the Vintage Fairs and Events organisers who put on the show in Grafton every Mother's Day weekend.

"I have a love and a passion for silk pictures, and normally I sell vintage costume jewellery from the 50s and 60s,” she said.

Aside from her own passions, there were lots of experts around the Barn at Grafton Showground who were selling everything from jewellery, coins, war memorabilia, furniture, books and more.

"Around the fair there is estate jewellery, and pieces that are a bargain. It's not like Prouds where you find them in all different colour stones, there are unique pieces and there are only one of most things.”

Mrs Stringer said people love coming to antique fairs because it's the ultimate form of recycling.

"The treasure, or the hunt for something they are collecting, that's all part of it, the fact that they are looking for something you can't see anywhere else or things from bygone days,” she said.

"When young kids come, they see things made out of materials we don't have any more, that we're not allowed to use any more, like tortoise shell, or ivory, although only specialist dealers can sell ivory.

"They see old types of telephones, and cars, and there are people here with old pipes and people don't smoke them any more, so they are things that... are made with love.”

Mrs Stringer said it's always interesting to see how things were made differently in the past, with more care and detail going into the presentation of almost everything.

"The beauty of them, some things are scrolled or embroidered, where as now days it's more functional it's not that beauty of the piece..

"If you look around the fair, you will see that everywhere you look.

"It's a unique place to come and see things and learn about stuff.”

While shows like Antiques Roadshow have helped raised the profile of antiques and collectables fairs, Mrs Stringer said people sometimes don't realise things are for sale.

"They think it's like an antiques roadshow where you just come and show things, where as this antique fair, everything is for sale,” she said.

"People can (also) come in and show their pieces they've got at home to dealers and dealers will tell them something about them, so it's not an evaluation, but an appraisal.”

The Antiques and Collectables fair is on from 10am to 4pm on Sunday at the Grafton Showground Barn.



Why our worst bushfire season was Darrell’s best year

Premium Content Why our worst bushfire season was Darrell’s best year

It wasn‘t the biggest or most extreme fires that volunteer Darrell Binskin...

Santa swaps sleigh for Yamba SES

Premium Content Santa swaps sleigh for Yamba SES

Find out where the jolly old man will be as he makes his annual sneak visit down...

REVEALED: Coffs investigation shows exploitation 'rife'

Premium Content REVEALED: Coffs investigation shows exploitation 'rife'

Some workers were paid the equivalent of $3 an hour.