Antique fair set to stay

THE Prestige Antique Collectable Retro Fair looks to become a permanent fixture on the collector calendar after the success of the weekend's inaugural event.

A 950BC Egyptian sarcophagus and a 1980s "handbag phone" might seem incongruous exhibited together at the newly named Cavanbah Centre on Ewingsdale Rd, Byron Bay.

But according to Queensland dealer Neil Anderson, collectables only have to be three things: "rare, gorgeous or weird".

"No matter what people collect, whether its teapots, cars or jewellery, first they want rare, then they want gorgeous, then they want weird,"| Mr Anderson said.

"Since the internet, everyone is an expert and nothing is rare any more. It has had an enormous influence on how dealers and collectors do business," he said.

However, he agreed with event organisers Allan and Joyce Lawson of Aussie Fairs that there would always be a place for antique fairs despite the ease of sourcing online.

Mr Joyce said: "We're happy with the crowd. This new space (The Cavanbah Centre) means we can offer collectors larger selling rooms. There are over 60 exhibitors."

The ancient Egyptian offering was a crowd favourite.

Private collector Mike Schultz estimated the market value of an Egyptian wood painted sarcophagus from New Kingdom era was about $150,000.

"We know the sarcophagus was that of a girl, probably a teenager given the size. The facial features, for example are very small," Mr Schultzsaid.

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