If you love antiques, you must have heard about the famous Ballarat Antique Fair happening this long weekend. With over 100 antique dealers you are sure
to find something you have never seen before and something you have always wanted but have never found.
Ballarat is also privy to a number of fantastic antique stores from inner city to the rugged country outskirt towns. And they are all deliciously filled with treasures.
I visited Lydiard Furniture and Antiques and chatted to proprietor Peter Wills about some of his collection. His shop is located within five minutes walking distance to the Ballarat Train Station which makes it a perfect stop-in for out of town travellers. Not only does Peter have an abundant interest in the local history but he can tell you stories behind the pieces that he has collected and some of them are truly fascinating.
Akin to stumbling onto the set of a Harry Potter film, some people may be daunted when they first walk in the door for one of two reasons.
A. The sprawling collection of books stacked above your head, china in nooks and crannies and the over-crowded walkways which make you feel like you should have taken in a smaller bag.
B. Peter, sitting right in front of you in the middle of an aisle, casually yet cheerfully, glancing up to greet you from reading the paper or a book from his vast collection.
Without a doubt, there is lots of treasure here and it’s well worth a look. Not only is the main building extroardinarily well packed, but Peter also has goods in the yard and the second building next door. We are talking bentwood, cedar, blackwood, pine and mahogany furniture (a lot from Victoria and Edwardian era’s), iron and brass bed frames, old tools, brass bells, crystal ware, ceramics, all kinds of china from around the globe including some Wedgwood, timber rulers, vintage film cameras, books galore, copper pots, jewellery, pocket watches (including a great looking Elgin Military) lighting, pottery, vintage and antique paintings and prints, comics, cane baskets, cutlery and cooking utensils, a wall and floor space of bottles and so much more!
You could literally stare at a 1 metre square section and see a hundred items, it’s that full. I did. I loved it!
Lydiard Furniture and Antiques is located at 205 Lydiard St North, Ballarat Ph: 03 5332 6841. Tell Peter you heard about his store from me!
The Ballarat Antique Fair will be held at the Ballarat Exhibition Centre at 501-503 Dowling St Wendouree, at differing opening times, from Saturday the 12th through to Monday the 14th of March.
More information can be found on their website www.ballaratantiquefair.com.au. See you there!