Spring antique show brings treasure hunters to Crystal Palace over long weekend

Attracting interest -Gwen Chvalevich of Shadyside Investments of Stouffville shows one of her collectible oil lamps to potential customer John Gorman of Trenton during the Victoria Day weekend Spring Antique Show and Sale at Picton's Crystal Palace. (Terry McNamee/For The Gazette)

Glasswares, wicker furniture, jewelry among items selling well this year



While the weather outside was depressing, the only depression inside Picton’s Crystal Palace on Saturday, May 19, was the sparking array of coloured Depression glass lighting up a corner.

The popular glassware was just a part of the two-day Victoria Day weekend Spring Antique Show and Sale, an event which has been running for well over two decades. There is also an autumn show held every October.

Show promoter Holly Newland said Saturday’s drizzle certainly didn’t keep visitors away. Better weather Sunday drew more crowds to see the popular event and the many antiques and collectibles offered foe sale. “We have 30 vendors,” Newland said.

“That’s the most we can fit into the building. Quite often, we gave a waiting list.”

She said some vendors are local, but many vendors drive a long ways to take part, with some coming from Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto and Cambridge. Some come to both the spring and fall shows.

Many of the booths included antique china and glassware, quilts, jewelry, figurines, and more unusual items such as glass oil lamps. There were 60-year-old comic books, old toys, Royal wedding memorabilia — no, not Harry and Meghan’s wedding, but that of Charles and Diana — and assorted furniture of various eras.

Lynn Carmichael of Union Label Vintage in Hillier said she comes every year.

“I love this show, and I love this building,” Carmichael said. “What a perfect place to hold an antique show! It’s a marvelous location.”

Indeed, the building itself is an antique. At one time, there were Crystal Palaces of various sizes across North America, all built in imitation of the original one in London,, which was created in 1851 for London’s Great Exhibition. Newland said the Picton building, erected in 1890, now is the very last Crystal Palace still standing.

Vendors said visitors were looking for quite a variety of collectible items. Carmichael said Bohemian-style wicker furniture is very desirable right now.

“Teak furniture has always been popular,” she added.

But is there anything different? “People are collecting globes right now,” she said.

Samantha Howard of Toronto said certain types of jewelry and home décor are catching on as well.

“The Scandinavian Modernist jewelry is definitely picking up in popularity,” she said. “I’ve noticed quite a big surge.”

But just as some items become popular, other inevitably taper off. Vendor Bernice Mortson of Beaverton said the demand for antique china, bone china dinnerware sets and kitchenware has slowed down a lot in recent years. Sadly, grandma’s treasured china cups and saucers and beloved set of good china and crystal are not on the shopping list for families any more.