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The Sydney Fair 2016 Review


The Arte Deco / Online Antiques Stall


1920s celluloid rhinestone pendant with jet beads

We attended opening night at The Sydney Fair – it was evident as soon as we entered the Byron Kennedy Hall that the benchmark set during previous years’ events was being maintained, with a very high standard of exhibitors and objects for sale. I had planned to make my way straight to a couple of my favourite stalls at the back, but was waylaid by some fabulous pieces along the way, and made slow progress! One of the distractingly beautiful displays was by The Antique Guild of Brisbane – among many lovely pieces was a breathtaking Art Deco duette brooch of rubies and diamonds, and a captivating 1920s Assuit shawl that was so densely set with metal it looked like a sheet of liquid silver.

We made our way to Coutura Vintage, where I was immediately smitten with a sequinned and beaded 1920s evening cloche and a Chinoiserie headdress, both from the estate of a former MGM film star. As it was impossible to choose between them, they both came home with me.


1920s green raffia wig and dance purses, Coutura Vintage

I have seldom been as close to coming home with an unexpected piece of furniture as I was at the Arte Deco stall, where my heart was stolen by a wonderful Art Deco carved sideboard. Showing uncharacteristic restraint and concern for my budget, we instead walked away with an absolutely lovely celluloid pendant.

One of the most pleasant aspects of attending Sydney vintage and antique events is that, because we’re a fairly small community, there’s an excellent chance you’ll run into collectors and dealers that you know. As always there were familiar faces and a chance to have a quick catch up with people like the Recycology gals, who we realised we last saw in Napier at the Speakeasy event on Saturday night, where they happened to have a nearby table. There were some other great encounters as well – it sometimes takes a bit of effort to remember you’re not just there to socialise, but also to look for new pieces to add.

We had our friend Emma with us for her first Antique fair, and she proved to quickly have an eye for the quirky and interesting items, finding a funny little taxidermied owl with a pincushion crown – just one of the odd little gems to be found (I noticed when I returned on Sunday that it had been sold).

Thank you again to the organisers and the dealers who participated – we’re already looking forward to next year!


1920s Evening Cloche and Chinoiserie Headdress


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