Best Vintage Stores In The City
Joburg's authority on thrift stores shares his secrets on where to shop
by Shaun Baskind Posted: 2012/05/08
Shaun Baskind is a vintage connoisseur, who has a vast knowledge of the second hand scene in the city. Here are his recommendations for the best vintage stores that Jozi has to offer.
The biggest and the baddest second hand book store in Africa and the southern hemisphere. The Klaas brothers manage to squeeze 2 million books and around 350 000 LP's in their modest eight story building. They do most of their business online on websites like Abebooks. Some of their current listings include A Clockwork Orange - Anthony Burgess 1st Edition for R115 000 and The Collector - John Fowles 1st Edition for R95 000. Take the lift up to the top floor and you might find the skeletal remains of some Dutch collector hunched over a box of LP's looking for rare South African psychedelia and instead finding the entire Johnny Mathis and Barbara Streisand catalogue.
My best buy at Collectors Treasury was The PIL metal box set for R90 and my worst buy was a Springbok Hits LP for R25. Don't expect to find any bargains, it will probably be cheaper buying a book from America than from them, but for those of you that love the hunt and the smell of old books you have to go there - it's a trip.
244 Commissioner Street
Everyone should go to an auction at least once in their lives. Dunnes is the perfect place to start. All you need is a R500 deposit which they will give back to you when you leave and your game face on. I have found some amazing stuff there over the years. My best buy was a Technics SL1200 turntable that I won for R150-00 which is worth around R3500-00. The general auctions have a bit of everything - furniture, electronics, books, records, tools, clothes etc. and are on Fridays (with viewings on Thursdays).
The Antique auction is the last Saturday of every month and there you will find antique jewellery, furniture, books, art and other curiosities. Every now and then they have a toy auction where you will find Corgi's and Matchbox cars, train sets, tin toys, lead soldiers and other amazing things. Auctioneers are always characters of note and Paul is no exception. A Mod from the UK, he has a wealth of knowledge and always interesting stories to tell. You can get some tuck shop style greasy snacks at the auction while you are waiting for your number to come up.
Ground floor - Northcliff Shopping Centre
Hospice Orange Grove is a thrift store mecca. Guilt-free shopping at its best. It has a dedicated bookshop, bric a brac, record, clothing, vintage and kids shop. I go there at least twice a month and almost always leave with something. Frequented by dealers, collectors, props masters, bargain hunters and a few weirdos, it has something for everyone and all proceeds go to a very good cause. My best buy must be my red plush swivel comfy chair - R400. Pickings have however become a lot slimmer of late - you can't go to Hospice without running into a hipster or crafty looking for a pair of braces or a ceramic fawn. Hospice bookshop is one of the best around. Prices range from R15 to R30 and more for collectable books. The other day I bought two Biggles 1st editions there for R10 each and found out later they are collectively worth about R10 000. The newest addition to Hospice is the vintage shop, where they put some of the more collectable pieces. So buy from charity shops and help save the planet whilst supporting the terminally ill.
Corner 9th and Louis Botha Avenue, Orange Grove
Pretoria is full of antique and pawn shops, but nothing quite like Bellbottoms. Started in 1999, it specialises in 50's, 60's and 70's vintage and retro. They sell clothes, records, furniture, bric a brac, metal signs etc.
Corner Pierneef St and 30th Avenue, Pretoria
Grand Hotel Antiques
Long street is the antiques capital of Johannesburg. House after house has been converted into antique stores. If you are looking for furniture, lights and other interesting stuff, you will have to go down Long street. Hotel Antiques is one of the first stops on Long street and one of the best. Zeke has been in the business forever and finds some amazing stuff. My best buy was a beautiful haberdashery cabinet for R2500 and a roll of vintage floral carpet for R1000. They have old bicycles, bookshelves, couches and chairs, carpets, pictures, doorknobs and cupboards. So take an afternoon off and slowly drive down Long street and stop at all these antique shops, you are bound to find something.