Silver anniversary for Jamaican antique dealers

Antique dealers are celebrating 25 years of staging the annual Antiques & Collectibles Fair which is set for November 12 and 13 in Kingston, Jamaica this year.

Starting from 10 am on Saturday, the 12th, antique dealers will showcase items at the Fair’s annual host location at Campion College 105 Old Hope Road, Kingston. Jamaicans may view and access for purchase, historical treasures telling tales of Jamaica’s rich heritage. Some of these items existed in the early 18th century.
Patrons can seize the opportunity to buy collectible items symbolising aspects of Jamaica’s history, it’s growth and development before and after the country’s independence.
In some cases, contemporary Jamaica through art pieces will be reflected.

The Antiques & Collectibles Fair is held annually at Campion College and as with other years items will include Jamaican furniture, mainly crafted in Jamaica mahagony, china and glassware, silverware, postcards, household machines.
The Fair is an ideal educational tour of the early colonial period to now each visitor will get a chance to capture something to bring home from antique dealers.

History of Jamaica Antiques and Collectibles Fair

The Fair was started in 1990 after the impact of the first ever BBC Antiques Road Show to be held this side of the Atlantic in Kingston earlier that year. The Fair was conceptualised by the hosting Antique Fair group comprising Ainsley Henriques, Steve Solomon and Lorna Chung. The present co-host Wayne Nasralla and the late Robin Morris joined up at a later date.

Ainsley Henriques, Jamaican historian and businessman

Ainsley Henriques, Jamaican historian and businessman

Over the years, Henriques tells writer Anthea McGibbon, the Fair has influenced a “vast improvement in the way antiques and collectibles are preserved, displayed and interpreted in Jamaica”. He further observed that at the Antiques & Collectibles Fair, dealers explains the classification and relevance of antiques and collectibles in one on one conversations with patrons.

There has been an increase in the number of Jamaican antique dealers.

Antique dealers impact

The continued success of the show confirms Henriques proclamation of a changed Jamaica with more Jamaicans learning to appreciate the legacies of their foreparents who commissioned or collected these items in earlier times. This was not so even in the 1980s. Henriques, an historian himself stated “In the struggle to become independent there was a time when Jamaicans generally did not respect or preserve old things. This has now changed.” Jamaicans, according to him, “now appreciate the craftmanship of our forebears and the aesthetics of antiques and collectibles. He observes a high anticipation among even average Jamaicans insisting to learn more about their history and heritage.” Through the Fair this education is certain.

Collectibles versus Antiques

‘Collectibles’ are, according to Henriques, any item one acquires for personal collection such as stamps, dolls, old (out of print, production) books, china and even art. “Jamaicans collect a wide variety of big and small items such as from furniture to clothes, jewelry and silver, china, crystal stamps, coins, dolls, matchboxes, postcards and photographs.
‘Antiques’ on the other hand mainly refer to objects aged at least 100 years old. Antique objects show some degree of craftsmanship, and or levels of design, for example painting, desk or an early automobile.

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