Fri | Dec 4, 2020

Antiques and Collectibles Fair on this weekend with greater variety

Published:Thursday | November 8, 2018 | 12:00 AMPaul Williams/Gleaner Writer
Dinnerware commemorating Jamaica's Independence in 1962.
After 26 years, co-founder Ainsley Henriques has handed over management of the Antiques and Collectibles Fair to Wayne Nasralla and Kimberly Kong.

For 26 years, the Antiques and Collectibles Fair has been held inside the Lindo Auditorium at Campion College, Old Hope Road, St Andrew. In addition to valuable antique pieces, the fair has been offering patrons hundreds of miscellaneous items from the past, collectibles that have historical and financial value.

Now, in its 27th year, the venue remains the same, but the dates have been brought forward to early from late November. Also under new management, this year's instalment will be held tomorrow and Sunday, when "treasure hunters and collectors" will find "a wide array of antique and vintage furniture, jewellery, silverware, ceramics, china, art, craft and other collectibles".

The idea to host such an event was perhaps influenced by the British Antiques Road Show held at Devon House 27 years ago.

"It was the first time that the BBC had ventured overseas to hold such an event. It was fabulous. Jamaicans from all walks of life turned up with all the possessions that they thought were historic and valuable. Many were historic and valuable, others just historic but not valuable, and a few were neither," co-founder Ainsley Henriques said. He was then the chairman of the Jamaica National Heritage Trust.

Subsequently, Henriques met with Steve Solomon and Lorna Chong to review the experience. This was after he had spent some time in Toronto, Canada, where he had gone to an antiques fair at a local school and was fascinated by what he saw.

"It had left an impression, an impression of what we could do at home that was affordable," Henriques said.

He, Solomon and Chong responded with the Antiques and Collectibles Fair. After his co-founders "moved on or died", he kept the popular end-of-year event alive, and now he, too, has stepped away, passing the baton to Wayne Nasralla and Kimberley Kong.

In his parting shot, Henriques said, inter alia, "Most of us did not recognise the stories that these items told, nor their value. This is one of the hidden values of the fair, the access once per year to come and look for a very modest cost at what these items on sale are all about. We learn about what we have, what we like, how to care them, what we wish to collect, and their stories from our past."

In speaking with Kong about what to expect this year, she said that the emphasis might be on the smaller pieces, such as silverware. There will also be many more pieces of artwork and jewellery as the show seeks to diversify what it has to offer. The response by vendors has been great so far, and Kong is particularly anticipating more young patrons to come get some collectors' items, whose value will certainly appreciate in the years to come.