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Delectable collectables at antique fair

SWORDS, sieves and silverware were just three of thousands of items for sale at the Lismore Antiques and Collectables Fair in Goonellabah on Sunday.

Collectors and window shoppers alike all took advantage of the travelling fair which brought dealers from throughout the country to gather in the Northern Rivers for the second time this year.

"It all started when my three sheds got too full and you-know-who [my wife] wasn't so happy about that," joked Ian Nicholson, stallholder from Hendra in Brisbane as he unpacked yet another box with a Royal Doulton rabbit inside and placed it on the table at his tightly packed stall.

"One thing comes after another and you sort of just have so many things you need to start selling them."

Mr Nicholson said once he started doing the fair circuit he began swapping pieces with other dealers and that was how his collection became predominantly fine China and figurines.

"It's a lot of word of mouth," he said.

While there were plenty of women looking at beautiful brooches and silver jewellery, there were just as many men looking at war memorabilia for their pool rooms.

There were a few husbands getting their arms twisted into buying furniture too.

One man who has watched husbands and wives debate over second-hand kitchen cabinets and French polished tables for the last 30 years is Brenton Kinnear from Toowoomba.

"I tend to travel around to all these fairs because even if I don't sell anything, it's good promotion for my store in Toowoomba," he said.

Mr Kinnear said some of the furniture he sold was from as early as the 1920s and was made with materials that were far superior to those used now. "I think over the last few years people have started to understand it's better to buy one quality piece that will last a lifetime rather than having to keep buying the same thing over and over," Mr Kinnear said.

"I restore all the pieces myself and I really enjoy that part of my job."

The fair didn't just support stallholders yesterday. All entry fees went to the Endeavour Foundation - one of the largest non-government disability service providers in Australia that aims to provide similar opportunities for people with disabilities to those enjoyed by able-bodied folk.



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