'Treasure hunting at the ''Sally Annies'' is Lyndall Frost's
A collector by trade and by choice, the Dunedin resident is
employed to buy items for the gift shop at Larnach Castle.
''It's the perfect job for me.''
When not scouring the shops for work, she can be found
scanning op-shop shelves for bargains.
A lifelong collector, Ms Frost has an insatiable appetite for
beautiful, interesting curios with a strong sense of history
and character. She becomes agitated if a week goes by without
a ''browse'' and has no qualms about searching for treasures
among unwanted clothing and other discarded items. Sometimes
the best things are found in such places, she says.
''I love fossicking in the good old Sally Annies and places
like that; it's where the treasures are. People say it's
smelly - that's the smell of a bargain.''
Antique and vintage linen, cut glassware and vintage clothing
top her list of desirable collectables.
She sees value in recycling and reusing things, especially
items with a bit of history.
''I don't really like new stuff. Even vintage tea towels and
things I use.''
Old sporting gear also attracts Ms Frost, who has a weathered
ice pick, worn boxing gloves and fencing gear.
''They become decorative. I also love old hats and I do wear
some of them, although I'm not a very over-the-top person.''
The delight of finding something special makes the hunt all
worthwhile, Ms Frost says. Recalling the acquisition of a
''stunning'' silk nightgown in Auckland years ago still
brings a smile to her face.
Not long ago, she had a central Dunedin shop in which she
sold vintage linen and some of the other items she couldn't
bear to leave behind when fossicking. Now she no longer has
this avenue to pass on collectables, they have started piling
up at home.
Curios include silverware, Victorian pieces, kitchen
implements from the 1940s and anything retro with character.
''It's such a pleasurable thing, hunting and gathering.
Things with a story are great and, for some reason, I just
can't resist white jugs.''
When Ms Frost needs to get rid of some of her collection, she
sends things back to op-shops or gives them to friends.
''As time goes on, and I get more things, I just have to be
more discerning. It helps to have a very understanding
One article she could not pass up was a 1920s French ice
Ms Frost says people would be surprised at the quality found
in second-hand stores.
''I'm always picking up nice coffee mugs, and it is fine
china, not the cheap mass-produced stuff.''
She says collecting is something she was born to do and, in
all likelihood, she will never stop - not that she would want