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From the Editor

Not too long ago there was talk in the trade that the antiques fair had had its day. After the heady highs of the 1980s, when record crowds came to the nationwide series of Giant Antiques Fairs and dealers were practically beating off buyers with a stick, attendances seemed to be dwindling every year and the opinion was that the public in general had lost interest.

Well I'm pleased to report that the demise of the antique fair has been greatly exaggerated. Not only are there more antiques and collectables fairs being held around the country than ever before, but a number of them are celebrating their twentieth and even thirtieth anniversaries. There's Camden Antique Fair, which turns 30 in August; and the Hoppers Crossing Antique Fair, which is in its 24th year. The Strathalbyn Antique Fair, which takes over the entire town and is the daddy of them all, is celebrating its 26th anniversary in August, and the Coffs Harbour Antiques Fair will be 21 in the same month. Fair organiser Mick Dalton has also had fantastic success with his series of fairs across New South Wales, with the Blue Mountains Antiques Fair about to celebrate its 15th year. And in Canberra, the Spring and Autumn series organised by Les Selkirk have been a fixture on the calendar for decades.

Which is not to say there haven't been any new kids on the block, either: the series of Antique and Vintage Fairs held by Martin and Aleta Curry are gaining great ground with dealers and collectors as they enter their third year, and the flagship events of the AAADA, held annually in Sydney and Melbourne, are continuing to attract bigger crowds to both events each year.

It's not surprising that antique and collectables fairs are so popular. They're the perfect place to browse stock from a variety of different dealers, and often from dealers who have travelled long distances to exhibit. Many dealers save fresh stock especially for an upcoming fair, which is why the really keen collectors like to get in early on the first opening day. In a way, the idea of the antiques fair is like a real, live version of an online website, only at an antique fair you get to touch, examine and feel the items before you buy them. And you get to take them home with you there and then.

You'll notice a flyer inserted with your magazine this issue. It's for our first-ever Mid Year Sale, which offers some great package deals for books on antiques and collectables. We've been really lucky to get a deal with the publishers of Miller's books in the UK, but because we have to arrange shipping from the UK there's a cut-off date for the orders of Thursday June 30. We won't be able to place extra orders after this date, so please make sure you send yours back in plenty of time.

When you're reading our flyer you might notice that our subscription rate has gone up... That's because our cover price is also going up, from the Spring 2016 issue. If you're buying the magazine from the newsagent, the cover price will be $10.95 from the Spring 2016 issue onwards. We hope you don't mind - we've really agonised over increasing the price, and we hope we won't have to do it again for another six years. Meanwhile we'll do our very best to carry on bringing you what we think is the world's best antiques and collectables magazine!

Julie Carter, Editor ACPP