Antique dealer still loves the 'thrill of the hunt'

Neville Tyson holds a vintage German-made toy replica of a Bluebird racing car, dating back to 1928. Photo by Peter McIntosh.
Neville Tyson holds a vintage German-made toy replica of a Bluebird racing car, dating back to 1928. Photo by Peter McIntosh.

Wheeling and dealing in antiques is in the blood, a Green Island shop owner says.

Mr Junks Collectables owner Neville Tyson said, like himself, his father was a collector of many things.

''I had a father who collected everything. I think that's why I started,'' he said.

Mr Tyson began collecting stamps at age 14 when he attended Otago Boys' High School, which resulted in him opening up his own stamp auction business, he said.

''Otago Boys' High School had a stamp club. I started my business when I was 19 with the leftovers from my stamp collection.''

The 57-year-old said his stamp collecting evolved into collecting the tins and valuable items that came with them, which generated a higher profit than selling off the stamps themselves.

Selling the tins then led him into antique dealing. He opened his first antique store in 1993.

The terrain of antique dealing had changed over the past few decades, he said.

''When I started out [in stamps] over 30 years ago there were 35 antique stores around Dunedin. Now there are only about 12.''

This could be due to buyers moving to online stores to buy their antiques, he said.

''I think places like Trade Me have made a huge difference.

''People can just buy what they want online now.''

Mr Tyson travels to the Hayward's Auction House every Wednesday to sustain his Green Island store, which opened a year ago. He said he had received good feedback from the Green Island community.

''The locals here have been really supportive.''

Mr Tyson said it's the ''thrill of the hunt'' which has kept him in the antique business all these years.

- Holly Bagge

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