Antique market a success

Afghani and Pakistani war rugs prove big sellers for one vendor

After only a couple of months, the Rosedale Valley Antiques Market seems to have found its place within the community says organizer Roy Clifford.

The market, which operates out of the pavilion at the Evergreen Brickworks at Bayview Avenue and Rosedale Valley Road, has run every Sunday since June and will appear every other Sunday in September.

Clifford, the owner of the Salvage Shop in Scarborough, thinks this might be the best space he’s ever used to host an antiques market.

“Some dealers do exceptionally well here,” Roy said. “I do a lot better down here than if I kept my shop open on Sunday.”

Set against the bucolic valley background, the location offers nice views, shade, lots of space, easy access and — important for visitors — parking.

It’s not just picturesque — it’s practical.

Roy says he isn’t having trouble attracting curious browsers on the weekends now and thinks it’s only going to get better as Canadian celebrity chef Brad Long, known from his stints on Restaurant Makeover, is opening a restaurant in the Brickworks. Roy’s hopeful the brunch crowd will stop to browse the tables.

That should help keep vendors happy, said Roy adding that their feedback has been positive.

“This is a nice venue. It’s calm and the people coming through here are really polite,” said Persian rug dealer Frederick Bradshaw.

Bradshaw says he pays $120 to set up shop for the day. Other Toronto venues charge upward of $180 a day and don’t provide nearly as much space. Plus, Bradshaw can drive his van right into the pavilion and sell rugs out of the back.

And that means better deals for the customer.

Now that Bradshaw can transport more rugs from his home near Owen Sound, the selection has improved. And he has some truly unique offerings.

Bradshaw is one of the few rug dealers in Ontario to stock highly collectible “war rugs” from Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Since the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979 and the three decades of civil and international conflict that followed, rug weavers have depicted their reality through their work.

The most valuable pieces are the ones that show Saddam Hussein or have a bullet border.

They are literally museum pieces. Following a 2008 exhibition at the Textile Museum of Canada, Bradshaw was flooded with demand from collectors interested in owning a piece of history.

Thanks to strong sales and customer interest, Bradshaw looks forward to coming back next season.

“This venue is really going to take off. There’s going to be a waiting list of vendors trying to get in here. It’s really just a matter of time,” Bradshaw said.

“I’ve sold quite a few pieces,” he said with a satisfied grin.

About this article:

By: Alexandra Bosanac
Posted: Aug 15 2011 3:50 pm
Filed in: Business
Edition: Toronto