Inside McLeod’s Antiques
Anyone heading into the Sydney city from the east or vice versa will pass McLeod’s Antiques. At the corner of South Dowling street, the shop of curiosities sits at a main intersection – thousands of people must see its window displays filled with elaborate vases and lamps and statues every day. I, too, had admired it for years, passing it daily on my bus route always making note that one day I should actually enter it. And I finally did!
Meeting Odette, the wife of the store’s namesake owner Julian McLeod, she explained how the store came to be – originally opened in Adelaide, then in Trinidad (where they lived for 25 years) and then in Sydney, firstly in Pymble and now at its home of 17 years in Paddington. The shop is filled with antiques – big and small, elaborate and refined. When I asked Odette how she came to become so knowledgable about antiques, she mentioned their travels around Italy, the Vatican, England and Egypt, but she also mentioned “constant study, reading, curiosity. And above all, I married the antiquarian.”
The objects of McLeod’s Antiques all seem to be like souvenirs from adventures and times gone by, each one sings of a story waiting to be told. Which is fitting, as you may just see some of their antiques as set props in a little upcoming film entitled The Great Gatsby…