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The best antique shops in Sydney

Our picks of the best antique furniture, clothing and homewares shops

Photograph: Daniel Boud

For everyone from Mad Men obsessives to pre-Federation fans, these antiques shops and homewares stores prefer the pre-loved to the pre-packed. Spend a day leisurely browsing what's in store and you'll learn a little something from the owners, who all have a great story to tell. 

Apostlebird

We didn’t anticipate finding a collection of baby gasmasks so appealing – nor, for that matter, a pair of polio prosthetics – but, as we found ourselves inside the new warehouse from vintage and antiques collectors Apostlebird there was a strong sense of fascination with the metal juvenile legs dangling from the beams. Unlike the provincial French furniture dealers and the Rockabilly outfitters of the Inner West, this store has an air of something far more macabre.

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North Manly

The Bronte Tram

Named after the old tram that once traveled past here on its way to Bondi, this antique shop is brimming with vintage and decorative furniture and homewares. A number of antique chandeliers hang from the ceiling but their specialty is furniture, offering a wide variety of antique french, industrial and eastern pieces that the store sells, hires-out, buys, paints or upholsters. They also make Roman blinds and curtains.

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Waverley

Doug up on Bourke

Owner Doug Hutchinson established Doug up on Bourke as a hobby, now it is the biggest provider of industrial, commercial and rustic antiques in Sydney. Specialising in mid-1800s to the '50s, you'll find pigeonhole units, old Bakelite phones, shipping trunks, industrial workbenches and an extensive selection of old watering cans.

 

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Waterloo

Drunk on the Moon

The owners of this little Newtown gem celebrate all things old, aged, distressed and weathered by time. Their mission at Drunk on the Moon is to source and restore pre-loved, quality vintage and antique furniture - at affordable prices - from shabby chic loungers to recycled food crates.

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Newtown

Dust

Don't let the name fool you. The items stacked haphazardly on the shelves at Dust are often in remarkably good condition - from old movie posters to mannequins to cane chairs.

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Darlinghurst

Ici et La

There’s more to this rustic French design store than exxy espadrilles, we assure you. Surry Hills French interiors store ici et là (it means ‘here and there’) has gathered a strong following for its collection of antique French deckchairs, zinc letters, industrial light shades and vibrant striped fabrics. But have you met Marcel the resident French bulldog sunning himself on the pavement, or been to one of the special Sunday dinners inside the shop run by ex-Rockpool chef Mike McEnearney? If you answered ‘no’ to either of these questions, then you know what to do.

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Surry Hills

Mitchell Road Antique and Design Centre

As well as being a general auctioneers and valuers, here you can find fine art, collectibles and lots of antiques. Upstairs you will find furniture, lighting, home wares, artworks, fashion, toys, jewellery, music, magazines, collectables.

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Alexandria

Modern 2 Vintage

One of the city's top destinations for high-end antiques, Modern 2 Vintage's exquisite collection is small but expertly selected for maximum taste and beauty. The store doesn't specialise in any one era, but last time we looked you could pick up items from art deco furniture to 'vintage' iPods. You're sure to leave with a one-off bombshell of a piece, even if your wallet is a little lighter.

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Alexandria

Newtown Old Wares

Rifle through an extensive collection of antique furniture to turn your house into a pad straight out of your decade of choice. For all you rockabilly cats out there, they specialise in goods from 1950s.

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Newtown

Palace Trader

Sydney couple Gavin Sainsbury and Scott Jenkins spent a month travelling across France, rummaging for vintage finds and salvaged homewares to stock their shop on Palace Street. Filled with vintage posters, glassware and oak furniture, the store is their first retail venture after years of collecting antiques as a hobby.

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Petersham

Quintessential Duck Egg Blue

Nestled in the heart of Darling Street, Balmain, this store offers an impressive collection of vintage finds, from an eclectic mix of reconditioned French industrial workbenches to antique Georgian Windsor chairs and medical units dating back to the 1930s.

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Balmain

Retro on Regent

Tonnes of authentic mid-century modern furniture, glassware and ceramics for all you Mad Men obsessives.

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Redfern

Seasonal Concepts

Ken Wallis and TR Keller's store contains around 40 pieces of taxidermy - ducks, peacocks, kookaburras, stags, a wolf rug, and most startlingly, the towering neck and head of a giraffe named Roger. As well as elaborate botanic arrangements the shop is full of old crockery, garden tools, furniture and curiosities.

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Redfern

Trains Planes and Automobiles

Release your inner child with an incredible selection of model trains, planes and, um, automobiles. Plus all sorts of 50s and 60s Americana. Savvy staff can help beginning collectors get started and can provide something special for even the most experienced aficionados.

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Annandale

Kit yourself out in vintage threads

The best vintage shops in Sydney

Get all dressed up in frocks from the 1950s, flares from the swinging sixties and super trendy smocks from the ’70s. You can find outfits from all the ages at Sydney’s best vintage shops, and the homewares to match at Sydney’s best antiques shops.

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By: Emma Joyce

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