Antique Shopping in the Bay

  • 19 April 2017 | By Anje Rautenbach

Nelson Mandela Bay’s bustling streets and modern face is steeped in history; whether you are trotting along the shores of Sundays River, dwelling in the city or venturing out to the neighbouring towns of Despatch and Uitenhage where the 1882 Chimney still towers next to the Swartkops River and where remains of a Stegosauras was discovered almost 115 years ago.

There’s a whole lotta history in the Bay - just have a look at all the historical activities and attractions on offer - and with a whole lotta history there is always a whole lotta antiques and vintage items just waiting to be discovered…

Antiques are more than collectors’ items and rare finds; more than often – even when it looks old, dusty and less-than-perfect - there is a great story attached to its provenance. It is craftsmanship at its best; and the one-of-a-kind collectible with its charming details, carvings and finishing touches has the power to transport you to a time long gone, long forgotten.

But what exactly is considered an antique? Or a collectible?

Antique stores (and often second-hand stores) usually boast one-of-a-kind items such as old wooden furniture, coins, medals, jewellery, porcelain, children’s toys, kitchenware, old bank notes, art and militaria.

And of course, a cat.

There should always be a resident cat at an antique store; not for purrrrr-chase, just for character.

Local buyers and sellers of antiques, collectibles, coins and vintage guitars, Fred and Jenny Jansen from Jen Jen’s on the corner of Albany and Westbourne Road, say: “The trend in antiques and collectibles is unpredictable - what is 'on' or 'hot' and desirable right now may well be 'out' tomorrow. These items vary wildly, but become desirable because of their age, condition, provenance, rarity, craftmanship, beauty - but then, as the saying goes: ‘Beauty is in the eye of the beholder’. Just because it's not to your taste or you simply don't like or need it, doesn't mean it isn't valuable.”

While some items might have you reaching deep into your pockets, other items are often undervalued and up for grabs for next to nothing; a dusty steal.

Port Elizabeth – Home to one of the oldest antique stores.

Port Elizabeth is home to what is believed to be one of the oldest antique shops in South Africa. The store was founded in 1954 by Tony van der Merwe.

The story goes: “The shop had premises in Main Street, Russell Road and at the old Chinese school in Richmond Hill. Olaf Haitink bought the business from Tony in 1996 and moved the shop in 2009  into his historic Walmer family home, built and designed by renowned  Architect W.J McWilliams around 1900.”

Antique shopping - or rather, treasure hunting - in Nelson Mandela Bay

Jen Jen’s

Antiques, collectibles, coins and vintage guitars.

Address: Cnr Albany & Westbourne Rd, Fiveways, Port Elizabeth.

Tony’s Antiques

Antiques, South African and international art and hallmarked silver, unusual object d'art, Georgian, Victorian and period furniture, paintings and unusual smalls and silver.

Address: 130 Fordyce Road (Off 6th Avenue), Port Elizabeth.

Second Time Around

Address: Kragga Kamma Road, Port Elizabeth

Old Curiosity Shop

Fine porcelain, crystal and silver.

Address: 8 Lawrence Street, Central, Port Elizabeth.

Colonial Antiques & Persian Carpets

Antique furniture as well as other collectibles like lights and chandeliers, carpets and paintings from different periods.

Address: 14 Todd Street, North End, Port Elizabeth.

Duppies Antiques

Address: Corner of Caledon and Cyler Street ,Uitenhage.

Vintage PE

Vintage clothing, handbags, shoes, scarves, hats, antique and recycled jewellery. Also keep your eye out for their pop-up shops every now and then.

Address: 37 Westbourne Road, Port Elizabeth.

But that’s not all the Bay has to offer, right? Comment below and tell us where to go antique shopping in Nelson Mandela Bay!

If you are interested in history, don't forget to grab a Nelson Mandela Bay Pass Card which will allow you free historical tours and entrances to numerous museums in and around the Bay.

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