According to antique dealer and organiser Clyde Terry, the centenary of World War 1 and the 70th anniversary of D-Day have put the spotlight on commemorating wars both past and present that have had an impact on the world in one way or another.
“Anyone who has done military service has a few mementoes, reminders of the times, good and not so good, that he spent acquired while serving his country,” says Terry. “When the interest becomes more intense, the collecting bug has bitten!
“Wars have always held a special fascination and the collection of war memorabilia is becoming an ever-growing passion for collectors. Many have links through their forefathers to specific wars and are spurred on to collect while others are fascinated by certain wars or find collecting specific items pertaining to a particular war very rewarding.”
Collecting can span a wide range of items – from uniforms, badges, buckles and documents to swords, guns, photographs and personally signed items. According to Alan Coleman, owner of the War Store based at the Military History Museum in Johannesburg, milestones like a war’s centenary automatically raise the interest and value of military collectables.
“With the world’s focus on commemorating these wars, through documentaries and films, the interest in collecting is at an all-time high and we are seeing record prices being fetched both locally and internationally,” Coleman says.
“For most military collectors, the underlying reason for collecting is often sentimental – often through a family member having a link with a war or for the sake of preserving history.”
The dealers exhibiting at the National Antiques Faire will, in addition to showcasing key rare military memorabilia from World War 1, showcase collectables from a wide range of military confrontations including the Zulu War, Boer Wars, World War 2, the Rhodesia War, the SA Border Wars in Angola and South West Africa, the Portuguese War in Mozambique and Angola, UN participation in Korea and mercenary actions in the Congo conflicts.
> The National Antiques and Decorative Arts Faire will take place from July 25-27 in Exhibition Room One at the Sandton Convention Centre from 10am – 6pm. Entrance is R100