At the lower end of the scale many second hand shops are littered with things that you may already have in excess. By contrast some antique stores are packed with exotic antiques in large numbers, but at prices to make your eyes water.
Whichever shop you visit, there is always the possibility of a unique find - a surprise that delights and feeds the fascination to browse even more.
While researching this article I stumbled over a few fascinating finds which I will share with you. If they trigger memories of things that you have discovered during your exploration of exotica, please do tell us in the comments.
On my way to see the Tetratologists Inc Art Exhibition I passed Sueclays Antiques in Unley and decided to stop. There were a good selection of old models and toys which were well priced, an interesting postcard collection, some very unusual ornaments, and quite a few prints.
I asked if there were any old photos of Adelaide, and was told that there were only a couple of part filled family photo albums available. On browsing one of these I discovered a rather remarkable photo. It shows what appears to be a man and a woman from around the 1900 period - but the woman is in fact a man in women's clothing. Could it be an early example of transvestism?
A letter written personally by the owner of M.S McLeod Tyre Stores in 1940 to a complaining customer provided an interesting insight into past times. The same complaint probably still happens now, but regarding GST instead.
There was a well preserved NSW Fire Brigade helmet from 1906 on display, perfect if you have a child with ambitions to become a fire fighter. It made me wonder what experiences its owner had been through, and how many times the helmet had saved his life.
My memories were jolted as I browsed the large bottle collection, with long forgotten brand names like Cottees, Loys, Woodroofe's and Halls. All of these household names (some with home delivery) were eventually bought out by larger competitors, and the brands have all but disappeared.
Not far away on Winston Avenue you can find The Upcycling Shop which finds new ways to re-use old goods. I paricularly like the way owner Sue can usually tell the story behind an item on display - she is well acquainted with all her stock.
Back on Goodwood Road you can find Philicia Antiques and Collectables, which also has an online shop through Ebay. Possibly the most remarkable thing at Philicia's is the astonishing size of their collection of photographs.
The photos are grouped into albums with similar content, so there are albums dedicated to Boy Scouts, others to water sports, trams, circuses, Sydney Harbour, Tailem Bend, road accidents, railways, and hundreds of other topics. If you are looking for an old photo in Adelaide then you simply must visit here.
Back in the city the Antique Market on Grote Street is bursting with things over two floors. This is one of the boutiques stores stocking vintage clothing with a much larger range than Dulcie the Boutique Bus.
In our tour of suburban antique and collectable stores we haven't even touched on Strathalbyn, with it's concentrated collection of stores. It's one of my favourite places in the Adelaide Hills to visit, and the prices there are very reasonable too.
So what do you think? Have I missed your favourite store? Is there somewhere bulging with bargains that I missed? Do you know where to find antiques even cheaper?
Great question, and I love the colourful pics, Dave.
I haven't been in awhile so won't comment too much, but Noddy's Curios at Port Noarlunga is a fave of mine. I bought a piece of jewellery there for a couple of bucks and haven't taken it off in about 15 years.
*One of my uber-favourites is Hoffs Furniture Mart at 1 Woolnough Road, Semaphore...great old furniture and bits and pieces.
*Another is Pedlars Antiques on Magill Road - a real treasure-trove.
*Lots of other great vintage/antiques stores on Magill Road including
*Rock n Rustic for great industrial/vintage treasure: 187a Magill Road, Maylands
* McKay's Mart, 99 Unley Road, Unley has been around for decades and has a huge range from cheap and cheerful, vintage and antique pieces - including interesting old paintings. Well worth a look.
Does anybody know anything about the string instrument shop on the corner of William st and Cross Rd (clarence park)? Its been there for years looking dusty and abandoned -ive never seen it open and there's no signage- but is full of violins and cellos. thought since this article covers businesses in thr area, someone might know the story.
I love Pedlars Antiques on Magill Road !!! They not only have this wonderfully looking old landmark building but they have more of a variety of antiques and collectable items that I have ever seen. A great retro area upstairs, china, collectables, jewellery and room after room of the most interesting stuff, I actually hate going in there because I always find something to spend my money on. Seriously though if you want to see one of the best antique stores in Adelaide go there and there prices are not ridiculous !!!!!