The last weekend in January means a huge antique fair, touted as the biggest and most popular in Australia – known simply as ‘Fryerstown’. Fryerstown is a most curious place. Located about 1.5 hours from Melbourne you might be forgiven for thinking you were attending a fair on the moon – the area has a very lunar landscape, and was a busy gold mining area back in the 1800s. For most of the year Fryerstown is a fairly quiet place, but each Australia Day weekend the place fills with people coming for the largest antique fair in Australia.
I’ve been there a few times, and once it was so hot, you could hardly walk around – I think it was 42 degrees (celsius).
This time it was cooler. WE got up at 6am and left before 7 for the nearly 2 hour drive to get there. We expected huge crowds early on but luckily there weren’t too many people there that early.
I went with my dad and step mother (who collect Carnival Glass, antique biscuit barrels and Pratt Ware) and they had great success, picking up some glass bowls and three Pratt Ware pot lids (one which cost $180 was later valued by dad at 10 times that amount).
I went in search of jewelry, trinkets, medals, ephemera and things for my artworks. I had to forgo the ornate clay pipes, which I would have loved but you had to buy a box of 10. I found lots of great antique photos, some amazing vintage fur (Astracan lamb and ermine), rhinestones, tiny pudding dolls, a 100 year old ceramic cup and some precious little glass bottles. Pictured below, also, are some recent arrivals from France, for sale in my shop.