Hunting down an antique treasure from far and wide at Ballarat's antique fair

Every item at the Ballarat Antique Fair has a story behind it, says organiser John Markworth. 

NOT LIKE THE OLD DAYS: Ballarat Antique Fair organiser John Markworth says there will be a wide range of antiques on display over the long weekend. Picture: Lachlan Bence

NOT LIKE THE OLD DAYS: Ballarat Antique Fair organiser John Markworth says there will be a wide range of antiques on display over the long weekend. Picture: Lachlan Bence

Whether it be oriental antiques, or specialist artifacts from the 1930s, a wide range of unique items will be up for grabs at the Mining Exchange over the long weekend, as part of the fair which has been running for 48 years.

“Everything here has got to be hunted down, researched, sometimes restored or repaired and cleaned up and then presented. Some items can be the result of weeks, months, years of searching,” Mr Markworth said. 

Leslie Lauder and Mark Howard packed their 18th and 19th century antiques into a shipping container to transport them from their store in Hobart to Ballarat for the three day antique fair. 

The pair have been dealing in antiques for over 38 years, and say they are regularly impressed by the quality on offer that is rarely found in modern items. 

“Almost everything we buy, when they were made, people were trying to create something beautiful,” Mr Lauder said. 

“It is so different to modern days where things are mass produced in factories. There is only a handful of people making things by hand and trying to create beautiful things that last.” 

Ballarat Antique Fair stallholder Kerry Sawyer specialises in Royal Doulton, Beswick birds and animals, and Moorcroft pottery. She travels to the UK every two years to buy the antique items with her husband. 

“For us it is just a hobby. We both enjoy it and both have collections,” she said. 

Mario Cordedda trades only in oriental antiques, mainly from Japan and China, many of which would have taken months, sometimes a year to complete the artistic detail painted with a single hair brush. 

The Ballarat Antique Fair will run from 10am on Saturday, Sunday and Monday at the Mining Exchange and Trades Hall.

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