Antiques fair hailed as one of the best

BARGAIN HUNT: Collectors from across the region descend on the Tamworth Town Hall in search of curios to add to their collections. Photos: Geoff O’Neill 020815GOC06EXHIBITORS hailed the Tamworth Antique and Collectables Fair the finest in regional Australia, after yet another successful event.

Everyone from the merely curious to the serious collector was catered for during the annual fair’s 30th edition earlier this month.

Jewellery, vases, guns, furniture, coins, telephones, paintings, silver, clocks and taxidermied animals were just some of the items on display.

The fair, which is a major fundraiser for Oxley High School, attracts some of the best antique dealers from NSW, Queensland, Victoria and Tasmania.

Robert Neilsen, of Toowoomba’s Roundabout Antiques, said it was his fifth year exhibiting at the fair and it was always a delight to be back.

“It’s an exceptionally well-run fair. It draws people from a large area and I would go as far to say it’s the best-quality regional antique fair in Australia,” he said.

Silk Art proprietors Ross and Helen Pye showcased their stunning collection of intricate Chinese hand-made silk embroideries for the first time in Tamworth.

Mr Pye said the artworks, which are made using techniques developed over more than 3000 years, had proved a hit with the locals.

“It’s been brilliant,” he said. “They all want to learn about it because it’s so new to most people … and we’ll definitely be back next year.”

Fair organiser Euan Coutts said numbers were up on last year and people seemed more willing to part with their hard-earned dollars on items that took their fancy.

“We’ve had a really good mix of exhibitors this year and quite a few people have travelled considerable distances to be here,” he said.

Tamworth antique aficionado Vivienne Halstead, who tragically lost her entire collection in a house fire several years ago, made a few small purchases on Sunday.

“I just love to see all the old things that we used to use as little ones – like the telephones,” she said.

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