Are you in the market for a pigeon’s blood-red organ lamp or an alabaster Buddha figurine?
Is your Blue Mountain Pottery collection missing a miniature elephant? Or perhaps that bare wall in your living room is crying out for an oil painting, vintage Coca-Cola poster or colourfully woven tapestry.
Whatever you’re after, the odds are good you’ll find it at the 25th annual St. George Fall Antique Fair and Sale, on this weekend at the South Dumfries Community Centre.
The diverse wares on offer by 35 vendors filling the arena is a major strength of the show, said organizer Cliff Jones, president of the South Dumfries Historical Society.
“We make sure they’re good quality dealers with a variety of stuff,” including glassware, furniture, books, artwork and jewelry, Jones said.
That variety attracts a wide audience.
“We get casual shoppers, serious collectors, local people and people in from Toronto, Hamilton and Kitchener,” Jones said.
Jones expects roughly 2,000 people to drop by the arena this weekend and hopes to raise about $2,500, which is half the historical society’s yearly budget.
Treasures like ancient fossils and rare gemstones came to St. George from halfway around the world.
The pieces from Ken and Kathy Richards’ Brooks’ House Antiques had a shorter commute.
The couple specialize in rare artifacts from Brantford, an interest they say has taught them much about the city’s past.
A Bixel’s beer tip tray and Tremaine candy box in one of their display cases help keep the memory of the Greenwich Street brewery and Market Street confectionery alive. A can of New Day floor polishing wax used in John Smyth’s paint store tells a stickier tale.
“He mixed all his paint by hand,” Ken said. “Someone told me a while back that he mixed the paint for the Welland Canal.”
The Richards will close their shop at the old Brooks Farm on Mount Pleasant – through which Alexander Graham Bell was said to have run the cable for his historic telephone call to Paris – at the end of September in order to focus on antique shows. But the collectors, who also seek out specific items for customers, don’t expect to have much free time.
“I have numerous people who call me (and say) ‘Kathy, I need this and this,’” Kathy said.
The good crowd and bright arena lighting make the St. George show a worthwhile stop for St. Catharines-based vendors Carey and Linda Flannigan of Flannigan’s Fabulous Finds.
“My husband’s been collecting since he was 19,” Linda said. “We’ve continued to collect together. It’s fun.
“The stuff today is very cookie-cutter. Everything is made of plastic, fibre board and staples. When you’re dealing with antiques, they have history, character and craftsmanship.”
The St. George antique show continues Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 7 Gaukel Dr. Admission costs $5.