Treasure hunters, say aye! Strike gold at Carpmael Street Bazaar, Joo Chiat’s newest and shiniest chest of curios.
If you religiously follow our weekend guide and the Honeycombers Instagram account (like you rightly should), you’d know we go antique hunting once a month at Katong Square Lifestyle & Vintage Market. And you can imagine how excited we were (picture sufficient squealing) when Gary Tan’s The Retro Factory shared the big news on Facebook announcing a brand new antique store in Singapore. Say hello to Carpmael Street Bazaar – Singapore’s newest antique and vintage artefacts store is set to open doors on 27 March 2019.
One look at Frederick Puah’s British Hainan, a sweet family-run restaurant on a quiet street in Joo Chiat, and you’ll know why he happily rented out space to Gary and friends. The restaurant too is filled to the brim with vintage collectables.
These are serious collectors who’ve spent years perfecting their stash. Most of them have day jobs but put in the extra time, effort and energy into curating and pursuing this art. They individually source, repair, restore value and grade their finds too. And their passion, if you ask us, is entirely contagious.
So what can you find in this treasure trove? For starters, you can’t miss the Frederick’s classic 1937 Austin 7 convertible – yes, it still runs but it’s not for sale. Around the car at this ‘antique centre’ are showcases, one for each collector. Right now, Carpmael Street Bazaar retails items from five collectors including Gary’s The Retro Factory, Mohamed’s D’Pickers, Keh’s Emporium Antiquities and others. But they’ve got room for 12 and are working towards filling them all with more goodies.
Take it from us, it’s impossible to merely walk in and out in a few minutes. The space is bursting at its seams with vintage curios and their untold stories. Think old watches, jewellery, coins, medals, leather accessories, figurines, comic books, telephones, decoratives *pauses to take a breath* gramophones, vinyl records, stamps, Peranakan ceramics, limited edition things, trinket boxes, spectacle frames, pipes, microphones, candle stands, special North Korean stamps and what not. All you really need is time and a keen eye that appreciates the old.
And these curios come from all over the world and from different eras. Take Gary’s finds at The Retro Factory. Almost everything under his banner is from Europe and the UK, bought from estate sales, auctions, art dealers and others. He buys them in lots and when the little brown boxes reach his doorstep, he sorts them out. Almost 30% of the box is unusable while the rest are polished, cleaned and restored by him.
One thing is for certain, walking into Carpmael Street Bazaar is like stumbling upon the secret stash of a time traveller. It’s in-tense and incredible!
Carpmael Street Bazaar, next to British Hainan, 75 Carpmael Road Singapore 429812
Timings: Open Wednesday – Monday from 1 – 9pm, except Friday open from 3 – 9pm. Closed on Tuesday.
Side note: We also hear that the folks behind Carpmael Street Bazaar are working towards something bigger. It might take a few months to bake, but we’re mighty excited…
Watch this space for more